ST. CLOUD -- The city of St. Cloud has been working tirelessly to attract permanent air service to its airport. In today's installment of our Top 10 stories of 2013, we look at number 8 which is the announcement of direct flights to Orlando, Florida.

Allegiant Airlines began flying from St. Cloud to Mesa, Arizona in late 2012. Just this week, Allegiant began offering direct flights from St. Cloud to Orlando, Florida.

It's a feather in the cap of local officials who had been looking to secure a second vacation destination out of St. Cloud Airport. Airport Manager Bill Towle says it also goes a long way in attracting direct flights to and from Chicago.  Towle says is shows prospective airlines that central Minnesotans are willing to fly out of St. Cloud.

Allegiant is offering two weekly flights for about a month and will scale back to one weekly flight through April.

Towle says while the vacation destinations are nice, they are committed to getting those direct flights to Chicago which will benefit business travelers in the St. Cloud area.