Elite Airways will offer another nonstop flight from Portland to Florida starting in May, expanding the Maine-based company’s vacation destinations.

Elite will start Sunday flights from the Portland International Jetport to Vero Beach, on Florida’s east coast, on May 6 and offer a Thursday flight in early June, according to a company statement Thursday.

“As a Maine-based company, it gives us tremendous pride to expand our presence at the Portland Jetport this year with new service to Vero Beach – a very popular destination for Mainers and for seasonal residents that regularly travel between the two,” Elite Airways President John Pearsall said. “We’ve seen consistently strong demand for our Portland-to-Florida routes and believe the addition of Vero Beach will be a win-win for passengers.”

Elite began as a charter airline and branched into scheduled passenger flights in 2014. It started a nonstop flight from Portland to Melbourne International Airport in Florida in 2015 and added Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport a year later.

The flights are aimed at leisure and vacation travelers who want nonstop flights to Florida for a weekend or week-long trip, the company said. Early-bird fares will start at $199 each way.

New Elite flights are welcome news for passengers to Florida, long Portland’s most under-served nonstop flight market, Jetport Director Paul Bradbury said in a statement.

“Over the past three years Elite Airways – our hometown airline – has expanded its route network to now include three Florida markets, connecting Mainers to their Florida vacations, homes and family members,” he said.

Elite serves 11 airports in Maine, North Carolina, New York, Florida and the Bahamas with scheduled flights.

In the summer of 2017, Elite ran a seasonal service from Portland to Halifax, Nova Scotia, but the route has not been scheduled yet for 2018, according to spokeswoman Rebecca Ayers.

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