July 22, 2008

Allegiant to Discontinue PTI-Fort Lauderdale Flight

By Fran Daniel, Winston-Salem Journal, N.C.

Jul. 22--Allegiant Air LLC will eliminate service between Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Piedmont Triad International Airport in August because of high oil costs.

The last flight to Fort Lauderdale will be Aug. 25. Customers with reservations Sept. 7 and beyond will be contacted directly by Allegiant about the changes.

Tyri Squyres, a spokeswoman for low-fare carrier Allegiant, said yesterday that in addition to Greensboro, it will also end service between Fort Lauderdale and four other cities -- Allentown, Pa., Chattanooga, Tenn., Huntington, W.Va. and Tri-Cities, Tenn.

Allegiant, which is based in Las Vegas, started service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Nov. 14, 2007.

At PTI, it provides nonstop service four days a week to Orlando Sanford International Airport, two days a week to Fort Lauderdale, and two days a week to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in the Tampa Bay area. The move to drop the Fort Lauderdale service will not affect the airline's flights to Orlando, Fla., and Tampa, Fla.

Allegiant had planned to pull out of PTI entirely on June 1 but changed its mind shortly after Skybus Airlines Inc. went out of business, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and ended its hub service at PTI in April.

Henry Isaacson, the chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, said that he has talked to officials at Allegiant and hopes that the airline will someday be able to reconsider resuming service between Fort Lauderdale and PTI.

In the meantime, PTI officials plan to continue talking to existing and new airlines about new and expanded service at the airport.

Fran Daniel can be reached at 727-7366 or at [email protected]


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