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Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 5, Quad Cities air travelers can once again board flights to Florida and Arizona when Allegiant Airlines restores its twice-weekly routes to those destinations. And that’s good news for Quad Cities International Airport (QCIA) customers who have grown weary of the challenging travel climate creating havoc around the world. The popular Florida and Arizona flights were paused due to seasonality and pilot and crew shortages plaguing the industry, according to Ashleigh Davis, QCIA’s public relations and marketing director. Phoenix was absent the longest, from May through October, she said and it swapped places with QCIA’s seasonal route which used to be Punta Gorda, Florida. Las Vegas flights continued but the Florida routes were put on pause from four to six weeks, she said. “One of the ways Allegiant is able to offer ultra-low cost flights is by having a more seasonal and demand-based approach to travel schedules,” Ms. Davis told the QCBJ. “This can sometimes be confusing for passengers trying to book travel, so returning to a more consistent and ‘normal’ schedule is beneficial for them and for our airport staff that supports these flights. We are excited to see the route to Phoenix/Mesa return, as that has been on pause since May and we know it’s a popular destination for Quad Cities’ travelers.” In addition she added, “Any return to regular flights is great news for us in terms of bringing about steady traffic,” she said. To continue to make that happen QCIA leaders say the will continue to talk with airline representatives to see that routes here are offered consistently as well as to try to restore the number of flights available to pre-COVID-19 levels “while also seeking new routes that may better meet the needs of our passengers in a post-COVID travel era.” What can travelers who use QCIA (or MLI in airport shorthand) expect this fall? “First up – we’ve heard from so many of you that you missed the Phoenix/Mesa flight,” the QCIA said. “This has been paused since May and we are thrilled it will return to a Wednesday/Saturday schedule.” Tickets are available now for flights that begin Oct. 5 to:
- Orlando/Sanford: Wednesday/Saturday
- Punta Gorda/Fort Myers: Friday/Monday
- St. Pete/Clearwater: Wednesday/Saturday
- American: Daily flights to Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW), Chicago (ORD)
- Delta: Daily flights to Atlanta (ATL)
- Allegiant: Thursday/Sunday flights to Las Vegas (LAS)