By Mary Wade Burnside
Times West Virginian
With a little help from Minnie Mouse, who shared a podium with some beach towels and suntan lotion, the Benedum Airport Authority announced that twice-weekly trips to the Orlando, Fla., area will begin Nov. 14.
Area residents who want to take a Disney World vacation have until Aug. 27 to take advantage of a $99 round-trip inaugural airfare promotion to kick the service off. The trip must be taken by April 29, 2014.
“I just want to start by saying, the future’s so bright, I thought I’d wear shades,” said Tracy Miller, director of the Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex, during a conference Tuesday morning at the North Central West Virginia Airport.
“Who’s going to spend Thanksgiving in Orlando is what I want to know?”
Round-trip flights will originate in Sanford, Fla., near Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort, at 8:30 a.m. Thursdays and Sundays. The flight to Bridgeport will take about an hour and 45 minutes, said North Central West Virginia Airport director Richard B. Rock.
The return flight to Sanford will leave at 11:15 a.m., he added.
Flights will be provided by Allegiant Air, a Las Vegas-based low-cost airline, on a 166-passenger Airbus 320.
“We did a true market study that showed that our No. 1 travel destination in our catchment area is Orlando, Fla.,” Rock said. “So we wanted to go for the best. We’ve been after Allegiant Air for several years. They provide the best service. Everybody copies their model. That’s who we want to be partners with.”