Spring Training fans looking to come to Sarasota and Bradenton to see the Pirates and Orioles can get direct flights to through Delta Air Lines come next year.
The airport, often called SRQ Airport, announced Wednesday that Delta will adjust its schedule to provide direct flights to Pittsburgh International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in time for Spring Training, in the first half of 2013.
Direct flights means that while passengers will layover in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the delay will be 40 minutes and you will not have to change planes, according to SRQ. Tickets for these flights go on sale Aug. 4.
"This is another demonstration by Delta Air Lines of how responsive they have been to the Sarasota Bradenton market," said SRQ Airport CEO Rick Piccolo in a statement. "Baltimore and Pittsburgh fans looking for an easy way to fly in to see their team will be able to travel without changing planes. Through choosing the direct SRQ service, fans will save the cost and time of commuting from other airports."
, which also offered nonstop flights, come Aug. 12. The change was part of Southwest Airline's elimination of the AirTran brand and consolidating its operations.
The airport also announced that the airport has seen 9.6 percent more passengers in June compared to June 2011, and traffic is up 1.9 percent year-over-year. June saw 95,439 passengers alone, according to the airport.
For comparison, the airport shared that Tampa International Airport saw about a half percent decrease in June traffic while Southwest Florida International Airport in Ft. Myers was down 4 percent in June, and 6 percent year-to-year.
"We have been keeping a close eye on passenger trends and are pleased with the growth in passenger traffic resulting from strong demand and the wonderful support for the market provided by our existing carriers," Piccolo said. "JetBlue added LaGuardia flights in June and Delta Air Lines adjusted summer capacity to SRQ. The carriers that operate in our market increased SRQ traffic numbers for the first six months, providing jobs and economic benefit to our community. Residents and businesses should keep this in mind when making future travel plans."
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