Friday, December 7, 2012

Provo Air Terminal Expansion Needed for Allegiant Passengers

Provo will have to enlarge its current terminal to accommodate the number of passengers Allegiant can put onto its planes.

Allegiant announced this week that it will be offering non-stop flights beginning Feb. 15 between Provo and the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, replacing Frontier Airlines, which will cease flights between Provo and Denver in January.

Airport manager Steve Gleason said the city built a terminal that could house federal screening equipment in 2011, when Frontier brought commercial flights to Provo. However, Frontier's Embraer 190 airplane holds 99 passengers. Allegiant's MD-80s hold 166 passengers, more than the terminal's capacity.

Gleason added, "Commercial service is important to our community. It's a great day for Provo."

Unique to Allegiant is the one-leg destination flights. For instance, the Provo to Mesa flight is a destination to destination flight. So, while there are many locations to which Allegiant flies from Mesa, such as Hawaii, Branson, Mo., and Las Vegas, passengers will have to book those connecting flights as separate itinerary flights, he said.

"We're confident Utah County will enjoy our low airfare and great packages," Hansen said.

Hansen also noted that throughout the year there are times when travel is significantly down and Allegiant will pre-cancel flights. He also anticipates other times, perhaps for LDS General Conference or other activities, when additional flights will be necessary and those can be added. All of this is under discussion.

Allegiant is expected to serve a large group of business and personal travel passengers to and from the Mesa area. Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix is about a 20-minute drive, and shuttles from Mesa to Sky Harbor are provided.

Allegiant also flies to the Ogden airport. Daily Herald