Politics & Government

Allegiant to no longer offer flights to Las Vegas from MidAmerica Airport during offseason

Allegiant Air flying to Vegas, baby!

Allegiant Air announced on Tuesday announced twice-a-week service to Las Vegas from MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah. The airline last offered flights from the metro-east to Las Vegas in 2009.
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Allegiant Air announced on Tuesday announced twice-a-week service to Las Vegas from MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah. The airline last offered flights from the metro-east to Las Vegas in 2009.

Beginning next month, Allegiant Air will cease offering year-round flights to Las Vegas from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. Flights will cease Aug. 12 and resume Feb. 14, 2020.

“We previously offered the BLV to LAS route year-round but, due to changes in the demand patterns, it will now be offered seasonally,” said Sonya Padgett, a spokewoman for Allegiant.

“It has always performed strongest in the spring and summer months when kids are out of school and families are taking their spring and summer vacations. We strive to be highly responsive to customers’ needs, which means our network planning team is constantly measuring demand and adjusting schedules when necessary.”

The last day the airline has scheduled a flight from MidAmerica to Las Vegas for this year is Aug. 11. The route is scheduled to resume on Feb. 14. Flights are predominantly scheduled for Mondays and Fridays.

Allegiant first operated out of the county-owned MidAmerica Airport from 2006 to early 2009 with flights to Orlando and Las Vegas. Allegiant’s MidAmerica to Las Vegas route restarted in 2015. The flights were year-round until this year.

The airline also has seasonal flights to Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Florida, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Phoenix.

There are year-round flights to Punta Gorda, Sanford, Destin and the Tampa-area in Florida.

The decision to go to seasonal for Las Vegas was made after the route’s passengers was down last year, said Airport Director Tim Cantwell.

“Allegiant looks at all this stuff. They (have) 110 airports. They look at what did good last year,” Cantwell said.

Cantwell however said he wasn’t concerned that Allegiant made Las Vegas a seasonal route as flights and passengers are still up at the airport, such as flights to Destin are seven days a week.

He said the number of passengers flying out of the airport is up 15 percent from last year.

Earlier this month, the airport touted the number of passengers coming through MidAmerica. The airport expected to reach its highest number of monthly passengers on record in July, with roughly 45,000 passengers expected to use the airport. That’s roughly 3,000 more than in June.

In 2013 there were 25,000 passengers for the entire year, Cantwell said.

“We are excited to serve the most passengers who have ever flown through MidAmerica Airport in a single month, and we fully expect the exciting growth trend to continue as word continues to spread about the hassle-free experience we offer,” St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern said in a news release at the time.

Rebuild Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s capital plan to improve infrastructure in the state, includes $96 million for extending the MetroLink light-rail line from the Shiloh-Scott stop to MidAmerica Airport.

Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.
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