Busy times at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport
The steady growth continued at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in Florida in 2014, and it already looks like much of the same will happen this year. In 2014, PIE (the three-letter identifier for the airport) served 1,247,987 passengers, a 23 percent leap over 2013. That figure represents the second highest number of passengers to pass through the airport in its history. St. Pete-Clearwater served 1.3 millions passengers in 2004.
Growth by leisure carrier Allegiant Air represents the largest portion of growth at Tampa Bay’s secondary airport, where the carrier flies over 90 percent of all passengers at the airport. The carrier has already announced that it will continue its growth in 2015, with new flights between PIE and Indianapolis, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Hagerstown, Richmond and Tulsa. The new routes will give the carrier over 40 destinations at St. Pete-Clearwater.
“I think Allegiant is the catalyst but there would be no catalyst if we didn’t have this wonderful tourist destination,” Airport Director Noah Lagos told Tampa’s Bay News 9. “But Allegiant’s brand of low fares and point-to-point service that makes it and now having 40 destinations on Allegiant alone to choose from, that’s fueling our continued growth.”
In addition to the new Allegiant routes, Silver Airways announced recently that it will begin operations at the airport beginning March 12. The regional carrier will operate flights from St. Pete-Clearwater to Key West and Fort Lauderdale. Both destinations are not currently served by any carrier at PIE, though Silver does fly to both destinations from Tampa International Airport.
“Now with Silver coming on board and all the other growth we have, we’ll break all records,” said Lagos.
Lagos is expected to retire from his position in May of 2015. His successor has not been named.