Elite Airways to begin service at SRQ Airport

Elite Airways will begin twice-weekly nonstop service to and from Portland, Maine on Nov. 17.
Elite Airways will begin twice-weekly nonstop service to and from Portland, Maine on Nov. 17. Provided photo

Elite Airways will begin twice-weekly service at Bradenton Sarasota International Airport on Nov. 17 to and from Portland, Maine.

Elite President and Chief Executive Officer John Pearsall confirmed the airline will use a Bombardier CRJ700 70-seat aircraft to begin service at SRQ. Early-bird one-way fares will start at $199.

“We do believe it’s a huge demand from New England to Sarasota and vice versa,” he told the Bradenton Herald. Additional destinations or larger planes for the Portland service may come at a future date.

“This is a very exciting announcement for Mainers heading into the winter season,” Portland Jetport Director Paul Bradbury said in an Elite Airways release. “Florida remains our number one requested destination and the new Elite Airways service to Sarasota will provide convenient nonstop access to the Gulf Coast.”

Pearsall founded the airline 10 years ago in an effort to “move away from the discount and legacy carrier services that were focused more on the bottom line than a quality travel experience,” according to

“We like to talk about our elite class, which is a different customer experience on board,” according to Pearsall. The airline charges no change fees and each passenger’s first piece of luggage flies free. Elite is pet-friendly and offers charter service for sports teams, groups and corporations.

“We are extremely proud to welcome Elite Airways to the Sarasota-Bradenton area with new nonstop service from Portland, Maine,” SRQ President and CEO Rick Piccolo said in the Elite Airways release. “We look forward to welcoming our guests from Portland and surrounding areas to our state-of-the-art airport, and are excited to share our beautiful beaches, great shopping opportunities, and diverse arts and culture with them. This route opens up new markets and new travel opportunities for our community as well.”

Elite Airways is headquartered in Portland with a hub in Melbourne. Other Elite destinations include Naples, Vero Beach, Newark, N.J., Bar Harbor, Maine, Long Island, N.Y., Rockford, Ill., Fort Collins, Colo., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Denver, Branson, Miss., Houston and Islip, N.Y.

Tickets for Elite Airways SRQ flights now available for purchase by calling 877-393-2510.

Janelle O’Dea: 941-745-7095, @jayohday

Details on Portland-Sarasota flights

Elite Airways will begin service on Thursday and Sunday at SRQ starting on Nov. 17.

  • Departs Portland, Maine (PWM) 11:45 a.m. and arrives at Sarasota-Bradenton (SRQ) 2:45 p.m.
  • Departs Sarasota-Bradenton (SRQ) at 3:30 p.m. and arrives at Portland (PWM) at 6:30 p.m.

Source: Elite Airways press release