By Tom Jewsbury, Airport Director, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE)
Fifteen years has flown by, literally, with Allegiant! In September 2006, PIE announced a new airline was coming to town with 12 non-stop, low-cost destinations! Allegiant made headlines with its 12-hour $12 fare promotion and PIE began a new chapter of setting passenger records.
Today, PIE is Allegiant’s 2nd biggest airport in the 130 plus it serves. With 59 non-stop destinations, Allegiant and St. Pete-Clearwater Int’l claim the most non-stops of all airlines in the Tampa Bay area. It launched with the idea to link small, underserved airports and create new affordable opportunities for families and friends to connect and vacation. The Result – PIE consistently ranks in the top 10 airports for lowest round-trip domestic airfare; in 2020, PIE ranked #7 with $107.16 compared to the national average round-trip airfare of $292.20 (US Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics). Together, PIE and Allegiant’s value and convenience, created a loyal passenger base and boosted our tourism economy.
“Allegiant has been the gateway to visiting my daughter and now grandchildren for the past decade. With nonstop flights from Allentown to St. Pete-Clearwater, it’s made visiting an absolute breeze! We loved St. Pete so much we decided to visit permanently in 2020!” shared Allegiant passenger Rosanne Totzke.
The first flights launched on November 16, 2006 included Allentown, PA; Rockford, IL; and Peoria, IL; and year after year, new destinations have been added. Our strong growth in passengers reflects the rise in new destinations; Since Allegiant’s first full year (2007) to 2019 (last pre pandemic calendar year), Allegiant passengers increased by over 200% at PIE!
“St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is a terrific partner and a wonderful example of the many benefits a locally-focused, easy-to-access airport brings to leisure travelers,” said Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., Allegiant’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Unlike other carriers, Allegiant is 100 percent focused on providing access to affordable, convenient nonstop flights that make vacations possible. Our growth and success at PIE over 15 years is testament to a partnership that helps us keep fares low, at a friendly location our customers love.”
Allegiant has celebrated our collective success along the way with some exciting giveaways and community contributions! Participating in school field trip tours and an aviation careers video, Southeastern Guide Dog Puppy Training Tours, hurricane donation drives, Big Brothers Big Sisters Workplace Mentoring program, Make-A-Wish travel packages, dedicated Veterans Honor Flight charters, Allegiant makes a difference in our community.
“PIE is fortunate to have a strong partnership with Allegiant and look forward to continued growth. Tampa Bay travel opportunities were transformed when Allegiant launched in St. Pete-Clearwater. Our improvements and growth are tied to their investment in our region.” Tom Jewsbury, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Director.