SUWANEE, Ga., Jan. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Vision Airlines, the nation's newest big jet, low-cost carrier reports it sold more than 12,000 tickets during its first 120 hours of e-commerce operations at www.visionairlines.com.
On Tuesday, January 18, Vision Airlines unveiled its 23 city mega-expansion plan and its $49* introductory fare sale for its first flights to Florida, which are scheduled to take-off on March 25.
Vision Airlines says within 48 hours it sold-out of all $49 seats. Now, in response to immense customer demand, the airline is adding more $49 seats on every flight to Florida. The airline is also extending its introductory $49 fare sale, which was slated to end on Sunday but is now continuing through January 31, 2011.
Vision Airlines' chief operating officer David Meers says, "We received hundreds of calls from disappointed customers who did not understand that only a limited number of specially-priced $49 seats were available on each flight."
Meers adds, "At this juncture, Vision Airlines believes it is more important to satisfy first-time customers rather than turn them away because they missed-out on a fare sale. So, we put more $49 seats in our system."
Meers emphasizes, "Our first goal is to get passengers on Vision Airlines' jets so they can experience our fast, friendly and efficient service. After their first flight we are confident that we will earn passenger's repeat business."
"Running out of $49 seats was not the only glitch during our first week of operations," says Vision Airlines' spokesman Bryan Glazer.
"Once the morning TV and radio newscasts reported our story; once people read their local morning newspapers; once the headlines hit the internet we were overwhelmed by interested customers," says Glazer. "Vision Airlines website has recorded upward of 50,000 hits to date. And, on the first day of operations the website crashed several times and our reservations center was unable to handle the flood of customer phone calls."
Vision Airlines' Sales and Marketing Director Clay Meek says, "To remedy these technical problems, Vision Airlines has increased its web server capacity and added more customer call center representatives."
After 16 years of building its reputation as one of the world's most-successful charter carriers, Vision Airlines is now expanding into regularly-scheduled commercial passenger service.
Most of Vision Airlines' flights depart from southern U.S. cities that lack low-cost, direct jet service to destinations in Florida.
Vision Airlines Cities
- Asheville, NC - Atlanta, GA - Baton Rouge, LA - Birmingham, AL - Chattanooga, TN
- Columbia, SC - Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, FL - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Greenville/Spartanburg, SC - Gulfport/Biloxi, MS - Houston, TX - Huntsville, AL
- Knoxville, TN - Little Rock, AR - Louisville, KY - Macon, GA - Miami, FL
- Niagara Falls/Buffalo, NY/Toronto, Canada - Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers, FL
- Sanford/Orlando, FL - Savannah, GA - Shreveport, LA
- St. Petersburg/Clearwater/Tampa, FL
Vision Airlines' Hub
Most Florida-bound flights are to and through the airline's hub at Northwest Florida Regional Airport near Destin/Fort Walton Beach.
Florida's Governor Expects Vision Airlines will Revitalize Post Oil Spill Economy
Working with Florida Governor Richard Scott and local officials in Northwest Florida, Vision Airlines is expected to play a pivotal role in the revitalization of the state's gulf coast tourism economy, which was destroyed by last year's BP oil spill.
Destin/Fort Walton Beach, also known as Florida's Emerald Coast, is the most-effected area.
"It wasn't pollution that destroyed our tourism economy, it was the wave of negative publicity," says Northwest Florida Regional Airport Director Gregg Donovan. "Unlike neighboring gulf coast states to the west of us, there were no tar balls on our beaches, no oil slicks in the water and no petroleum-scented sea breezes. Yet, the tourists stayed away."
Mark Bellinger, Director of Okaloosa County's Tourism Development Council, says, "We forecast that Vision Airlines will deliver thousands of passengers to the Emerald Coast each week. That means tourists will be able to see first hand that our beaches are still sugary-white and the Gulf waters are still emerald green."
Bellinger adds, "Because airfares to our area have been so expensive, most tourists drive here for long vacations. Now they can afford to fly here -- even for weekend getaways."
Meek says, "Making air travel affordable means more tourist dollars, which will create jobs at resorts, restaurants and even miniature golf courses."
According to Governor Scott, Vision Airlines' passenger traffic will create upward of 4,000 jobs in related industries.
Vision Airlines also offers direct flights from several cities to Ft. Lauderdale; Miami; Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers; Sanford/Orlando and St. Petersburg/Clearwater/Tampa.
Intrastate Florida Flights
The airline is now linking Northwestern Florida with other areas of the state with flights to and from Southeastern, Southwestern and Central Florida.
Vision Airlines also provides twice daily non-stop service between Atlanta, GA and Louisville, KY.
Mississippi's Casino Coast
Another Vision Airlines destination is Mississippi's Casino Coast. The carrier offers flights from Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX and St. Petersburg/Clearwater/Tampa, FL to Gulfport/Biloxi, MS.
Vision Airlines' business model is based on offering non-stop and direct flights to Florida from secondary U.S. cities that have been ignored by the major airlines.
People in these cities are currently forced to fly in cramped regional jets, endure long layovers while connecting through other cities and they must pay extremely high airfares.
Vision Airlines now offers Boeing 737 jet flights on direct routes that other airlines do not fly.
"Essentially, Vision Airlines has no competition," says well-known aviation industry analyst Michael Boyd. "Therefore, Vision Airlines is likely to be very successful."
FINE PRINT ABOUT FARES
*Fares shown exclude Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9.00, September 11th Security Fees of up to $2.50 per enplanement and US segment fee of $3.70 per segment. A segment is defined as a takeoff and a landing. All fares are one-way. Round trip purchase not required. All fares are non-refundable and a $100 fee per person applies to change made after purchase, plus any applicable increase in airfare. Baggage Fees of up to $30 each way per checked bag. Seats are limited and subject to availability and may not be available on all flights. Fares, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice.
Bryan Glazer, Vision Airlines Media Relations
SOURCE Vision Airlines