Allegiant Base Could Bring New Flights

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Mario Rodriguez is executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. Mario Rodriguez is executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co. (NASDAQ: ALGT) says plans for a $40 million, two-aircraft base at Indianapolis International Airport could bring opportunities for new nonstop routes. The low-cost carrier says the facility could involve nearly 70 jobs and be operational in February. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the new positions are expected to pay 85 percent higher than the state's average wage.

Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez tells Inside INdiana Business the move will have an incredible impact on more than just the local economy. "There's basically a democratic flight impact," he said. "Their product is an ultra-low-cost product and it'll bring people to the airport to travel all over the country that wouldn't have otherwise traveled."

Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch said during Wednesday's announcement that investment in transportation, including increasing air service, continues to be a priority for the state. She says Allegiant's plans help "emphasize the critical role direct flights play in the Indiana economy."

Including flights from Indianapolis, Allegiant has routes throughout the state that fly from South Bend International Airport, Fort Wayne International Airport and Evansville Regional Airport. The base in Indianapolis will be Allegiant's 14th and could be a source of additional nonstop destinations, a key target for airport officials in recent years. Currently, there are 47 nonstops from IND.

Allegiant Vice President of Government Affairs Keith Hansen says "we're thrilled to continue our growth in the Indianapolis area and contribute even more to the community and economy with the establishment of a permanent aircraft base. Having a base in Indianapolis will further increase the efficiency of our operations and better position us for even more growth in the near future."

Allegiant's presence in Indianapolis has grown rapidly since it first began operating at the state's largest airport two-and-a-half years ago. It currently has 12 nonstop routes, which include Las Vegas, Phoenix and Austin.

The carrier parent, Allegiant Air LLC, has been offered up to $1 million in conditional tax credits. You can read more about the expansion plans by clicking here.