Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Santa Barbara airline will fly to Vegas


Allegiant Air announced yesterday that beginning May 22, it will begin offering three direct, low-cost flights from the Santa Barbara Airport to Las Vegas, Nev. each week.
With the addition of Allegiant, which is based in Las Vegas, the number of carriers that operate at the Santa Barbara Airport sits at seven.

“We are pleased to bring the Allegiant brand of low-fare, nonstop jet service to the Santa Barbara community,” said Maurice J. Gallagher, Allegiant’s president and CEO. “This is an exciting new addition for our airline and our customers…”
The new flights will operate Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. They will depart Santa Barbara at 8 p.m. and arrive in Las Vegas at 9:15 p.m. Flights leaving Las Vegas will depart at 6:10 p.m. and arrive in Santa Barbara at 7:20 p.m.
Tyri Squyres, a spokeswoman for Allegiant, said a limited number of $39 introductory fares will be available for booking through April 5, and must be used by Aug. 31. This fare is $39 each way.
Squyres said the average fare thereafter is expected to be about $59 each way.
For the past two years, Squyres said Allegiant has offered flights to Phoenix, Ariz. and Las Vegas out of the Santa Maria Airport.
She said the number of flights could be increased or decreased based on demand, but noted that this kind of service usually creates a noticeable bump in demand for fast, cheap transportation to Las Vegas.
“We have shown that again and again to be the case,” Squyres said.
Terry Gibson, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara Airport, said requests from customers for low-cost flights to Las Vegas are common, and the airport is glad to be able to provide it.
“This is one of the questions that we always get asked,” she said. “I think it’s great for the community to have another option to Las Vegas.”
U.S. Airways, which flies out of Santa Barbara, already offers flights from Santa Barbara to Las Vegas, but according to its booking Web site, the cheapest flights in mid April cost about $99 each way.
Squyres said Allegiant is able to keep the costs low for the consumer because it keeps its own costs down.
Allegiant also specializes in travel packages, which include hotel and rental car accommodations.
These packages, with airfare and hotel packages can be as low as $114 per person for two nights, according to a statement from Allegiant.
Squyres said reservations could be made at www.allegiantair.com.

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