Allegiant Air latest to plan base in booming Nashville
Allegiant Air is the latest to bet its planes on the rapidly growing Nashville market with plans for a new base.
The Las Vegas-based discounter will base two Airbus A320 family aircraft at Nashville International Airport (BNA) from February, a move that will see it hire 66 staff and invest $50 million in the local market, Allegiant said Tuesday.
“As a premier destination for visitors from all over the world, and a growing, diverse city attracting new residents, Nashville hits all the right notes for an Allegiant base," said Keith Hansen, vice-president of government affairs at Allegiant, in a statement. "Having locally-based aircraft and crews will give us a wide range of options for new service, meaning more opportunities for affordable and convenient nonstop flights."
Allegiant, which has served Nashville since 2018, flies to 12 destinations from the city, including Orlando Sanford (SFB) and St. Petersburg/Clearwater (PIE) in Florida, and Richmond (RIC) in Virginia. Notably, the airline does not fly to its main western bases in Las Vegas (LAS) or Phoenix Mesa (AZA) from the Middle Tennessee city.
Allegiant is just the latest carrier to bet on Nashville's growth. Spirit Airlines began service to the city earlier in October and already has plans to add four more routes in 2020, and Delta Air Lines labelled Nashville a "focus city" -- which can mean more nonstop flights or an increased local sales presence -- in June.
Nashville airport saw passenger numbers jump 15% to 17.2 million during its 2019 fiscal year that ended in June, according to airport data. To accommodate the growth, the airport is in the midst of an expansion program, dubbed "BNA Vision," that includes an expanded terminal and new concourse.
Southwest Airlines has been the largest carrier in Nashville since the 1990s, after American Airlines closed its hub at the airport in 1995. The Dallas-based discounter carried more than half of the airport's passengers in 2018, U.S. Department of Transportation data via Diio by Cirium shows.