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Falls-Punta Gorda, Fla., flights return; Allegiant will start service on June 29

Another charter airline will offer twice-a-week flights from Niagara Falls to Punta Gorda, Fla., beginning June 29.

Allegiant announced the nonstop service Tuesday. The company said it will introduce the new service with a certain number of one-way fares as low as $74.99, plus fees, including $35 for a carry-on bag.

"We have been able to grow rapidly in Niagara Falls and have been very pleased with how popular our vacation offerings have been with area residents," said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Co. president.

Henry M. Sloma, acting chairman of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which operates the Niagara Falls International Airport, noted the local interest in the Florida destination.

"This destination is popular with our customers, and I'm confident they will find favor with Allegiant's low fares and efficient, friendly service," he said.

Allegiant recently announced nonstop service between Niagara Falls and Fort Lauderdale. Allegiant also has nonstop service from Niagara Falls to Orlando and St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Fla.

The Niagara Falls-Punta Gorda route was served by Direct Air until last month, when the airline suddenly stopped service, stranding its passengers. Direct Air is now in bankruptcy.

The Niagara Falls airport recently received an $11.7 million federal grant to rebuild its runway to enhance its status as a military base and possibly attract international commercial flights. The airport is home to the 107th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve's 914th Airlift Wing.