The South Bend Regional Airport was busy Friday evening, but it wasn’t just because of the Notre Dame football game.
The airport celebrated the launch of a new destination for Allegiant Air.
The discount airline is now flying direct to the Tampa Bay area from South Bend.
Allegiant is now offering twice a week, $70 one-way flights to the Saint Petersburg-Clearwater Airport.
That is one of the big benefits the airport hopes will bring more people to its gates.
John Schalliol of the South Bend airport said, “You might get a better fair on occasion from Chicago or some place, but the convenience vastly overrides the slight savings in cost that you might have on your ticket alone.”
Allegiant already offers direct flights from Michiana to Las Vegas and Orlando.
Shalliol says those are usually about 80% full.