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Business Observer Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2013 9 years ago

Airline's bankruptcy slows Punta Gorda airport traffic

Passenger traffic is down by nearly half at the airport.

PUNTA GORDA — A total of 20,939 passengers passed through the Punta Gorda airport in February, a 46% drop from the same month one year ago.

The decline is due to the fact that one of the airport's two discount carriers, Direct Air, filed for bankruptcy in March 2012. In February 2012, Direct Air carried nearly 15,000 passengers through Punta Gorda.

The airport's remaining carrier, Allegiant Air, has picked up some of the slack from Direct Air's bankruptcy and has expanded service from Punta Gorda to additional cities. Allegiant flew 20,939 passengers in February, a 150% increase over the same month one year ago.

In June, Allegiant announced it was establishing a base of operations in Punta Gorda with one 150-seat MD 80 jet aircraft. It also announced plans for additional nonstop flights from Punta Gorda to cities such as Fort Wayne, Ind., Niagara Falls, N.Y., Peoria, Ill., and South Bend, Ind.

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