Nov. 21, 2013
Allegiant Air's flight from Orlando-Sanford arrived on-time at CHO Thursday morning, on it's first trip to the airport.
Starting Nov. 21 the airline will fly direct to and from Charlottesville to Orlando on Thursday and Sundays. Airport officials say they had been working with Allegiant for five years to make the route a reality.
"We saw an opportunity here. You didn't have non-stop flights to Orlando before, and there's a large community of people who were eager to go on vacation," said Allegiant public relations manager Jessica Wheeler.
After the flight landed it received a celebratory shower from the fire department, and passengers were greeted with local cider, and donuts.
"Fire trucks shooting water on the plane, and a big welcome committee; that was fantastic," said passenger Gene Rumley.
There is also hope the new route will bring people from Florida to visit Charlottesville, and help build tourism in the area.
"I think the Charlottesville-Albemarle area is also a destination. With the historical attractions we have here and just the beauty of this place," said Albemarle County Airport Authority chair William Kehoe.
Passengers said they would definitely take the flight again, and Kehoe says flying to Florida is something he can't wait to take advantage of.
"I'm looking forward soon I hope to a direct flight to Orlando," said Kehoe. "That would be nice, particularly in the middle of winter."