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Shutdown of Allegiant Air flights to Orlando in fall months only a seasonal stoppage

June 09, 2013

Allegiant Air will be halting its service from Hagerstown to Orlando, Fla., in August. Does that signify the airline might be leaving Hagerstown Regional Airport?

The question comes from Howie Lore of Winchester, Va., who recently sent an email to The Herald-Mail saying the airline was only booking flights on its website through Aug. 13.

“... Is this a sign once again of departing Hagerstown?” Lore asked. He said in a follow-up email that he and others enjoy being able to fly out of Hagerstown rather than traveling to Baltimore or Washington, D.C.

According to Allegiant spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler, the airline has no intentions of leaving Hagerstown and the absence of available flights after Aug. 13 is only part of its “seasonal suspension” of service.

Calling it solely a “business decision,” Wheeler said Allegiant’s entire business model is based on vacation travel.

“Our whole system is basically from small to mid-sized cities into a vacation destination,” Wheeler said in a telephone conversation last week from Allegiant headquarters in Las Vegas.

Wheeler said demand for vacation travel from Hagerstown into Orlando has historically dropped from late August to October, around the time children are back in school and families are vacationing less.

Hagerstown’s temporary shutdown is scheduled for Aug. 14 to Nov. 12, she said.

Flights into Orlando-Sanford International Airport will restart Nov. 13, she said, and new flights should begin appearing in the next week or two for future booking.

Allegiant’s booking cycle is smaller than larger airlines, Wheeler said, only listing flights available for sale about six to eight months in advance at any given time.

When new flights are announced, they likely will extend into mid-January 2014, she said.

Wheeler said Allegiant offers service to 89 cities across the country, running 201 individual routes from Maine to Hawaii.

— Compiled by C.J. Lovelace

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