Allegiant Airlines, one of two airlines operating out of Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport, will suspend operations at the airport during the holiday season for the first time.
Tristan Durbin, airport director, said during the airport’s regular board meeting Tuesday that Allegiant Airlines, which offers passenger flights between Owensboro and Sanford/Orlando, Florida, will be taking hiatus from Nov. 29 to Jan. 6, 2022.
“Allegiant does go on a hiatus out of our airport, typically every year,” Durbin said.
In 2020, the airlines hiatus ran from late August through early October.
“This year, they altered that to do it during the winter months based on some training requirements,” Durbin said. “They are doing this out of 25 of 107 stations; it is not a one-off ...”
The hiatus will result in OWB will losing 10 flights that would have been available to the public if Allegiant did not elect to go on hiatus.
Durbin said the hiatus will not affect the $1 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for capital improvement projects resulting from having at least 10,000 passenger boardings at the airport.
“We have already completed that for the year and met that benchmark,” he said.
Durbin said he believes the airline’s hiatus over the holiday season could end up having a greater impact on airline passengers than when the hiatus was done during the fall in previous years.
Allegiant Airlines employees currently working at OWB will be retained throughout the hiatus and paid their regular wages, Durbin said.
“We are going to be able to work with Allegiant to retain all of our employees and to keep them trained at a high level, so whenever Allegiant does return Jan. 7 that we will continue operations and everything will go smoothly once they return,” he said.
Allegiant Airlines, which is headquartered in Las Vegas, has operated out of OWB since 2009.
Durbin said he was not informed by the airline about what criteria was used to determine what airports would begin a hiatus of Allegiant’s services or what other 24 airports will also enter into a planned hiatus.
Despite the disruption, Durbin said it has been a normal occurrence at OWB for at least the past four years.
“The only thing that is different about this is the timing of it; other than that, it is very similar to the other hiatuses that they have taken out of Owensboro,” Durbin said.