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Hagerstown Regional Airport officials to ask Allegiant Air about additional flights

February 28, 2013|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • In this Herald-Mail file photo, people board an Allegiant MD-80at Hagerstown Regional Airport for a flight to the Orlando, Fla., area.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

Washington County Commissioner John F. Barr and Hagerstown Regional Airport officials were in Arizona this week to talk to Allegiant Air officials about additional flights in and out of Hagerstown, including Myrtle Beach, S.C., and more Florida destinations, Barr said Thursday.

Airport Director Phil Ridenour told the commissioners Tuesday he would meet with Allegiant representatives Friday to discuss the possibility of opening a route from Hagerstown to Myrtle Beach.

Direct Air had scheduled flights to Myrtle Beach that ended in 2011.

“Many of the golfers in the Tri-State area have been asking for that flight,” Barr said in a phone interview.

Barr, Ridenour and airport employee Pam Deal arrived in Arizona on Wednesday for Allegiant’s annual conference in Mesa, Ariz., Barr said. They attended meet-and-greets with officials from other local airports, such as Bangor, Maine, and Idaho Falls, Idaho, on Wednesday, he said.

On Thursday, the local contingent was to attend Allegiant’s conference to learn about the company’s strategy, business model and destination points, Barr said Thursday morning in a telephone conversation.

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The local group is scheduled to meet with Allegiant officials Friday morning to discuss the possibility of additional flights, Barr said.

Allegiant now provides flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport, which is north of Orlando.

In addition to Myrtle Beach, Barr said the local group would ask about flights to more southern destinations in Florida.

Asked about destinations the local group would inquire about, Barr said, that “tongue and cheek” local officials have thrown out Las Vegas, but that is not likely to happen. A massive population base is needed to justify a flight to Las Vegas, which is where Allegiant is based, he said.

“That’s a pretty big flight for them,” Barr said.

Barr said he attended Allegiant’s conference last year with Greg Larsen, who was the airport business development manager at the time. Both times, Barr said, he has paid for his own airfare and hotel.

Barr said he’s established contacts and relationships with some Allegiant officials and uses Allegiant flights “quite a bit” for personal trips.

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