Sarasota, Florida -- A new airline comes to the Bay area.
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is home to Elite Airways. The airline based in Portland, Maine, has been flying for 10 years and flies from three other Florida cities including Melbourne, Vero Beach and Naples.
Starting Nov. 17, Elite will make nonstop flights to Portland from Sarasota for $199 each way.
SRQ President Rick Piccolo says the 70-seat regional planes are roomier and there are no extra fees.
“They don’t charge any change fees, first bag is free, don’t charge for food and drinks. It gives you an elite product at a reasonable price and they’re pet friendly,” says Piccolo.
According to Piccolo, the airline may add more destinations in the future.
SRQ saw a drop in travelers about 5 years ago when the former AirTran airline pulled out after a takeover by Southwest. But with the addition of more destinations and new carriers, Piccolo says the airport is back up to 1.2 million travelers a year.