ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is recognizing a major milestone today. Allegiant Airlines is celebrating 10 years of service at the airport and it's doing it in style.
Photo used with permission from Amanda DeHaven/Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport
Allegiant's flight from Orlando Sanford touched down around 3:30 p.m. Monday and was greeted with a water cannon salute. This is when fire trucks blast a waterfall over the plane, and is common at airports for big milestones or celebrations.
10 years ago Orlando-Sanford became the first Allegiant non-stop destination from Roanoke. Just last week, the airport announced Allegiant service to St. Petersburg Florida will now be year around along with Orlando, giving plenty of reason to celebrate. Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Director of Marketing and Air Service Development Brad Boettcher said Allegiant plays a valuable role and fills a key part of the market.
"We really enjoy working with them and they provide a service that is absolutely in demand here," Boettcher said. "Both their flights tend to run over 90% load factors, actually Orlando runs 95% and St. Petersburg runs about 92%, I mean that's selling a lot of seats and making people happy to be able to take those trips and enjoy a vacation,"
As part of the celebration, travelers were treated to cake and a party in the terminal. A handful of lucky travelers received free travel vouchers totaling $1,000.
Right now Boettcher said the airport is looking for a low-cost carrier to add another Florida destination non-stop, whether it be Allegiant, Southwest or Jet Blue. Fort Lauderdale is the current target because of it's connections to Latin America and the Caribbean.