Low-cost airline Allegiant said Tuesday that it plans to soon start flying from Concord Regional Airport to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, adding another route as Concord grows its air service.
The new Allegiant flights are scheduled to start Nov. 13, with one-way fares starting at $49 for seats purchased by Aug. 22. Allegiant currently flies from Concord to Orlando Sanford International Airport.
The airline began flying to Concord in December and was the airport’s first regularly scheduled commercial passenger service. Concord hopes to lure more flights to complement its private and charter aviation, billing itself as a cheaper and more convenient alternative for Charlotte-area travelers.
“We are thrilled to offer more convenient, low-cost vacation options to more communities,” said Andrew Levy, Allegiant Travel Co. president, in a statement. The new Concord-St. Petersburg flights will operate twice weekly, on Thursday and Sunday.
Las Vegas-based Allegiant is the only passenger airline in the area not operating from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which is American Airlines’ second-busiest hub. American operates about 650 flights a day from Charlotte Douglas, which saw 43.5 million passengers last year and is on track to surpass that total this year.
Allegiant has grown rapidly by filling a niche in the airline industry, offering only low-cost tickets from smaller communities to vacation destinations. The airline uses primarily older aircraft, such as the MD-80, to keep its costs down, and also generates revenue from selling hotel rooms and car rentals.
Like other “ultra-low-cost” airlines, Allegiant also charges fees for most services, such as $10 to $75 for a carry-on bag and $1.99 for water and soda in-flight.
The carrier also announced new service to Belleville, Peoria and Bloomington, Ill., and Huntington, West Va., on Thursday.
Eight months since it started service to Concord, Allegiant has said its flights have performed well so far, with more than 90 percent of seats filled on most. In June, the airline said it plans to double the number of weekly flights from Concord to Orlando, Fla., to four.