Elite Airways announced additional service from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport to another destination along the east coast on Thursday afternoon.
At a press conference in front of Elite’s ticket counter at SRQ, Elite president John Pearsall, SRQ president and CEO Fredrick “Rick” Piccolo and Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority chairman John Stafford delivered remarks on new service to White Plains, New York. The nonstop flight will operate on Mondays and Fridays beginning Nov. 10.
Early-bird fares start at $179 with one free checked bag and carry-on bag.
White Plains is a new destination for Elite. The airline’s other east coast services include flights to and from Newark, N.J., and Portland, Maine.
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“The consumer demand for New York-to-Florida service continues to be strong and we are thrilled to introduce nonstop service between White Plains and Sarasota-Bradenton this fall,” Pearsall said in a release.
New York is the Bradenton area’s largest domestic tourism feeder market outside Florida, according to Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Elliott Falcione.
“To bring more lift into SRQ from that market is exciting,” Falcione said. “The demographic we target aligns with the White Plains market really well. We can’t wait until Nov. 10.”
Almost exactly a year ago, Elite and SRQ announced the arrival of the airline’s services in the Bradenton area. Elite, which aims to make passengers feel like they’re “flying with family,” started at SRQ with twice-weekly service to Portland, Maine. Earlier this year the airline added a Halifax, Nova Scotia, leg to the Portland route.
Pearsall alluded to another announcement coming from Elite in the coming weeks.
“We’ve been working very hard on some other projects here in Sarasota and we are looking forward, in the next few weeks, to making another announcement for another city,” Pearsall said at the press conference. “We think it will be a terrific complement to Sarasota. It’s up north; I won’t say where, but a lot of people from that area live here also.”
Last week, Delta Airlines announced the addition of seasonal service to John F. Kennedy International Airport. The new Delta and Elite services help Piccolo further justify the $35 million in terminal improvements during the past five years as well as the upcoming $4 million and $2 million in roadway and parking improvements, respectively.
SRQ had an increase in total passengers in May, June and July of 2017 compared to the same months last year, deflecting from flat and declining passenger reports in the first four months of this year.