Struggling southern Illinois airport adds Florida route

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois airport that has struggled to attract commercial service since opening nearly two decades ago is adding twice-weekly service to southwest Florida.

Mid America Airport announced Thursday that low-cost Allegiant Air will offer twice-weekly trips to Punta Gorda, Florida starting February 18. Allegiant also flies from Mid America to St. Petersburg and Sanford, Florida. A Las Vegas route began earlier this month.

Airport owner St. Clair County lost more than $6 million in 2013 on Mid America, which is located 25 miles east of downtown St. Louis and has yet to turn a profit since its 1997 opening. That figure climbed to nearly $13 million counting depreciation.