The US-based low-fare carrier, Allegiant, is planning to establish a new aircraft base at Gerald R. Ford international Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan in June 2019. The new facility will involve an investment of more than $42 million.
Keith Hansen, VP government affairs for Allegiant described Grand Rapids as a “great city” offering “solid demand and steady growth” for the low-fare carrier. The new base of operations will house two Airbus aircraft and it will be the airline’s 16th aircraft base.
Birgit Klohs, president and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. and member of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority Board called the decision “a big win for the region” and added that it will have “a ripple effect through our economy beyond the initial jobs and investment.”
Describing the new base as an opportunity to expand operations to and from the regions Hansen added: “It’s a perfect location for a permanent base, where having locally-based aircraft and crews will open a world of opportunity to expand options for both new service and operational hours. This will make travel even more convenient and affordable for both residents and visitors to the area.”
Meanwhile, Brian Picardat, interim president and CEO, Gerald R. Ford International Airport, commented that the new base will “bring additional jobs to West Michigan and more travel options for passengers.” He also offered thanks to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and The Right Place for their assistance in bringing this base to Grand Rapids.
Allegiant also announced services from the Michigan hub to two new cities beginning in June; Nashville, Tennessee and Savannah, Georgia. The new seasonal routes will operate twice weekly.
Allegiant, which began operating at the airport in 2009, now offers nine non-stop routes and currently carries more than 300,000 annual passengers through Grand Rapids.