With three new flights added to the options at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) this spring, airlines are seeing more demand for travel between our region and the Midwest. Allegiant Airlines announced new nonstop routes from SRQ to Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

SRQ has a concentration of service to the Northeast, so new flights to the Midwest are a welcome addition to the region. Between SRQ and Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) in Charlotte County, West Villages residents have two close-by airports with more than 50 nonstop routes between them.

Most of SRQ’s flights reach hubs in cities like Atlanta, Chicago and New York, where passengers can connect to anywhere in the world. Most of PGD’s flights connect to smaller regional airports, according to the Sarasota Herald Tribune. SRQ’s CEO recently appealed to travelers in the region to support the new flights in order to secure even more.

The expanded coverage in our region is great news for our residents, who generally prefer to fly from local airports rather than driving to Tampa to fly. It also is wonderful news to our Realtors, who can see a wider spectrum of buyers with more flights.

All three Midwest cities that SRQ now will be serving were already served by PGD, but more options is a great sales tool for those helping homebuilders.

The move brings a new carrier to SRQ in Allegiant. The economy airline has been growing steadily by adding new routes in PGD (40 destinations total) as well as St. Pete Clearwater International Airport (PIE) with 54 destinations.

Many see these new routes as a boost to the tourism industry, but we’re also happy to see them as another reason to buy a home in West Villages Florida.