Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co. (Nasdaq: ALGT) is adding two routes at the Springfield-Branson National Airport as leisure travel boosts traffic in the industry.
Direct flights to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas and the Punta Gorda Airport in Florida start Nov. 18, according to a news release. In late May, Allegiant began flights to Houston, Texas, from the Springfield airport.
The two new flights from the Springfield airport were among 23 routes nationwide announced by Allegiant this morning for fall vacation and holiday travel.
"We continue to expand our network to provide customers with our unique brand of convenient, affordable nonstop service to even more of the cities they want to visit – whether it's for a long overdue vacation or to reconnect with family and friends," said Drew Wells, Allegiant's senior vice president of revenue and planning, in the release.
Springfield airport spokesperson Kent Boyd said Allegiant is going "gangbusters" with its focus on vacation routes.
"Leisure travel is driving the industry right now," he said, noting business traffic continues to be down.
Overall traffic at the Springfield airport is trending up after the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the flight industry considerably during 2020.
Boyd said the airport recorded 302,389 total passengers through May this year. That's up roughly 25% from the same period a year earlier.
In May alone, there were 90,921 total passengers, Boyd said, representing a 294% increase from the same month of 2020.
"By the time we get the numbers for June, I wouldn't be surprised if we're pretty close to what you might call normal – normal being defined as 2019,” he said.
The Springfield airport in 2019 had a passenger record of 1.2 million flyers, according to past reporting.
The new flights to Austin – a first for the Springfield airport – and Punta Gorda – a returning flight – could provide a year-end boost when they start in November. The flights bring the Springfield airport up to 14 nonstop destinations, Director Brian Weiler said in a separate news release.
"Fourteen nonstop destinations is the most we’ve ever had,” Weiler said in the release. “I want to thank Allegiant for helping us reach this milestone.”
The expanded facility is expected to reach annual revenue of $650M.