Las Vegas-based budget airline Allegiant Air
announced it is bringing service to General Mitchell International Airport
in Milwaukee, offering direct flights to Phoenix and several destinations in Florida.
[caption id="attachment_128048" align="alignright" width="332"]
Mitchell International Airport. - Curtis Waltz (www.aerialscapes.com) photo.[/caption]
Allegiant will fly direct routes year-round from Milwaukee to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Punta Gorda Airport (Florida) beginning Oct. 13; Orlando Sanford International Airport beginning Nov. 16; and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport starting Nov. 17.
The airline, which specializes in offering routes from small cities, announced a total of 28 new routes today, also from Gulfport, Mississippi and Norfolk, Virginia. Allegiant is offering low introductory fares to celebrate the expansion.
"We're so excited to grow our network and add service in Gulfport, Norfolk and Milwaukee," said Lukas Johnson, senior vice president of commercial at Allegiant. "With the addition of three new cities and a major expansion of service into Phoenix, we'll be able to offer some great fall travel options, with convenient, nonstop service across the country."
Representatives from Allegiant and Milwaukee County stressed the affordability of the new routes at a press conference this morning.
“This is great news," Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said. "It’s great news for the airport, it’s great news for the county, it’s great news for the state, it’s great news for people who care about affordable flights.”
Kim Schaefer, public relations manager for Allegiant, said there is "pent-up" demand in Milwaukee for the "ultra-low cost" service to the leisure destinations that the airline services.
Allegiant anticipates about 170,000 passengers to come in and out of Milwaukee on the five new routes over the next year, Schaefer said. She said the airline's low prices make flying affordable for travelers who might otherwise opt to drive or stay home.
"We don’t just go into a community and have folks who are already traveling on another carrier change their mind and start to travel with us," she said. "What we do is we stimulate traffic that might not already exist in a community. So that’s good for us, it’s good for the airport."
Abele said the addition of the five routes will keep more customers flying in and out of General Mitchell, rather than other regional airports, including O'Hare International and Chicago Midway International.
“We have nothing but affection for our good friends and our neighbor suburbs to the south, but for those of you who live anywhere near Mitchell, you know this is an incredibly convenient and easy airport," he said.