Make us your home page
Instagram

Nonstop to Destin

Nonstop flights from Tampa Bay to the Panhandle's best-known beach resort resumed Friday.

The airline isn't exactly a household name. Vision Airlines, based in suburban Atlanta, primarily operates as a charter carrier for casinos, sports teams and the U.S. government.

Vision will operate one round trip four days a week between St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and Northwest Florida Regional Airport near Destin. The airline will fly Boeing 737s and the Dornier 328, a 30-seat turboprop.

By April 1, Vision plans to fly from 15 cities in the Southeast to Northwest Florida Regional Airport. Destin has long been a popular beach resort for summer vacationers from Southeast states.

Vision stumbled this week, scrapping service from Birmingham, Ala., and Macon, Ga., before the first flights. Birmingham's airport couldn't finish construction of a gate for Vision on time, said David Meers, the airline's chief operating officer, and bookings for Macon were too low.

Other communities that don't support the new flights should expect the same fate, said Greg Donovan, director of Northwest Florida Regional.

"If they don't make sales, the airline will stop flying to that city and go somewhere else,'' he said. Tampa Bay "is a strong, vital market,'' Donovan added.

Vision already flies three weekly charter flights from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International to the Beau Rivage Casino & Resort in Biloxi, Miss.

"We've had a good experience with Vision,'' said Noah Lagos, director of St. Petersburg-Clearwater International.

Meers and Donovan expect business travelers to fill a lot of seats, especially military personnel and contractors traveling between Eglin Air Force Base near Destin and MacDill Air Force Base. The last nonstop from Tampa Bay to Destin ended about three years ago, said Donovan.

On Friday, travelers on the new flight were delighted to fly without changing planes in Atlanta.

"It was an awesome flight,'' said Debbie Crandall, a high school math teacher from Fort Walton Beach visiting her daughter in Dunedin. "Now I don't have to worry about my bags getting lost.''

Vision extended a $19 one-way sale on a limited number of seats between Tampa Bay and Northwest Florida Regional through Sunday. Taxes and fees are extra.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

Vision Airlines reservations:

www.VisionAirlines.com

1-877-FLY-A-JET (359-2538)

.Fast facts

For reservations

VisionAirlines.com

1-877-FLY-A-JET (359-2538)

Nonstop to Destin 03/25/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 25, 2011 11:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul

    Markets

    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall

    Business

    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages

    Business

    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel

    Business

    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.