Allegiant Air begins its twice-a-week service from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport today. It will have flights from Wichita on Mondays and Fridays.
Allegiant is offering fares from Wichita to the destination as low as $59.99 one way (not including taxes.)
Including the Wichita service, Allegiant now serves 20 cities from the Phoenix-Mesa airport. That’s given the Arizona airport quite a boon.
In 2007, the airport served just 37,000 passengers, said Milt Fort, director of marketing for the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau. This year, that number will be in excess of 700,000.
“That’s a huge economic impact for us,” Fort said.
Fort is in Wichita for Allegiant’s inaugural flight today. On Thursday, he was meeting with Wichita airport and convention and visitor bureau officials to discuss how to promote the two cities.
The Mesa-Phoenix area is a popular place for “snowbirds” looking to get out of the winter cold, he said. People also come for the outdoor activities.
But residents in his area also want to visit the Midwest, he said. That’s according to a survey of airport passengers there.
Fort has been on the road a lot lately himself. In the past nine weeks, he’s traveled to 18 of the 20 cities Allegiant serves from his hometown. He plans to visit the last two cities the week after Thanksgiving.
Allegiant also operates nonstop flights from Wichita to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.