Job Conger was delighted to pick up the phone Thursday morning and encounter Andrea from Springfield Airport Authority on the other end of the line. She called to invite him to a news conference slated for 2:30 that afternoon. Though he could not attend, he promised to share the good news by posting their news release which follows, slightly edited, at his blog.
NON-STOP FLIGHTS TO MYRTLE BEACH, SC TO BEGIN
MAY 21, 2009 ON DIRECT AIR.
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS … Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport announced new nonstop, flights to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina beginning on May 21, 2009 on low-fare carrier, Direct Air. Executive Director Mark Hanna and Direct Air President Ed Warneck, made the announcement of the twice-weekly schedule to America’s “premiere beach and golf destination.”
“We are extremely pleased that Direct Air will begin service here,” said Frank Vala, Airport Authority Board Chair. “They obviously saw that the central Illinois market was underserved for their type of program and felt Springfield was the ideal airport to begin service.”
In announcing the initiation of service in Springfield, Mr. Warneck announced anintroductory low-fare to encourage advance bookings. “To celebrate the opening of our Springfield service Direct Air is offering a special $79 for 79 hours fare sale each way,” said Warneck. Seats are now available to book on line at http://www.visitdirectair.com or by calling 1-877-432-DIRECT (877-432-3473) “Springfield was an obvious choice for us due to its convenient location to many other population centers in central Illinois,” continued Warneck. “We anticipate serving golfers and families from all over the area who are looking for an inexpensive flight to a great beach vacation spot and to the hundreds of premier golf courses offered by the Myrtle Beach area.”
Warneck went on to say, “Direct Air is giving Springfield and surrounding areas more vacation options. We have positioned ourselves as the carrier of choice for non-stop flights and low fares to Myrtle Beach and Florida. If our non-stop flights and low fares to Myrtle Beach remain popular, we would like to continue service throughout the fall and turn direction for a winter schedule to Southwest Florida beginning around Thanksgiving. We believe that Springfield will be very receptive to our service and the popular beach and golf sea-side destinations we choose.”
Direct Air’s service features a Douglas DC-9 105-seat aircraft, which will depart Springfield (SPI) each Thursday and Sunday night at 7:00 p.m., arriving in Myrtle Beach at 9:45 p.m. local time. Flights will leave Myrtle Beach on Thursday and Sunday at 5:30 p.m., arriving in Springfield at 6:16 p.m. The non-stop flights are estimated to be less than 120 minutes, gate-to-gate. Direct Air flights are operated by Virgin America and USA Jet. Direct Air is a privately owned carrier providing public charter air flights, and offering all-inclusive vacation, golf, and entertainment packages. The company began operations in March 2007 and is headquartered in Myrtle Beach, SC. In addition to the added service to Springfield, Illinois, Direct Air also provides non-stop service from Myrtle Beach to Niagara Falls, New York City (Newark), Pittsburgh, Montreal (Plattsburgh), Allentown, Kalamazoo, Worcester, Toledo, Chicago (Rockford), and Ft. Myers (Punta Gorda). Also non-stop flights to Punta Gorda (Ft. Myers area) from Worcester, Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Toledo, Plattsburgh, Myrtle Beach, Rockford and Niagara Falls, or to Orlando-Sanford from Kalamazoo and Worcester.
The Center is capable of handling as many as 20,000 incoming calls per day and supports as many as 100 Reservation/Sales agents on-line simultaneously. Direct Air can be contacted directly by calling 877-432-DIRECT (3473) or on-line at http://www.visitdirectair.com. In addition the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport’s Passenger Service Center can book tickets for passengers on Direct Air, and no service fee is involved. The Passenger Service Center can be contacted directly at 217-788-9200 or at http://www.flyspi.com.
Though not a golfer, Conger is an aviation advocate. He considers Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport to be the best-kept, best looking airport he has seen since Mayor Richard Dailey bludgeoned Meigs Field to death, and encourages everyone reading this posting to visit the outstanding facilities there. It’s a great place to learn how to fly, to fly from to distant destinations and to recommend to distant friends and kin considering visiting Illinois’ capital city.
Live long . . . . . . and proper.
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