AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Allegiant Air made its inaugural flight into Rick Husband Amarillo International late Thursday afternoon.
“It makes us a four airline airport now, and we’re really excited about this,” said Director of Aviation at AMA, Micheal Conner.
“We’re so excited to be here today,” said Managing Director of Planning for Allegiant, Kristen Schilling-Gonzales. “We got in a couple minutes early. We’re gonna head back out tonight.”
The airline introduced its nonstop service to Las Vegas, and expanding flights to Austin and Phoenix on November 18.
“All of that operates twice a week. So it’s perfect for a vacation package, just the weekend, and yeah, we’re excited,” said Schilling-Gonzales. “The more people book the more we want to add to it.”
“I just think it’s it’s very significant. It’s not only significant for Amarillo, but it’s significant for the airline as well,” said Conner.
Allegiant will be directly competing with Southwest Airlines, which already offers nonstop service to Vegas.
Sin City is not the only competition that will be between the two. Southwest airlines announcing last month they too would begin nonstop flights from Amarillo to Austin coming March 2022.
Conner said they are hoping they can sustain both services.
“I think it’s a different crowd. People that fly Allegiant, they’re really looking for low fares. They’re a little bit less time-sensitive. So I think it’ll be a good complimentary service at this point and then we’ll just see what happens. We’re hoping for the best,” said Conner.
“We think that there’s so many folks here in Amarillo who want to go on vacation and we’re excited to be able to offer another option and the low fares and nonstop flights. That’s all we do at Allegiant,” said Schilling-Gonzales.
These would not be the first nonstop flights to Austin from Amarillo. In September 2018, Via Air began offering service to Austin. The airline later suspended operations in April 2019, ending those flights to the state capital.
“We had high hopes for Via, but I think as an established airline Allegiant should do much better than be sure,” said Conner.
As for plans on expanding service out of Amarillo, Schilling-Gonzales said Allegiant is always working with Amarillo’s airport, but she cannot talk about specifics at this time.