Allegiant upping ante on CVG service to Destin

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 12:30:15-05

HEBRON, Ky. – Allegiant Air is already bolstering flights to Destin, Florida, from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, even though service to the popular Panhandle destination doesn't officially launch for a few more months.

Pre-bookings have been so strong that the low-cost carrier has decided to up the ante. Allegiant will now offer three weekly flights between Destin-Fort Walton (VPS) and CVG instead of the twice-weekly service it announced just last week.

Flights will run Monday, Friday and Saturday throughout the summer. The route will still be seasonal – running from May 20 to Sept. 5.

Brandon Myers, Allegiant spokesman, told that it's "unusual" to add flights before service even starts. But given Allegiant's quick success at CVG – it debuted in 2013, has grown to 13 destinations and just launched a base of operations here Jan. 6 – it's not unheard of.

"We've done it a few times in the past. Travelers at CVG can't seem to get enough of us," Myers said. "Increasing the frequency still makes it perfect for the leisure travelers to make a quick weekend trip or a Monday through Saturday, whatever they want to do."

RELATED: Can CVG get 9 million passengers by 2021?

It's certainly also a boost of confidence for CVG officials, who have worked on adding Panhandle service for upward of three years. Allegiant is the only airline at CVG to offer that service direct. The airline formally announced the Destin route Jan. 12, along with new nonstop flights to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) starting April 29.

"We expect Destin/Fort Walton to do extremely well," said Bobby Spann, the airport's vice president of external affairs. "We're the only airport in a 120-mile radius that will have the Panhandle nonstop. Allegiant continues to grow here. In just in the matter of two years, we've gone from being non-existent on their route map to being their No. 6 (largest) airport."

"CVG is a great market for us," Myers said.

The extended Destin flights will be added to Allegiant's flight calendar Thursday afternoon.


Follow Liz Engel on Twitter: @_LizEngel