Iowans will soon have an easier time traveling to southwest Florida. Allegiant Airlines has announced plans to offer direct flights from both Cedar Rapids and Des Moines to Punta Gorda Airport near Fort Myers. Des Moines International Airport General Manager Kevin Foley says Fort Myers, Florida is already among the top destinations out of Iowa’s capital city.

“Allegiant did the market study on this and determined that it would be profitable for them to serve this market and we’re delighted that they are,” Foley says. The small Las Vegas-based airline will begin the flights out of Iowa shortly before Christmas.

The service out of Des Moines will begin December 19th. The service from the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids begins December 18th. Allegiant will offer twice-weekly nonstop service to Punta Gorda, Florida from both Iowa airports.

“We hope all of Iowa will support this service,” Foley said. Punta Gorda will become Allegiant’s sixth nonstop destination from Des Moines. It will be the seventh nonstop destination for Allegiant out of Cedar Rapids.