Allegiant Plans Flights from Cedar Rapids to Punta Gorda

By George Ford, Reporter

The Eastern Iowa Airport near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, aerial photo looking west with runway construction work on left side and Wright Brothers Boulevard lower right side, 6/23/2006.


By Rachel Begle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Eastern Iowans have been clamoring for direct flights from Cedar Rapids to southwest Florida and a Las Vegas-based airline plans to launch service later this year.

Allegiant Air will offer twice-weekly nonstop jet service between The Eastern Iowa Airport and Punta Gorda, Fla., beginning Dec. 18. Allegiant will introduce the new service with fares as low as $99.99 each way, which are not available on all flights.

Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 6 for travel by Feb. 11, 2014. Flight days and times can be found at

Punta Gorda is roughly halfway between the white-sand beaches of Fort Myers and Sarasota’s tropical island communities in southwest Florida. It will become Allegiant’s fifth nonstop destination from Cedar Rapids.

Julie Hender of Destinations Unlimited in Cedar Rapids said direct flights to Punta Gorda should appeal to Eastern Iowans.
"Fort Myers is really big for people with winter homes in southwest Florida," Hender said. "If they can fly directly from Cedar Rapids to Punta Gorda, they can have someone pick them up at the airport.

"It will be much more convenient to get to Fort Myers, Naples, Bonita Springs and even down to Marco Island. Having an inexpensive nonstop service in the winter months will be very popular."

Airport Director Tim Bradshaw said there is a "huge connection" between residents of Eastern Iowa and southwest Florida.

"A lot of them have second homes or they vacation in southwest Florida," Bradshaw said. "We're just thrilled to have another Florida destination for them."

Bradshaw said the airport was able to secure a grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation to help attract the new Allegiant service to Punta Gorda. IDOT will reimburse the airport for 40 percent of the cost of marketing the new service up to a maximum of $50,000.

Bradshaw said the Air Service Enhancement funding under Iowa Air Service Development Program was previously used to help market Frontier Airlines flights from Cedar Rapids to Denver, Colo. The latest Air Service Enhancement grant was contingent on Allegiant approving new service from Cedar Rapids.

Conversation Guidelines

Be Kind

Don't use abusive, offensive, threatening, racist, vulgar or sexually-oriented language.
Don't attack someone personally. Keep it civil and be responsible.

Share Knowledge

Be truthful. Share what you know and what you are passionate about.
What more do you want to learn? Keep it simple.

Stay focused

Promote lively and healthy debate. Stay on topic. Ask questions and give feedback on the story's topic.

Report Trouble

Help us maintain a quality comment section by reporting comments that are offensive. If you see a comment that is offensive, or you feel violates our guidelines, simply click on the "x" to the far right of the comment to report it.

read the full guidelines here »

Commenting will be disabled on stories dealing with the following subject matter: Crime, sexual abuse, property fires, automobile accidents, Amber Alerts, Operation Quickfinds and suicides.

facebook twitter rss mobile google plus
email alerts you tube hooplanow pinterest instagram

What's On KCRG