Startup airline may fly nonstop from bay area to Las Vegas

A new startup airline expects to start nonstop flights from Florida to Las Vegas this fall, using either St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, Lakeland or West Palm Beach.

LV Air would use widebody Boeing 767 jets to offer luxury service for gamblers sponsored by major Vegas casinos, said Bryan Glazer, a spokesman for the airline. Coach seats would be available to the public at introductory fares of $100 one way, he said. On average, one-way, premium-economy fares will cost $400, the airline said.

The airline is raising capital, making deals with casinos and deciding among 16 cities in the Midwest, East Coast and Florida for the flights, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

Noah Lagos, director of St. Petersburg-Clearwater International, said he has had one preliminary conversation with LV Air about the Vegas flights.

"It has good prospects for working," Lagos said. In the past, nonstop service to Las Vegas from the airport was a success with carriers like Casino Airlink, he said.

Southwest Airlines makes two daily nonstop flights between Tampa International and Las Vegas. Those flights are often sold out, Lagos said.

"LV Air will offer complimentary first-class, business-class and premium-economy-class fares through its member casinos," Sean Smith, LV Air's founder and chief marketing officer, said in the news release.

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

Startup airline may fly nonstop from bay area to Las Vegas 04/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 11:08pm]

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