By Dillon Tabish, 1-24-12
||Caption: The Golden Gate Bridge. - shutterstock image
Allegiant Air will begin offering nonstop flights from Glacier Park International Airport to the San Francisco Bay Area this spring, the airline announced on Jan. 24.
Beginning April 27, flights will depart from Kalispell twice weekly and land at Oakland International Airport.
“In 2008 we began nonstop flights to Las Vegas and the community has responded well to the service which allows us to expand our offerings to another destination,” Brian Davis, Allegiant’s director of communications, said in a statement to the Beacon.
Kalispell Chamber of Commerce President Joe Unterreiner welcomed the news as a boost to the local economy and a desirable new travel option for local residents. He said the expanded air services should increase the valley’s draw both for Canadian travelers and those around the state.
“That’s a huge market for us” to tap into, he said. “We’re really excited.”
Last year, Glacier International saw 2.61 percent growth in year-end passenger traffic from 2010. There were 355,928 paying passengers in 2011. The airport is home to four airlines that will now serve eight major cities with the addition of Oakland.
“The Airport Authority works continuously with our incumbent and other air carriers to identify new air service markets and opportunities,” Cindi Martin, airport director at Glacier International, said. “We are very pleased that Allegiant is adding direct year-round service to Oakland. The San Francisco Bay Area shows a growing demand for air service to and from this airport.”
Davis said Allegiant continues to explore new service options for Glacier International.
“We are happy to add new service to the Bay Area but future air service growth really depends on the community,” Davis said. “If our convenient, nonstop service to both Las Vegas and the San Francisco Bay Area continues to perform well then we will look to grow our offerings out of Glacier Park International Airport.”
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