Allegiant Air to offer service from St. Cloud to Orlando

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Allegiant Air announced Tuesday morning it was expanding air service out of the St. Cloud Regional Airport.

The airline says it will add service between central Minnesota and Orlando, Fla. beginning Dec. 18. The airline currently flies to Mesa, Ariz., twice per week.

The expansion in service out of St. Cloud was part of a larger announcement by the airline, linking Orlando with eight other U.S destinations, including Bismarck, N.D..

For their part, St. Cloud officials say they also want an airline to offer daily nonstop service to a major airport like Chicago's O'Hare.

Allegiant is the only commercial service that operates out of St. Cloud, with its twice-weekly flights to Arizona.

Bill Towle, airport director for the St. Cloud Regional Airport, said the service will be good for the airport.

"It'll be busier and so we're really looking forward to that — that's for sure," Towle said.

Allegiant began flying in December. St. Cloud officials have an ongoing campaign to bring in an additional carrier to the airport. Before Allegiant's arrival into the market, St. Cloud had been without regular service since Delta Airlines pulled out of the market in late 2009.

Meanwhile, Spirit Airlines announced it will begin nonstop seasonal service between Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport and four destinations: Tampa, Orlando, Los Angeles and Phoenix. That service is scheduled to being in November.