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story.lead_photo.caption Children play with a jumbo checkers game Tuesday as guests gather for the announcement about new Allegiant Air flights between Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport and Phoenix. - Photo by Flip Putthoff

HIGHFILL -- Allegiant Air said Tuesday that it will begin service to Phoenix from Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in mid-November and will be offering low-cost rates to celebrate the addition of the route.

With the addition of Phoenix, discount airline Allegiant now offers flights to six cities out of Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, which include Las Vegas; Orlando, Fla.; and Nashville, Tenn.

The new seasonal flights to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport will operate twice weekly, Thursday and Sunday, and plans are to offer a one-way introductory fare as low as $69 with certain restrictions, according to a company release. Allegiant flights from Northwest Arkansas use Airbus A319 and A230 aircraft.

In 2018, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport saw 1,574,610 total passengers, a 9.4% increase from 1,438,922 from the year-ago period.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Kelly Johnson, chief executive officer of Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, said the additional route is another step in the growing relationship between Allegiant and the airport. She noted Allegiant's first route from the airport began operation in 2009.

Johnson said Allegiant has boarded 50% more passengers so far this year compared with last year and has seen a strong summer so far.

In June, Frontier Airlines began service at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, with its first route going to and from Denver International Airport. The new route serves both business and leisure travelers. Denver is a key hub for Frontier, allowing connecting flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland, Ore.

In July, Allegiant served 1.7 million passengers, up nearly 15% from July 2018. July's revenue per passenger mile and per available seat mile were both up 14% from the same period a year ago. Departures for the month stood at 11,832 in July, up 15% from 10,321 for the same month a year ago.

Last week, Las Vegas-based Allegiant sealed a deal with the National Football League's Oakland Raiders for the naming rights to Las Vegas Stadium. In early 2017, the Raiders got league consent to relocate from Oakland, Calif., to Las Vegas. The stadium is under construction and is expected to be ready in 2020.

Allegiant Travel Company shares fell $1.45, or about 1%, to close Tuesday at $142.55 in trading on the Nasdaq. Allegiant shares have traded as low as $98.18 and as high as $157.50 over the past year.

Business on 08/14/2019

Print Headline: Highfill airport adding route

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