Skybus Brings Commercial Airline Service to Charlotte County Airport
Economic Development, Tourism Take Flight in
Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (Sept. 20, 2007) – In a development that promises to bring additional commerce and visitors to Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, the Charlotte County Airport Authority today announced, jointly with the Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands Visitor’s Bureau, that Skybus Airlines will begin service to Charlotte County Airport from Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 5, 2007. Skybus will offer two non-stop, roundtrip flights daily on Airbus
A-319 jets. For information on ticketing and schedules, visit www.Skybus.com.
“Having Skybus as the first commercial airline to fly to Charlotte County Airport in 23 years is a major milestone,” said Gary Quill, airport director. “And as such, it is fitting that Skybus is the first airline to occupy the new 16,000 square-foot, $5.5-million terminal building, built to replace the one destroyed by Hurricane Charley in 2004.” In the past three years, the Airport, in conjunction with the Charlotte County Economic Development Office, has seen significant growth in the economic base of the community with the announcements of a Publix one million square-foot distribution facility as well as new construction for FedEx and UPS.
“We already know that Southwest Florida is a very popular destination for Central Ohioans, so we think offering nonstop service at our outrageously low fares between Columbus and Punta Gorda is going to be an immediate hit. Charlotte County Airport fits our business model perfectly; it’s convenient, uncongested, and will allow us to bring our flights in and out quickly and efficiently . . . one of the ways we’re able to keep our fares so low,” said Ken Gile, president, Skybus Airlines. “We think we’re providing a very attractive alternative for travelers going to and from Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, Port Charlotte and all of Southwest Florida.”
The Charlotte County Airport is conveniently located in Southwest Florida, halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers with 3.9 million people within 90 miles. Business and industry clientele enjoy easy access – a two-minute drive - to Interstate 75, U.S. 41 and U.S. 17.
“From a tourism perspective, this is fantastic news,” said Becky Bovell, director of the Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands Visitor’s Bureau. “Nearly 30 percent of our visitors come from the Midwest and Ohio. We anticipate that Skybus will bring in about 100 people per flight, and we look forward to welcoming many new visitors from Ohio and the surrounding areas to enjoy our beautiful beaches, waterways and warm hospitality. Skybus will provide easy access to and from this important market.”
Ohio visitors looking to enjoy the natural appeal and warm climate of Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands and avoid the hassles associated with larger airports can land at Charlotte County Airport - just five minutes from Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and hotels, restaurants and entertainment, and an easy drive to the Englewood area’s miles of uncrowded, pristine beaches. Ranked by Money magazine as the fourth best community in the United States in which to live, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers a collection of nine charming coastal communities and four barrier islands clustered around the state’s second-largest harbor like a string of pearls. A premier eco-tourism destination, the area is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Twenty-nine miles of beaches and nearly 200 miles of Blueway Trails complement this estuary-based escape. Activities and festivals make year-round use of this beautiful setting and encourage families, couples, groups and individuals to relax and explore.
Skybus, the next generation of low-fare airlines, provides nonstop service on full-size jets from its base in Columbus, Ohio, to cities throughout the United States. Skybus offers outrageously low fares – starting with at least 10 seats at $10 on every flight. To make reservations, or for additional information, visit www.Skybus.com
About the Charlotte County Airport
Charlotte County Airport (PGD) is located on Southwest Florida's Gulf Coast in Punta Gorda, Fla., halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers with 3.9 million people within 90 miles. Located within three miles of the airport are three major highways, I-75, US 41 and US 17. The Charlotte County Airport has a designated Foreign Trade Zone. A former World War II Army Training Field, the airport’s three runways can accommodate private and commercial aircraft. For more details, visit www.flypgd.com.
About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination. Known for its pristine beauty, the area has hosted seven major feature films, been featured on SAIL magazine’s list of the “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as the “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” For information about area
events, activities and attractions, contact the Charlotte County Florida Visitor’s Bureau, 18501 Murdock Circle, Suite 502, Port Charlotte, FL; 941-743-1900, or call toll free at
1-800-652-6090 for a free Visitor’s Guide; or visit the Web site at www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com.
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