Allegiant drops flights between Hawaii and Bellingham

An Allegiant Air plane waits for passengers to board, April 2, 2014 at Bellingham International Airport.
An Allegiant Air plane waits for passengers to board, April 2, 2014 at Bellingham International Airport. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Allegiant Air has decided to stop offering flights between Hawaii and Bellingham.

Allegiant recently came out with its winter schedule, listing Las Vegas and Los Angeles as the only airports offering regular service to Honolulu. Several other airports in the western half of the U.S. will have seasonal Allegiant service to Hawaii, but Bellingham was not on the list.

The airline believes that anticipated demand for the route didn’t materialize this season, said Allegiant spokesman Justin Ralenkotter. The company reviewed its numbers from last season, and, looking at current travel patterns, made its decision to shift its resources elsewhere.

“Our success, in large part, stems from our ability to be reactive to market demand,” Ralenkotter said. “This means flying only when and where people want to fly.”

Port of Bellingham Aviation Director Dan Zenk called the decision “disheartening,” but noted that many factors are involved in whether Allegiant serves a specific market. He added that the port will continue its effort to replace destinations lost in the past 10 years, such as Salt Lake City and Reno, Nev., as well as look for new markets.

Allegiant began offering the Bellingham-Hawaii flights in November 2012, with two flights going to Maui and two flights going to Honolulu each week. The airline suspended its flights to Hawaii at the end of April 2014 through October in what a company spokesman called, at the time, a seasonal hiatus.

Allegiant will continue to offer flights out of Bellingham to Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Mesa, Ariz. Ralenkotter said Allegiant is pleased with how those flights are doing out of Bellingham.

Alaska Airlines offers regular flights between Bellingham and Hawaii but has no plans to expand at this time, said Bobbie Egan, media relations manager for the airline. Alaska will have flights to Honolulu three days a week, except in December when it will switch to daily service. The Maui-Bellingham flight will operate four times a week from November through the first week of April.

While Allegiant has no immediate plans for returning Hawaii routes to Bellingham, the company will continue to analyze this area and forecast demand.

“If we see an opportunity in the future, we won’t hesitate to step in,” Ralenkotter said.