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Allegiant adds six destinations from St. Pete airport

ST. PETERSBURG — Allegiant Air on Tuesday announced six new destinations from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, adding nonstop service to three cities in New York, and one each in Ohio, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The flights will begin serving Newburgh, N.Y., an upstate alternative to metropolitan New York airports, beginning Oct. 31; Elmira, N.Y., and Sioux Falls, S.D., beginning Nov. 1; Syracuse, N.Y., beginning Nov. 7; and Columbus, Ohio, and Fargo, N.D., beginning Nov. 23.

Allegiant is offering promotional one-way fares on each of the flights of $99, which must be purchased by Thursday for travel by April 29.

The additional flights scheduled on a twice-weekly basis are expected to boost 2013 travel at the Pinellas airport to more than 1 million passengers for the first time since 2004. Allegiant will serve 31 destinations, while three other airlines offer flights to two Canadian cities and Gulfport/Biloxi, Miss.

“The Allegiant increase has the potential to add another 150,000 passengers next year, so we could be looking at up to 1.2 million passengers in 2014,” airport director Noah Lagos said.

The low-cost, highly profitable Las Vegas-based carrier, whose NASDAQ traded shares have risen from the $80 range in March to about $95 this week, generally links smaller destinations with tourism areas, including Las Vegas, Orlando and Tampa Bay.

But St. Pete-Clearwater has enjoyed a surge in traffic that originates locally, Lagos said.

“Allegiant makes good money in our market,” Lagos said explaining why the airport was able to get the new flights. “Travel is up 15 percent year to date.”

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