Allegiant Airlines threatens to leave Phoenix-Mesa Gateway for Sky Harbor

Changes may be coming to Allegiant Airlines. The airline flies out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport for now, but they could be moving to Phoenix Sky Harbor.

It stems from a plan to give incentives to an airline that will start flying out of Mesa this fall.

Allegiant Air is the only large air carrier at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, until this fall when "Elite", a low cost carrier will begin operations in September. 

Elite is a low-cost carrier based in Florida, offering flights to San Diego.

Gateway officials say the offer to extend flights to larger cities was made to all airlines.

"The Gateway Airport Board of Directors met in February, they publicly supported an incentive program to bring new service to major destinations like San Diego, Denver, and Salt Lake City. These are major markets that Allegiant currently doesn't serve. Allegiant was given the opportunity to participate in that program, as of today they still have not done that, but we hope that they will," said airport spokesperson Brian Sexton.

A spokesperson with Allegiant says the airline is upset over a subsidy offered to "Elite" for a flight from Gateway to Salt Lake City. That's because Allegiant flies to Ogden and Provo Utah, suburbs of Salt Lake City. The board tabled the Salt Like flight Tuesday at a meeting. The airport hopes that move will help keep Allegiant in the east valley.

"We consider Allegiant family out here at Gateway. They grew up here with Gateway, they've been super-successful, we want that to continue, we believe our relationship is strong with Allegiant and we're listening to them," said Sexton.

For now 10 Allegiant planes fly thousands of passengers to 35 different cities from Mesa, come September that will include San Diego on Elite. 

A spokesperson for Sky Harbor shared that there was an inquiry made with their business office late Tuesday. A meeting between all parties involved is expected to be held next week.
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