Allegiant to suspend Hawaii flights May through October

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 20, 2014 

Allegiant Air flight

An Allegiant Air flight flies into the Bellingham International Airport, March 30, 2013.

MATT MCDONALD — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

BELLINGHAM - Allegiant Air is suspending its flights to Hawaii at the end of April in what a company spokesman calls "a seasonal hiatus."

Allegiant spokesman Justin Ralenkotter said the date for resumption of the flights will be announced later this spring, when the fall flight schedules are finalized. But the seasonal suspension will extend at least through the end of October.

Allegiant started the flights to Maui and Honolulu in the fall of 2012, with twice-weekly service to both destinations.

Port of Bellingham Aviation Director Dan Zenk said the Allegiant cutback came as a surprise, because the flights have been mostly full.

"It appears as though Allegiant is making a business decision based on the company's big picture," Zenk said in an email. "Unfortunately, the port has little control over the frequency of flights and where the airlines decide to fly."

Direct flights from Bellingham to Maui and Honolulu will continue on Alaska Airlines.

Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said the frequency of that airline's Bellingham-to-Hawaii flights varies based on seasonal factors, but the airline has no plans to discontinue the Hawaii flights in the coming summer.

Allegiant flights out of Bellingham help to finance the recent $38.6 million expansion of the Bellingham airport terminal building. The port issued bonds to finance the project, with $4.50-per-passenger ticket fees expected to provide the money to pay off those bonds in the future.

The Las Vegas-based discount carrier continues to offer flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix and other destinations.

Reach John Stark at 360-715-2274 or john.stark@bellinghamherald.com . Read the Politics Blog at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhampolitics.

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