Allegiant to pick up slack on Fresno-Las Vegas flights

The Fresno BeeJune 4, 2014 

Allegiant Air is preparing to pick up the slack created by another airline's decision to quit serving the Fresno-Las Vegas route.

The Las Vegas-based discount airline will add a Wednesday flight to its schedule, increasing its flight schedule to five days a week starting on Sept. 3. Allegiant spokeswoman Lindsay Hernquist said the new flight will be available for booking through the airline's website starting Friday.

The move comes after SkyWest Airlines announced that it will discontinue its United Express flights between Fresno Yosemite International Airport and Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport after Sept. 1. SkyWest offers 35 flights a week -- five flights each day -- from Fresno to Las Vegas using 30-seat turboprop airplanes. The airline blamed "poor performance" on the route for its decision.

SkyWest's departure from the Fresno-Las Vegas market will leave Allegiant as the only airline with nonstop flights between the cities. Allegiant uses much larger 166-seat McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jets for its flights. Hernquist said the airline plans to rotate in one of its Boeing 757 jets, which seat about 220 passengers, on some of the Fresno-Las Vegas flights, "meaning more flights and more seats for the FAT-LAS route."

Allegiant's current schedule in Fresno includes two Las Vegas flights on Sundays and Fridays, and one flight daily on Monday and Thursday. In mid-August, the schedule will be reduced to one flight on Sundays and Fridays.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6319, or @TimSheehanNews on Twitter.

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