Plattsburgh International turning into a Mickey Mouse operation'

PLATTSBURGH Good news continues for Plattsburgh International Airport as it was announced a new non-stop service will begin after the new year. In an announcement made at the airport Tuesday morning, Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas shared news of Las Vegas-based airline Allegiant Airs decision to provide two weekly nonstop flights to Orlando, Fla., beginning Friday, Feb. 1. Flights on a 150-seat, MD-80 series, jet-aircraft will be offered at an introductory rate of $89 one-way, with flights to be offered Mondays and Fridays, departing Plattsburgh at 7 p.m. and arriving at Orlando Sanford International Airport at 10:10 p.m. Return flights will depart at 3:20 p.m. and arrive in Plattsburgh at 6:25 p.m. We needed to go some place a little goofy, even at the risk of perhaps appearing to be a Mickey Mouse operation, Mr. Douglas said as he gave clues to the flights destination before officially making the announcement. In addition to the introductory rates to be offered for Orlando flights, Allegiant Air will offer complete vacation packages including roundtrip air and three-night hotel stay for as low as $283 per person, based on a three-night hotel stay and double occupancy. The announcement made Tuesday was made sooner than originally planned, said Mr. Douglas. Service was theoretically to start as early as next spring. Because of the strength and interest in service they have here, Mr. Douglas said of Allegiant Air, they have literally scrambled to advance this announcement because they know this Orlando service is going to be as successful as their Fort Lauderdale service. Even though Allegiants inaugural flight from Plattsburgh International to Fort Lauderdale occurred only five days prior to Tuesdays announcement, the airline company also decided to double its Fort Lauderdale service from two to four flights a week. That increase, said Mr. Douglas, is due to the airlines overwhelming response and ability to nearly fill occupancy for each flight it offers at Plattsburgh International. Flights to Fort Lauderdale will be offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Friday and Saturdays, beginning Saturday, Feb. 2. We are now Montreals U.S. airport. Its how we positioned it, its how weve marketed it and its how the experience of our first major airline is playing out, said Mr. Douglas. We now are a Mickey Mouse operation, officially, and pleased to be so. We couldnt be happier to have this announcement today. Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey, representing the 114th Assembly District, fellow Assemblywoman Teresa R. Sayward and Senator Elizabeth OC. Little agreed, stating through the help of Canadians utilizing the Plattsburgh airport, a great opportunity has been created for the North Country. I think its time to issue a little bit of a challenge to our local residents, said Assemblywoman Duprey. If youre booking a flight, book it out of Plattsburgh International Airport ... Im not sure when my next flights going to be, but Im sure going to try to book it out of Plattsburgh International in fact, I will do it out of Plattsburgh International. Its really great. One outstanding bit of news, as Garry mentioned, is the rapid growth in filling these planes which certainly must be a great marketing tool to continue to bring more options, more airlines, said Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernard C. Bassett, who further credited Canadians for helping drive the local economy. The parking lots in Plattsburgh have certainly been demonstrating to us weve been getting a lot of our northern neighbors down for shopping, dining. Its good for all of us. According to information provided by Allegiant Air, the airlines one-way introductory $89 fare is limited and not available on all flights. Tickets must be purchased by Saturday, Dec. 15, for complete travel by May 15, 2008 in order to take advantage of the offer. After the introductory fare period, regular one-way fares on the route are expected to start as low as $109 one-way. In addition to the Allegiant Air service, Delta Connection will continue to offer service to Boston, Mass., seven days a week. For more information, visit the Plattsburgh International Airport Web site at www.flyplattsburgh.com .

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