Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air halting flights to Colorado Springs

Citing lack of demand, Las Vegas-based low-fare carrier Allegiant Air will halt service April 29 to Colorado Springs after 16 years, becoming the second airline to leave the city in the past six months.

Allegiant operates round-trip flights on Friday and Sunday to Las Vegas, competing with daily service from Denver-based Frontier Airlines. The airline boarded 1,515 passengers on outbound flights in the first two months of the year, or just 1.2 percent of the 127,473 passengers boarded on all flights from the Springs airport during the same period.

"Our decision to end service from Colorado Springs was based entirely on a lack of demand in the area," Krysta Levy, an Allegiant spokeswoman, said late Wednesday in an email. "We are grateful for more than a decade of partnership with the Colorado Springs Airport."

Colorado Springs was among the first destinations served by Allegiant, which began operating in 1999, offering nonstop round-trip flights a few days a week in 2002 to Las Vegas as part of vacation packages that also include hotel, car rentals, show tickets and other services to leisure travelers. The carrier eventually expanded its Colorado Springs schedule to include Phoenix and Long Beach, Calif., but dropped the Phoenix route Sept. 4 after competing with Frontier’s daily nonstop flights on the same route for more than a year.

"It is unfortunate and we hate to see any carrier leave the airport. We would welcome them back," said Greg Phillips, aviation director for the city of Colorado Springs. "The good side of competition is that fares are down, but the bad side is there are winners and losers. Allegiant just couldn’t compete."

Alaska Airlines left the Springs Nov. 4 after operating nonstop flights to Seattle for four years, citing a worsening pilot shortage for ending the local service. At the same time, Frontier has increased its Colorado Springs schedule from a single flight to Las Vegas two years ago to nonstop service to 10 cities, including flights to Minneapolis, San Antonio and Seattle that start next month. The airport also has nonstop flights to Chicago and Dallas on American; Atlanta and Salt Lake City on Delta; and Chicago, Denver, Houston and Los Angeles on United.

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