MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Manhattan’s airport is expanding service to a city officials say is one of the top destination locations for customers.
Allegiant Air announced Tuesday during a press conference at the Manhattan Regional Airport that they are offering new, nonstop jet service between Manhattan, Kan. and Phoenix via Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, beginning Nov. 7, 2013.
For a time, Allegiant offered flights to Las Vegas from Topeka.
The announcement marks the 99th U.S. city served by Allegiant’s low-cost, nonstop service to popular vacation destinations. To celebrate, the company will introduce the new service with round trip fares as low as $99.
"Expect fares to stay competitively low, attractively low. We think it will continue to encourage the use of the service," said Thayne Klingler, Manger of Airports for Allegiant. "Service will start Nov. 7th and be offered twice a week, Thursdays and Sundays. The flights will depart out of Manhattan around noon and the service will also be offered on the newest aircraft in the Allegiant fleet, the airbus 319 which is a 156-seater. "
Officials say the partnership has been in the works for several years and is a sign of the continued growth of the region. The Manhattan airport has seen success with daily service to Dallas-Fort Worth and to Chicago and a major terminal expansion project is in the works to meet increased demand for air travel.
According to Peter VanKuren, airport director, 125,000 people used the airport last year traveling to and from Manhattan and he expects the addition of Allegiant will add another 15,000 enplanements annually.
"Landing Allegiant service to a community our size is considered a coup. To be able to have a low cost carrier come into our region and provide the fare structure that it’s going to provide to a destination that is one of our top five destinations is just outstanding for us and it’s outstanding for the region," VanKuren said during the press conference.
He says when the airport was looking to expand its commercial air service, officials looked at factors like desired destinations, aircraft availability and connectivity at other airports.
"I think it is a credit to our growing community here that we’re able to attract a carrier like this and also diversifies what were offering to our citizens… Also, for our leisure and business travelers, it’s going to offer options to them to get nice packages to go down there. And while we may be going there, there’s an opportunity for them to come here and visit our community and see all of the things going on," added Manhattan Mayor John Matta.
When asked why Allegiant set their sights on Manhattan, Klingler said: "Good demographics here. We’re looking for opportunities to continue to expand our business model, adding service to small and medium size markets that do not have direct, nonstop service at affordable prices to major destinations such as Phoenix and this was one that’s been on our list for a long time and it was time to make it happen."
"The best thing about having Allegiant servicing Phoenix to Manhattan, is that actually it’s an opportunity for Phoenix to come to Manhattan and that’s what’s really exciting about this. Air service is a great tool to bring visitors to our region. It provides us with a great opportunity to show people our tourism and our economic and business developments efforts," added Karen Hibbard, director of the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Manhattan travelers can book their entire Phoenix/Mesa vacation by visiting allegiant.com.
About the $99* roundtrip fares:
Seats are limited. Fares are roundtrip and not available on all flights. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 22, 2013, for travel by April 29, 2014. For baggage fees, please visit allegiant.com. Additional restrictions may apply.
About the $59* one-way fares:
Seats are limited. Fares are one way and not available on all flights. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 27, 2013, for travel by April 29, 2014. For baggage fees, please visit allegiant.com. Additional restrictions may apply.
The special $99 roundtrip promotional fare will be available for two days only and must be purchased by Aug. 22. Subsequent introductory fares will start at $55 one-way and will be available until Aug. 27. Reservations can be made on the company’s website at allegiant.com or by calling the company’s travel experts at 702-505-8888.