Allegiant to End Service Jan. 4 at Regional Airport

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Western Reserve Port authority already is reaching out to potential carriers in the hope of replacing Allegiant Air, which is ending its service at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport after 11 years.

Allegiant spokeswoman Krysta Levy confirmed via email this morning that the Las Vegas-based carrier would end flights to and from the airport in the Vienna Township Jan. 4.

“Demand in the area was simply not high enough to continue service at this time,” Levy said.

Passengers who have booked flights in or out of Youngstown after Jan. 4 will be contacted individually for refunds or to be “re-accommodated,” she said. Travelers also can fly with the carrier by using other nearby airports Allegiant serves, such as Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport, she said.

Allegiant has provided service to and from leisure destinations at Youngstown-Warren since 2006.

Allegiant offers flights to and from Tampa-St. Pete, Orlando-Sanford and Myrtle Beach, although that service was scheduled for a seasonal pause and to be restored in October.

The port authority, which operates the airport, has started the process of setting appointments with other airlines to fill the void, John Moliterno, WRPA executive director, said.

Moliterno said he learned about the pullout Thursday night by a local reporter who had received notification and called him.

“We had some conversations with [Allegiant] just recently. We talked with them about adding flights,” Moliterno said. Subsequently, the port authority “got an inkling within the last couple of days that something else might be happening here,” he said.

When Allegiant launched its service at Youngstown-Warren 11 years ago, the discount carrier’s model was to operate from smaller airports, he said.

Allegiant relocated the service it provided at Akron-Canton Airport to Cleveland in February. It launched its Pittsburgh service in February 2015.

Dan Dickten, director of aviation at the airport, was unavailable for comment this morning. In June, he told the port authority board of directors that Allegiant’s passenger counts at Youngstown-Warren were affected by competition from low-fare carriers at other airports and Allegiant’s presence at nearby airports, where it offered lower fares.

“It seems they maybe decided to change their business plan and move into much larger airports,” Moliterno said. “That’s certainly what it seems to be here.”

Moliterno praised Mahoning Valley residents for supporting the flights.

On average, flights serving Youngstown-Warren were at 90% occupancy or better, he said. “Even with the alternatives, people still wanted to fly out of our airport,” he said.

Unlike when Allegiant launched local service, the airport and port authority now have data to show other airlines when they make their case for providing service here, he said.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.