Allegiant picks secondary Charlotte airport for newest base
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Allegiant Air is expanding in the Charlotte area with plans for a new aircraft base in nearby Concord, North Carolina.
The Las Vegas-based discounter will base two Airbus A320 family jets at the Concord-Padgett Regional Airport (USA) starting Oct. 7, Allegiant said Wednesday. The airport is a roughly 17-mile drive from downtown Charlotte and only 20 miles from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).
Allegiant plans to invest roughly $50 million and hire around 66 local staff to support the new base.
“Having locally-based operations will mean opportunities for expanded hours, as well as more – and more frequent – flight offerings for residents and visitors alike,” said Allegiant vice president of government affairs Keith Hansen on the new Concord base.
Allegiant is the only airline offering scheduled passenger service from Concord, which it added to its network amid a push into larger metro areas in 2013. In adding Concord, Allegiant effectively turned the facility into a secondary airport for the Charlotte area — a tactic Allegiant has used in other markets as well.
Allegiant currently serves seven destinations from Concord: Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Destin/Fort Walton Beach (VPS), New Orleans (MSY), Orlando Sanford (SFB), Punta Gorda (PGD), St. Petersburg-Clearwater (PIE) and West Palm Beach (PBI).
The new Concord base will increasingly pit Allegiant against American Airlines fortress hub at Charlotte Douglas airport. American recently boosted schedules to more than 700 departures on peak days from Charlotte, which it considers one of its most profitable hubs.
American serves all of the markets from Charlotte that Allegiant flies to nonstop from Concord, according to Cirium schedules. However, American flies to Fort Myers (RSW) instead of Punta Gorda, Orlando International (MCO) instead of Orlando Sanford, and Tampa (TPA) instead of St. Petersburg.
Allegiant plans to grow capacity by double-digits in 2020. That growth includes the addition of Boston Logan (BOS), Chicago Midway (MDW) and Houston Hobby (HOU) to its route map.
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