Looks like Allegiant might have its eyes on Punta Gorda as its next base after it announced flights to the city from both Greenville/Spartanburg and Knoxville today. This is the first move outside its current base structure in awhile, and it could be a sign of bigger expansion to come.
For those who aren’t up on Allegiant’s current route structure, take a look at the map before today’s announcement.
Those not familiar with Allegiant are probably surprised by the breadth of the routes on this map. Just remember, they only serve each route a couple of times a week, so they can fly to a lot more places with fewer planes.
Looking at Florida, they have their east coast presence in Ft Lauderdale, their central Florida presence at Orlando/Sanford, and a west coast presence at St Petersburg. Punta Gorda is also on the west coast, only about 100 miles south of St Petersburg’s airport, but it’s only 30 miles north of Ft Myers and 60 miles north of Naples. Clearly they’re trying to tap into that market, but it is odd that the service starts in March, toward the end of the snowbird season. Then again, these aren’t exactly cold weather towns that they’re serving, so maybe it’s a spring break play?
Both Knoxville and Greenville/Spartanburg will be served twice weekly, and they both already have service from all three of Allegiant’s other Florida bases. It’s a very small presence for now, but if it works, I’m sure we’ll see more cities connected to Punta Gorda very quickly.
By the way, if Punta Gorda rings a bell, it was talked about a great deal when Skybus started flying to the airport. Of course, that didn’t last very long, but it did set the precedent for service at the airport.