Tallahassee to offer flights to Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale

Travel plans for students in Tallahassee just got easier.

Florida Express Jet is set to launch with flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale from Tallahassee Regional Airport beginning March 20.

Florida Express Jet will offer a student-friendly fare of $69 for a coach seat and $99 for a business class seat.

“The student travelers, they are on a budget,” said Jeff Thompson, Florida Express Jet director of sales. “A lot of kids can’t afford a few hundred dollars to make a trip to South Florida to visit their family.”

Florida Express Jet hopes to finalize its contract with Tallahassee Regional Airport in the next few weeks.

The flights, which will feature in-flight beverages and snacks, will consist of 12 business class seats and 138 coach seats. The jets are supplied through a lease agreement with Swift Air LLC, which will supply the Boeing 737-400 airliners, crews, aircraft maintenance and inspections.

Iman Sandifer, a public administration graduate student from Fort Lauderdale, said he plans to visit home much more often now.

“I am so glad they made this,” Sandifer said. “It’s hard to get to South Florida for cheap here.”

Florida Express Jet will fly seven days a week. The proposed flight schedule is as follows:

Flights will depart Fort Lauderdale at 7 a.m. and proceed nonstop to Orlando, arriving at 7:50 a.m., then continue to Tallahassee for a 9:20 a.m. arrival. Return flights will depart Tallahassee at 10 a.m. for Orlando, arriving at 10:50 a.m. and continuing on to Fort Lauderdale.

The service will be repeated in the afternoon with a Fort Lauderdale-Orlando departure at 2 p.m. that will arrive in Orlando at 2:50 p.m. and depart at 3:30 p.m. to Tallahassee. The late afternoon return will leave Tallahassee at 5:10 p.m. and proceed nonstop to Orlando, then continue to Fort Lauderdale.

The final flight of the day will depart Orlando at 6:35 p.m. and arrive in Fort Lauderdale at 7:25 p.m.

Chris Curry, Tallahassee Regional Airport’s director of aviation, said the airport is hopeful that students will take to the new flights.

“We look forward to any new airline who will bring traffic to the airport,” Curry said. “We are more than prepared to handle all the incoming traffic. The terminal is big enough, and we have enough security.”