St. Pete-Clearwater Airport in Fla. Adding Nonstop Flights

Allegiant Air will serve a dozen cities - mostly in the Midwest and Southeast - that don't have nonstop flights from the Bay area when it begins phasing in service in November at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

Introductory offers for some flights will be as low as $49, with standard one-way fares from $79 to $239 after the deals expire. Routes from the Pinellas County airport will be phased in from Nov. 16 to Dec. 14.

Cities to be served from St. Petersburg-Clearwater are Allentown, Pa.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Rockford, Ill.; Columbia, S.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Lansing, Mich.; Peoria, Ill.; Roanoke, Va.; South Bend, Ind.; Springfield, Mo.; Newburgh, N.Y.; and Toledo, Ohio.

"By mid-December, Allegiant will fly 33 flights weekly to and from the greater Tampa Bay area," said Noah Lagos, director of the St. Petersburg-Clearwater airport.

Leisure travelers interested in Pinellas' beaches are expected to be the biggest customers. There also is demand by Tampa Bay area residents for flights to places such as Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and the Hudson River Valley in New York.

"Allegiant doesn't really compete with other airlines," aviation consultant Michael Boyd of Evergreen, Colo., said in a Sept. 13 report. He notes that the new Pinellas service won't have an effect on neighboring Tampa International Airport, whose service does not include nonstop flights to the destinations Allegiant plans to serve.

Fly Mission Air, a Hawaii-based charter carrier, also plans to start scheduled service at St. Petersburg-Clearwater in November with flights to Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis International Airport.

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