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American Airlines adds another destination out of SRQ. Service to this city starts in January

American Airlines will launch direct service between Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport in early 2019.
American Airlines will launch direct service between Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport in early 2019. Bradenton Herald file photo

American Airlines on Monday announced service between Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport starting in January.

Service will begin on Jan. 12, 2019, and last through Sept. 1, 2019, with flights offered on Saturdays and Sundays.

The flight is scheduled to depart Philadelphia at 8:05 a.m. and land at SRQ at 11:03 a.m. It will then depart Sarasota Bradenton at 11:47 a.m., with a scheduled landing in Philly of 2:30 p.m.

The announcement from American comes on the heels of Frontier Airlines announcing in late August that it was adding twice-a-week nonstop service between Philadelphia and SRQ starting Dec. 10.

This marks the third route that American recently has added out of SRQ, joining Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare, both of which start Dec. 20. In addition, American is upgrading two of its daily flights to Charlotte from regional jets to the larger Airbus A319.

“We could not be happier with the growth American Airlines is providing at SRQ,” Rick Piccolo, SRQ’s chief executive officer, said in a news release. “These new routes and larger aircraft will provide a significant upgrade in service for our visitors and local community.”

Also this year, Allegiant started service to Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Cincinnati on April 11, and JetBlue brought its service to Boston back on Sept. 5.

Allegiant airlines brought its flight of passengers to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport on Wednesday, launching a new day of low-cost fares. First passengers arrived from Indianapolis. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are also being served.

In addition, Frontier is adding nonstop service to Cleveland beginning Dec. 10.

With Frontier and Allegiant joining JetBlue, United, Delta and American, SRQ has seen a sharp increase in traffic.

Traffic was up 25.5 percent in August, 30 percent in July, 23 percent in June and 6 percent in May, according to airport officials.

The new $25 million air traffic control tower at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport is expected to improve aviation safety and open up economic development opportunities.

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