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May 21, 2020
The first Allegiant flight from Sioux Falls to Nashville took off on schedule today, despite major changes to all airlines’ schedules in recent months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Allegiant also has resumed flights to Las Vegas, Orlando and Phoenix.
It is planning to begin another new route – direct service from Sioux Falls to San Diego – in June.
Flights to Tampa are showing they will begin this weekend, and flights to Los Angeles are scheduled in August.
There were 80 people on the first flight to Nashville, according to airport executive director Dan Letellier, who said passenger numbers slowly are increasing. There were 400 people who out May 21, which is about double what the airport had been seeing, though a far cry from the normal 1,600 or 1,700. Passenger traffic was down 95 percent in April and is tracking 85 to 90 percent down in May.
Allegiant reported a 97 percent drop year-over-year in its April passenger numbers companywide.
The company has taken the following COVID-related safety measures:
“Near term is painful and will continue to be painful. But I believe our model, given the current economic impact, is best suited to withstand the brutal impact from this pandemic,” Maurice Gallagher Jr., chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Co., said in a May earnings release.
“Going forward, we are prepared to make tough choices and take any steps necessary to adapt and right-size our cost structure. Since the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have taken proactive measures to adjust quickly and aggressively to meet the demands of this challenging and changing environment. With that said, our low-cost business model has proven its resilience during past economic downturns, and we expect it will support our ability to rebound here as well. The Allegiant model, based on simplicity, flexibility and optionality, is well suited for these difficult environments.”
The first Allegiant flight from Sioux Falls to Nashville took off on schedule today, with San Diego still on track for next month.