ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Allegiant Air will begin weekly, non-stop flights from the Greater Rochester International Airport to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Oct. 9.
Airport Director Michael Giardino and County Executive Maggie Brooks announced Tuesday that by the time harsh winter weather returns, Rochesterians will be able to get to warmer climes for a reasonable price.
Consolidation among major airlines has resulted in a reduction of service, especially at airports like Rochester's, which attracted Allegiant to Rochester.
"We saw pent up demand here for people to take leisure travel to the next level and travel to sunny South Florida," said Kim Schaefer, Allegiant Travel Company.
Allegiant offers more than air service. Travelers can also book hotels and rental cars through the company, but it's the low fares that makes this airline attractive. The airline is offering an introductory fare of $83 to fly one-way to Florida.
Zulma Figueroa was born and raised in Rochester. She now lives in Florida. Zulma says the $83 rate is too good to pass up.
"If they're advertising $83 non-stop straight, you don't have to think about it. I would just take it," she said.
Pilots who fly for Allegiant Air recently accused the airline of cutting corners in an effort to keep costs down. The union representing Allegiant pilots says the airline takes a bare minimum approach to maintenance and safety, citing 38 potentially dangerous incidents between January and March.
"Allegiant has one of the safest records in the aviation industry. We have numerous programs in place where we partner with the FAA. Neither the FAA nor our own operations has identified any abnormal trends," said Schaefer.
Air service will begin with twice a week trips, with the option of expanding that services to other destinations.