Frontier Airlines announced Tuesday that it is adding nonstop service between Philadelphia and Sarasota Bradenton International Airport starting Dec. 10.
The twice-a-week flights would provide SRQ with service on one of its most-coveted passenger routes, helping provide an alternative to Tampa International.
“That was our No. 1 goal,” said Rick Piccolo, CEO and president of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. “We are obviously very pleased.”
Frontier announced Aug. 13 that it was starting nonstop twice-weekly flights to Cleveland Hopkins Airport. The Cleveland flights will also start on Dec. 10.
“With their announcement to provide nonstop service to Cleveland two weeks ago, it is encouraging to see an additional destination added so quickly. We look forward to further expansions of their route network at SRQ and the ultra-low fares they bring to our community,” Piccolo said.
Frontier and Allegiant are the two new airlines that SRQ has added this year, helping to drive up passenger traffic.
SRQ reported a 30 percent increase in passenger traffic in July, a 23 percent increase in June, and a 16 percent increase in May.
In addition, JetBlue, United, Delta and American airlines have all agreed to sign on for another five years at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.
Piccolo and his team at SRQ have been partnering with tourism development partners in the Bradenton and Sarasota areas to attract visitors to this area.
In addition, SRQ has been vigorously courting airlines seeking to add more service at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.
As part of the inducement for airlines to serve SRQ, competitive terminal rental and landing fees are being offered.
Terminal rates at SRQ for fiscal 2019 are $64.68 a square foot, significantly below the $151.18 at Tampa International and the $106.13 charged by Southwest Florida International in Fort Myers.
Landing fees at SRQ are significantly less than those at Tampa and Fort Myers.
For fiscal 2019, SRQ has 24 capital projects totaling $9,006,600 budgeted. Forty-four percent of the projects would be funded by state and federal grand funds.
SRQ expects to have replaced all of its aircraft loading bridges by year’s end with new bridges. Recently completed projects include a shade parking lot for passengers and a covered parking lot for rental cars.
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport is debt-free and receives no property tax income.