Press-Republican

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November 6, 2013

Allegiant to start Burlington flights to Fla.

PLATTSBURGH — Allegiant plans to offer non-stop air service between Burlington and Orlando, raising concerns that Plattsburgh service could be impacted.

The airline plans to start service Feb. 19 with two flights per week.

Allegiant already offers two flights a week each way between Plattsburgh International Airport and Orlando.

LOWER PARKING COST

Clinton County Legislator Robert Heins (R-Area 10, City of Plattsburgh), who heads the county’s Airport Committee, said the move could lower the number of people flying out of Plattsburgh.

“But we will get through this,” he said. “But I can’t understand why Allegiant is going into competition with itself. It makes no sense.”

Heins said he thinks many people will still choose to fly to Orlando out of Plattsburgh because parking fees here are $5 per day for short term and $7 per day for long term, while Burlington charges $12 per day for all vehicles.

“We’ve never considered ourselves to be in competition with Burlington because we have a different model, but we’d rather they (Allegiant) didn’t do this,” he said.

“It’s like giving Goliath another shield to beat up David.”

Another factor that could help Plattsburgh is that the driving distance between this city and Montreal is 63 miles, while Montreal to Burlington measures 93 miles.

EXPANSION

The county recently decided to undertake a $54 million expansion of the airport to handle the large crowds that have been showing up since it opened in 2007.

Heins said Allegiant’s decision will not affect the expansion plans.

“We feel we will still have enough business for our model, but we might have to be careful about some things,” he said.

GROWTH EXPECTED

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas put a different spin on the development, saying he doesn’t think Burlington service is a threat to Allegiant’s service from Plattsburgh.

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