Losing Allegiant service to Hawaii was expected, official says

After putting flights from Bellingham to Hawaii on seasonal hiatus in April, Allegiant Airlines permanently suspended its service to Hawaii from Bellingham and several other airports in its recently released winter schedule.

The low-cost airline flew from Bellingham International Airport to both Hololulu and Maui.

Daniel Zenk, Port of Bellingham aviation director, wasn’t surprised by the change.

“When they stopped offering the flights in April, we suspected that they wouldn’t offer it again,” Zenk said. “Now were just moving forward. This doesn’t change a thing.”

Allegiant also stopped service to Hawaii from Spokane, Boise, and Santa Maria, Calif., and changed year-round Hawaii service at several airports to seasonal service.

Justin Ralenkotter, Allegiant spokesperson, said the company has experimented over the years to match demand for flights to Hawaii.

“Travel patterns to Hawaii generally differ from our other destination cities,” he said in an email. “We’ve seen that leisure travelers tend to visit the islands with less frequency than cities such as Las Vegas, so we’re working to adjust our Hawaii schedules accordingly.”

Alaska Airlines currently flies from Bellingham to Both Honolulu and Maui. Allegiant Airlines carries about half the traffic at Bellingham International Airport.

Traffic at Bellingham International Airport is down by about 10 percent this summer compared to last summer. Zenk said that’s because the industry is consolidating.

“We expected that there would be a plateau and a slight decrease,” Zenk said. “Now we anticipate that things will start to turn around.”

Zenk said they’re looking to expand eastward and working to replace service to cities they’ve lost, like Salt Lake City, Reno, Nev., and Columbus, Ohio.

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