Country music, a guitar-shaped cake, and plenty of cowboy hats helped kick off a celebration at the Ford Airport today. Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) began new nonstop routes from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) to Nashville International Airport (BNA). Guests were treated to music from Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys, and local officials, staff, and politicians joined in the celebratory event.
“Thank you to Allegiant for investing in this service,” said GFIA Interim President & CEO Brian Picardat at today’s news conference. “Nashville has been on the list of nonstops that the Ford Airport has been pin-pointing for some time, so this is a big win today.”
Allegiant flies nonstop from Grand Rapids to Phoenix-Mesa, Punta Gorda, Orlando, St. Pete/Clearwater, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Sarasota, and now Nashville. Starting tomorrow, June 7, Allegiant is starting new service to Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), marking
its ninth destination out of Grand Rapids.
“The Ford Airport has had six years of record-breaking growth, and that growth would not be possible without our airline partners investing in Grand Rapids,” said GFIA Board Chairman Dan Koorndyk. “In those last six years over 15-million passengers have come through our airport.”
In addition to new flights, Allegiant began operating a base in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, June 4. Allegiant’s growth plans in the state include creating 66 new, high-wage jobs, and establishing a two-aircraft base at the Ford Airport.
“Grand Rapids has been a great city for Allegiant, with solid demand and steady growth over the years,” said Keith Hansen, vice president of government affairs for Allegiant. “It’s a perfect location for a permanent base, where having locally-based aircraft and crews will open a world of
opportunity to expand options for both new service and operational hours. This will make travel even more convenient and affordable for both residents and visitors to the area, and further establish Allegiant as a hometown airline for Grand Rapids.”
Allegiant has served Grand Rapids since 2009. The Nashville flights will operate twice weekly, and flight days, times, and the lowest fares can be found only at www.allegiant.com.