Allegiant Air unlikely to return Bellingham-Reno flight service

Allegiant Air quietly discontinued its flight service between Bellingham and Reno. Nev., several months ago, and it appears unlikely that the route will return.

Jessica Wheeler, the Las Vegas-based airline and travel company’s public relations manager, confirmed that nonstop service between the Bellingham International Airport and the Reno-Tahoe International Airport ended Jan. 19. She said there is currently no plans to bring back the flight, even on a seasonal basis.

Wheeler said the flight’s cancellation was driven by a lack of ticket sales.

“We just didn’t see the demand on the route that we had hoped for,” Wheeler said.

The flight, which ran twice per week with round-trips scheduled on Thursdays and Sundays, first began last June. Allegiant had operated the route once before, but discontinued that service in 2009, citing decreased passenger levels and unsustainable operating costs.

Business and tourism leaders in the Reno area lobbied for nearly a year to bring the flight back, in hopes that it would connect the northern Nevada region with a lucrative vacation travel market in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Bellingham’s airport has become a popular departure point for Canadians seeking cheap airfare to warm-weather vacation spots in the U.S., including Nevada, Southern California and Hawaii.

Allegiant still operates year-round and seasonal flights out of Bellingham to 10 destinations, included service to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Calif., and Phoenix, Ariz., by way of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Evan Marczynski, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com

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