American Opens New West Boundary for SRQ Passengers



Airline passengers can truly be westward bound as soon as they depart from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Officials on Monday announced American Airlines will offer seasonal flights from SRQ to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) starting December 19 and continuing at least until April 1. The Texas airport will be the furthest west destination passengers can reach nonstop from Sarasota.

“It gives a boost to the connectivity of passengers in Sarasota-Bradenton to the West Coast and to the Far East,” said Rick Piccolo, SRQ airport president and CEO, “and it breaks a logjam of trying to get western service.”

Piccolo says the airport has been in talks with American Airlines for more than five years about providing some type of western nonstop flight, whether to Dallas, Houston or to Salt Lake City in Utah. American has a hub in Dallas, so the flight opens up more than just the destination of the major city; it potentially cuts a leg of travel for any passengers heading to or from the entire western half of the United States. Today, the furthest west an SRQ airport user can travel is to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

A look at non-stop destinations from SRQ airport shows strong service on the Eastern seaboard, with flights able to major markets like Atlanta, Boston, New York, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, N.C., and Portland, Maine. Allegiant Air announced in January it would start flights between here and Toronto, putting some more credibility behind the airport’s “international” moniker. The facility also boasts Midwest flights to Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Detroit.

Tickets are now available for flights to and from Dallas/Fort Worth starting Dec. 19. Flights will leave DFW at 10:20am and land in SRQ airport at 1:45pm, and return flights will leave SRQ at 2pm and land back at DFW at 3:50pm. The CJR-700 aircraft will hold up to 70 passengers. The seasonal service could go on hiatus at that point, but Piccolo says that will depend on the success of the route. “We’ve had seasonal service become year-round daily service,” he says.

Photo courtesy Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: An American Airlines passenger flight at terminal at DFW.

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