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September 9, 2016

Elite Airways' expanded Florida service offers winter respite

An upcoming expanded service offering by the Portland-based Elite Airways will give Mainers an additional way to escape the clutches of the state’s frigid winter and head south to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport in Sarasota, Fla.

Elite Airways’ new flights will run twice weekly, on Thursdays and Sundays, between Portland and Sarasota, on Florida’s west coast, starting Nov. 17.

“The demand for Maine-to-Florida service has been consistently strong, and we are thrilled to add these new nonstop flights while also expanding existing service in other markets starting this fall,” John Pearsall, president of Elite Airways, said in a statement. “We sincerely appreciate the support from community and airport leaders in Sarasota-Bradenton and Portland, and expect this to be a very successful route.”

Elite, which was founded in 2006, has offices in Portland and Melbourne, Fla. It received commercial certification from the Federal Aviation Administration in late 2012.

“This is a very exciting announcement for Mainers heading into the winter season,” Portland Jetport Director Paul Bradbury said in a release. “Florida remains our No. 1 requested destination and the new Elite Airways service to Sarasota-Bradenton will provide convenient nonstop access to the Gulf Coast.”

The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport service offering is the latest Florida expansion from Elite Airways. In February, the company began offering flights to Naples through the Orlando Melbourne International Airport. Elite also started to offer more flights into the Orlando-area airport at the time of that announcement.

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