News Article - November 24, 2008


  Good news if you're heading south for the holidays! Just in time for one of the biggest travel seasons, Lehigh Valley International Airport is adding non-stop service to the Sunshine State. But with this unpredictable economy, LVIA is just hoping the new carrier "takes off" with travelers. WFMZ's Joscelyn Moes joins has more from the airport. The first flight on Direct Air to the Fort Myers area is expected to take off at any moment. LVIA has always said... Florida is a top destination for travelers in this area... which is why the airport is hoping this airline and this flight reach new heights. Reporter Nothing says Florida... more than this... Passengers boarding the first flight out of LVIA on Direct Air to the Fort Myers area are ready. MOS I think it's gonna be great cause I usually fly out of Atlantic City.

  Reporter Other passengers we talked with say they too fly out of... somewhere else... to get a direct flight to Florida... not anymore. MOS It's closer to my house as far as getting a ride here. Because Newark and Philadelphia is so far away. MOS It really cuts down on the amount of time you have to spend traveling. Reporter Direct Air will offer two flights a week... starting at 99-dollars each way. Susan Kittle It's very important for us to have this service b/c it is one of our top destinations that we get reports on.

  Reporter But non-stop service to other top destinations in Florida has been grounded before. Southeast Airlines came and went. So did Transmeridian. Then just a few months ago Allegiant Air cut its service to Fort Lauderdale. Susan Kittle Even though the flights were ok as far as load factors and everything. We just happened to be unfortunate enough to be on the list of cities that that aircraft used.

  Reporter The price of fuel has been a factor. And in these turbulent times... getting and keeping flights and carriers is a challenge. LVIA is hoping Direct Air finds its niche here, so are passengers. MOS I hope it lasts forever. Direct Air will also offer non-stop service to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the spring.

Source - WFMZ-69