Posts Tagged ‘Allegiant Air’

Allegiant to Stop Flying to Cleveland in January

October 1, 2021

Low fare carrier Allegiant Air will cease flying to Cleveland Hopkins Airport next January, citing high fees which it said would make it difficult to hold fares down.

The last Allegiant flight will take off from Hopkins on Jan. 3, 2022.

Passengers holding tickets for travel on Allegiant from Cleveland after that date will be offered a refund of their paid fare or accommodated on Allegiant flights serving other airports.

Allegiant flies from Cleveland to seven destinations, including five in Florida. It accounts for 3 percent of Hopkins passenger traffic.

In a statement, Allegiant’s Hilarie Grey, managing director of corporate communications, said the carrier’s flights in Cleveland had been “very successful” but the decision to leave Hopkins was rooted in the airport’s cost structure.

 “Unfortunately with the airport’s construction projects and major expansion, the cost structure has become prohibitive to our operation – our business model hinges upon our ability to keep fares low for our customers,” Grey said.

Allegiant began flying to Hopkins in 2017 after ending its flights to Akron-Canton Airport.

The website Simply Flying suggested that Allegiant might eye a return to CAK as an alternative to flying to Hopkins.

It cited the example of Columbus where Allegiant uses Rickenbacker International Airport rather than John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

Allegiant is the only passenger carrier at Rickenbacker, which also serves charter flights and air cargo operations.

Cleveland’s Allegiant flight destinations include Orlando-Sanford, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Jacksonville in Florida and Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah-Hilton Head, Georgia.

None of those flights operate daily, which is typical for many routes offered by low fare carriers.

Airline fees at Hopkins have traditionally been among the highest in the industry.

Airport officials said that despite some recent construction projects, those fees have not increased to pay for them.

However, Hopkins and many other airports saw the fees they charge airlines spike during the COVID-19 pandemic due to diminished passenger traffic. Those fees were expected to diminish as traffic rebuilt.

A story in The Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com said fees at Hopkins are structured to reward carriers that fly more. That hurt Allegiant because its flights operate less than once daily.

Hopkins Airport director Robert Kennedy said he has sought to keep airline fees in check by cutting the airport’s debt and increasing revenue from non-airline operations.

Nonetheless, Hopkins has begun the process of planning to build a new airport terminal and airline fees are expected to help fund that.

Construction of the new terminal is not expected to begin until 2025 at the earliest.

 In other airline news affecting Hopkins, United Airlines plans to launch service on Dec. 18 from Cleveland to Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau in the Bahamas.

The Saturday-only flights will be the only direct service to the Caribbean from Cleveland this winter.

The flights will use Embraer 175 regional jets, meaning they will be operated by a contract carrier flying under the United Express banner.

New Airline Launches at CAK on Saturday

June 25, 2021

A new airline will launch service Saturday at Akron-Canton Airport.

Breeze Airways will commence Saturday-only service between Tampa and Akron-Canton.

The flights will operate with Embraer 195 regional jet equipment, arriving at CAK at 5:30 p.m. and departing at 6 p.m.

Tampa will be one of three cities that Breeze plans to serve from Akron-Canton.

Starting July 7, Breeze will begin service on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday to Charleston, South Carolina; and on July 15 it will inaugurate service to New Orleans on Thursday and Sunday.

The Charleston and New Orleans flights will use Embraer 190 regional jets. Breeze plans to add additional flights from Akron-Canton to New Orleans on Wednesdays during November and December.

Charleston flights are scheduled to arrive at CAK at 12:10 p.m. and depart at 12:40 p.m. New Orleans flights are scheduled to arrive at 10:55 a.m. and depart at 11:25 a.m.

Breeze is a startup carrier that began in late May and was founded by David Neeleman, who is a founder or co-founder of five airlines, including JetBlue.

Akron-Canton will be one of 16 airports being served by Breeze and the sixth to join the network.

Neeleman said 95 percent of Breeze routes currently lack non-stop airline service.

Based in Salt Lake City, Breeze is focusing on providing service from underserved airport to Charleston, New Orleans, Tampa, and Norfolk, Virginia.

Breeze is counting heavily on vacation travel although Neeleman said business travelers could become part of its market in the future.

“Our competition is the couch,” Neeleman said. There are opportunities for people to see new places.”

Neeleman believes high fares and lack of service have discouraged some people from traveling. Breeze hopes to counter that with low fares, destinations to which people want to travel, and kindness.

Breeze also will launch service from Columbus in July to Hartford, Connecticut; Norfolk; Charleston, New Orleans and Tampa.

Akron-Canton officials hope Breeze will enable the airport to bounce back from revenue and passenger losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Dalpiaz, the airport vice president of marketing, said that in 2020 the airport lost $3 million.

Before the pandemic the airport was handling 2,300 passengers a day but that fell to a low of 60 passengers a day. It has since risen to 1,652 passengers per day.

Akron-Canton also been hindered by the loss of service by Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air. All three have elected to focus their Northeast Ohio flights at nearby Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Still serving Akron-Canton are Spirit Airlines with less than daily year-around flights to Orlando and seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.

American Eagle flies to Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Washington (Reagan National) while United Express flies to Chicago (O’Hare) and Washington (Dulles). Flights to Houston and New York (LaGuardia) that were dropped during the pandemic have yet to return.

Also missing from Akron-Canton is Delta Air Lines, which suspended its flights to Atlanta in May 2020.

Dalpiaz said Delta dropped its flights to Akron-Canton because of the loss of business travel during the pandemic.

“It’s something that we’re not giving up hope on and we know that corporate travel will be back and so we’re keeping in contact with Delta,” she said.

Akron-Canton officials said they are working with area legislators and JobsOhio to provide local and state dollars to attract airline service.

Thus far local governments and organizations have pledged a collective $250,000 to be used to lure new or restored airline service at Akron-Canton. The state has offered additional support.

Airport officials said the coming of Breeze was a result of those efforts.

In an unrelated development, the Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded Ohio airports more than $2.2 million in economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic through the Airport Coronavirus Relief Program.

The recipients were Cleveland-Hopkins International, $1.48 million; Columbus Regional Airport Authority, $893,548; James M Cox Dayton International, $181,143; Akron-Canton Regional, $87,307; Rickenbacker International, $32,951; and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, $26,603.

Spirit Airlines also has announced that it will launch service between Cleveland and Miami on Nov. 17.

The carrier has not yet announced flight times for that service. Spirit also flies from Cleveland to the nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where it is the largest carrier.

The Cleveland-Miami route also is served by American and Frontier airlines.

Spirit said it will link Miami with 30 destinations, including 12 airports in the Caribbean and South America.

Airlines Don’t Expect Rapid Growth When Pandemic Social Distancing Restrictions are Eased

April 20, 2020

A Spirit Airlines Airbus 320 arrives in Cleveland after a flight from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Airlines are expecting low passenger counts even after the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing restrictions are eased or even removed.

Although state officials in recent days have spoken about easing their social distancing orders and allowing some businesses to reopen, airline industry observers expect the demand for air travel to continue to lag.

Some have predicted airlines will become smaller and have fewer employees.

The CEO of Southwest Airlines has reportedly approached his company’s labor unions about making concessions on wages and benefits once the emergency air from the federal government is exhausted and if traffic doesn’t immediately rebound.

Southwest, which is viewed as one of the nation’s best-managed airlines, has never imposed pay cuts or layoffs in its 49-year history.

In a recent message to employees, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said the carrier had fewer than 200,000 passengers in the first two weeks of April compared to more than 6 million during the same period in April 2019.

United expects to carry fewer passengers this May than it did on a single day in May 2019 and to slash flights by 90 percent of the normal schedule.

Munoz expects the return of business after social restrictions are eased to be slow because many will remain concerned about the pandemic and the health risks of commercial air travel.

A writer for The Motley Fool, a financial investment firm, predicts it will take at least two years or longer for the airline industry to the level of traffic it had before the pandemic began.

The writer, who said he is optimistic that the airline industry will survive its economic headwinds, expects air travel demand to be muted for the rest of 2020.

Some carriers might not survive the economic downturn and the fate of others hinges on how quickly the travel market recovers.

The federal emergency aid ends on Sept. 30 and worker layoffs could follow.

United’s management has told its employees to expect a smaller workforce as early as Oct. 1.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said bookings for travel later in the summer have shown a slight rise and there may be a gradual recovery in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.

The conditions attached to the federal emergency airline aid has put some carriers in a dilemma.

They don’t want to offer the minimal levels of service that accepting the aid requires, particularly continuing to serve the airports they flew to before the pandemic struck.

The industry apparently thought that the U.S. Department of Transportation would allow them to temporarily drop numerous markets.

But DOT has not been inclined to allow that and has denied all but one of the requests for low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines for exemptions to the serve all airports rules.

Allegiant Air and Sun Country Airlines are also blanching at DOT’s position.

DOT has said that so long as airlines keep one flight to each city they’re in compliance with the law. The flights need not be daily.

Many airlines have fulfilled this requirement by ending all but one flight to some cities.

But discount carriers such as Spirit are unable to reduce 90 percent of their schedules and still meet the law’s intent because they favor typically once a day point-to-point service rather than flying to giant connecting hubs with multiple flights throughout the day.

Low-cost airlines say most of their passengers are leisure travelers and that market is virtually non-existent right now.

A recent story in the Los Angeles Times said that those still flying include airline workers going home after work shifts, medical staff traveling to regions hit hard by COVID-19 outbreaks, some business travelers, and people going to help family members affected by the pandemic and social distancing measures.

Some travelers are also heading home after having vacations, school terms and work assignments cut short by the pandemic.

The Times report said those flying in recent weeks described the experience as a mixture of anxiety over the increased risk of being exposed to the virus and amazement at near empty airport terminals and airplane cabins.

Airline officials say it is difficult to determine which passengers aboard their flights are flying out of necessity versus leisure travelers.

Far less affected by the pandemic have been cargo carriers that are operating pretty much their scheduled flights.

In some instances, passenger airlines are using their planes to fly cargo.

Food service aboard flights, even in first class, has been eliminated or reduced to box meals in order to minimize contact between passengers and flight attendants.

With so few passengers flying, there is plenty of room for those aboard to spread out as a form of social distancing.

“They pretty much sit there and watch movies on their computer and sleep because they have an entire row to themselves,” said Rock Salomon, an American Airlines flight attendant based in Boston. “My last trip to Phoenix had less than 20 passengers on each leg.”

Although airlines are not mandating passengers to wear gloves or masks, they have encouraged that practice while allowing flight attendants to wear them while interacting with passengers.

In the meantime, another battle has begin over refunding canceled tickets.

Airlines are generally offering passenger who cancel flights during the pandemic travel vouchers rather than cash refunds.

Three U.S. senators issued a statement saying the industry is sitting on $10 billion in travel vouchers.

The senators said airlines have been obfuscating the right of passengers to receive a cash refund by offering travel vouchers as a default option and requiring passengers to take burdensome steps to request refunds.

New agency Reuters said it reviewed the responses the senators received from the nation’s major airlines as to their refund practices and found that most carriers did not share the total value of the travel vouchers and credits they have issued during the pandemic.

Some carriers said they are following U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines which require cash refunds if an airline cancels a flight.

But only Allegiant and Spirit indicated they are offering cash refunds as a first option for passengers who voluntarily cancel their tickets.

Low-cost carrier Sun Country said offering cash refunds to all passengers who cancel their reservations “would put the company’s future at risk.”

American Airlines said more than 90 percent of its passengers who were offered a refund for flights the company itself canceled chose that option over a travel voucher.

Some of the travel vouchers that passengers who do not specifically request a refund are being issued will expire within a year.

JobsOhio To Fund Quest for New Airline Service

February 15, 2020

An Ohio economic develop agency is earmarking $4 million to help the state’s larger airports attract more airline service.

JobsOhio said the money can be used to attract new flights to unserved or underserved markets, including, transatlantic service from Cleveland and Columbus.

Officials said the funds could also benefit the Akron-Canton Airport, which has seen a decline in service in recent years and the Youngstown-Warren Airport, which lost commercial airline service in early 2018.

Ohio airports have been lobbying the Ohio legislature without success in recent years to create a fund to help attract new air service.

They have said Cleveland and Columbus are at a disadvantage compared with Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, which have used public funding to attract service to Europe.

Pittsburgh used $4 million in public funding to lure British Airways into creating a route to London while Indianapolis landed a Delta Air Lines route to Paris with the help of $5.5 million.

Cleveland Hopkins Airport officials say they believe they have lost out on some service opportunities because they lack funding to entice a carrier to launch new service.

Federal law prohibits direct funding of air service, but airports can waive certain fees, provide revenue guarantees and use public money to help airlines pay marketing costs.

Speaking to the City Club of Cleveland, J.P. Nauseef, president and chief investment officer of JobsOhio, said buying airline service is an economic development issue.

Nauseef said he’s heard business leaders throughout the state say, “If we had better air service, we could attract more people. If we had better air service, we could bring another division here. If we had better air service, Ohio would stay on the list with Texas and Florida for business growth.”

Nauseef said details about how the air service fund will operate are still being written, but there is likely to be some local matching funds requirement, including support from the business community.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership offered an undisclosed amount of financial assistance to Wow Air, which flew for six months in 2018 between Cleveland and Reykjavik, Iceland.

That same year Icelandair also provided service on the same route.

Wow Air is now out of business and Icelandair decided not to continue its service to Cleveland into 2019.

Cleveland and Columbus were said by JobsOhio to be two of the largest air travel markets to be without non-stop airline service to Europe.

JobsOhio is a private, nonprofit economic development group that is funded primarily through revenue from liquor sales in the state.

American Makes Aviation History This Week with Last ‘Mad Dog’ Flight From Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth

September 5, 2019

This American Airline flight landing in Cleveland on March 9, 2019, would be the last time that I photographed one of the carrier’s MD80 aircraft. The remaining “Mad Dogs” were retired on Wednesday after their final revenue flights.

Aviation history was made in Northeast Ohio this week when an American Airlines MD80 lifted off from Cleveland Hopkins Airport on the last day of revenue service of the jet that many affectionately called “Mad Dog.”

On Sept. 4, American operated the last of its 26 MD80 aircraft for the final time.

The jet had been a mainstay on the Cleveland/Dallas-Fort Worth route for several years although Boeing 737 and Airbus 319 aircraft had begun to replace the Mad Dogs.

Cleveland was one of 13 cities at which an MD80 jet originated in the early morning hours to fly to DFW on the final day of service.

Flight 2200, an MD83, left Hopkins at 5:49 a.m., taking off seven minutes early. It landed at DFW at 6:58 a.m. Central Daylight time.

The last MD80 to fly with paying passengers aboard was flight 80, which left DFW just after 9 a.m. en route to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

That flight was sold out although a writer for an airline industry website who was aboard said there was one empty seat due to a last-minute cancellation.

After aircraft N984TW landed at O’Hare, it departed for an aircraft bone yard in Roswell, New Mexico, to join several other MD80s that flew in from Dallas after completing flights from Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Wichita, San Antonio, Raleigh-Durham, Omaha, Destin-Ft. Walton Beach (Florida), McAllen (Texas), Pensacola (Florida), Lubbock (Texas) and Amarillo (Texas).

Roswell is also where many Boeing 737 MAX jets are being stored until federal regulators give the approval for that plane to fly again.

American began flying the MD80 in October 1982. At one point it accounted for 49 percent of the carrier’s fleet.

The 362 MD80s that American had in 2003 was nearly a third of those built by McDonnell Douglas. Many of those jets American inherited after merging with Trans World Airlines in 2001.

American referred to the planes as Super 80s.

It was been well publicized in recent years that American planned to retire the MD80 fleet in 2019.

Given those plans, I made it a point to photograph MD80s as they made their final approach over Olmsted Falls en route to Hopkins whenever I was there and aircraft were landing to the northeast.

I made my last photograph of an American MD80 on March 9 of this year.

Because American planned to phase out its MD80 fleet it never repainted them into its current livery.

All of American’s MD80s flew their last miles in the polished aluminum livery, also known as the tri-color look.

American’s retirement of its MD80s leaves Delta Air Lines as the last major U.S. domestic operator of the Mad Dog.

Some of Delta’s flights between Cleveland and Atlanta use MD88 or MD90 equipment.

Until about a week ago, the carrier also flew an MD88 into Akron-Canton Airport nightly from Atlanta, although that flight is now being covered by a Boeing 737.

Delta has said it will phase out its fleet of MD88s in 2020 and its MD90s fleet in 2022.

Low fare carrier Allegiant Air also flew MD80 aircraft to Cleveland and Akron-Canton at one time before it retired its fleet of Mad Dogs in November 2018 in favor of Airbus equipment.

CAK Conducting National Search for CEO

May 5, 2018

Akron-Canton Airport has hired a headhunter to conduct a national search to find a new CEO.

Whoever is chosen will replace Rick McQueen, who plans to retire late this year.

The airport has hired ADK Consulting and Executive Search, a company it has used in the past to recruit managers.

The consulting firm has been talking with the airport board of trustees, reviewing past applications and assembling a community profile as part of its work.

If all goes according to plan, the applicants for the post will be narrowed to a handful of finalists by mid summer with interviews and visits to the region to begin shortly after that.

Airport officials hope to have a new CEO in position by fall who will work alongside McQueen for two or three months.

McQueen is retiring after working for the airport for 36 years. He began working there in 1982 as an accountant.

He replaced Fred Krum as airport CEO in 2009. Krum had retired after 33 years at Akron-Canton Airport, including 27 years as director.

The next airport CEO is expected to have 15 or more years of airport management experience as well as knowledge of federal, state and local laws, and Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

Officials said that whoever accepts the job might view it as a stepping stone to their next position or a forever job.

The new CEO will face the challenge of trying to reverse a downtown in boardings that has been prompted in large part by the loss of airline service at Akron-Canton and intensified competition for low-fare travelers from airlines that have ramped up their flight offerings at nearby Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport.

Passenger traffic at Akron-Canton fell to 1.26 million last year, a decline of 9.4 percent from the 1.40 million passengers who used the airport in 2016.

In the past two years Akron-Canton has lost Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air. It earlier lost Frontier Airlines.

Allegiant moved its flights to Cleveland while Frontier and Southwest have been increasing their presence there.

Akron-Canton suffered another blow this year when Spirit Airlines trimmed its service to one route and ended flights to Las Vegas not long after they began.

Spirit continues to fly from Akron-Canton to Orlando once a day and plans to resume seasonal service to Fort Lauderdale and Tampa in the fall.

On the plus side, United Airlines plans to launch service in June from Akron-Canton to Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, flying one roundtrip a day with regional jet equipment under the United Express brand.

Youngstown Airline Search Gaining Altitude

March 31, 2018

Discussions to land commercial air service at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport have heated up within the past month.

Airport officials are apparently considering an offer from an Atlanta company to provide service to such points as Sanford/Orlando and Tampa in Florida; Tunica, Mississippi; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The proposal was made by Ashley Air and Travel, which airport director Dan Dickten described as a broker that contracts for air service provided by such carriers as Elite Airways.

Elite has proposed providing its own service from Youngstown to Newark, New Jersey.

John Ashley, a senior partner with Ashley Air, said his company would like to begin the service by June 1.

It would be an unusual arrangement in that passengers would be expected to pay a $599 membership fee that would entitle them to fly anytime for $39 per flight.

The service would be provided with 50- and 70-passenger regional jets and operate twice a day four days a week.

This is not the first time that Ashley has pitched flights to Youngstown-Warren airport. He said that since April 2016 he has proposed flights to Las Vegas and Tunica.

The membership model would work so long as Ashley can draw 10,000 to 15,000 people a year.

Ashley noted that Allegiant Air, which stopped flying to Youngstown in early January, averaged about 60,000 passengers per month.

Allegiant was the last carrier to offer scheduled airline service to Youngstown. The airport continues to see periodic charter flights.

Airport officials recently traveled to the Volaire Air Service Forum in Myrtle Beach to try to interest air carriers in providing service to Youngstown.

“We have several potential options to identify renewed service,” Dickten said. “We will elaborate on that at a later time.”

Passenger traffic at Youngstown-Warren has dropped dramatically since Allegiant ceased flying there. In February it handled 438 boardings and 440 deplanements, but most of that was accounted for by the Hubbard band flying to Orlando.

By contrast, in May 2017 the airport handled 6,453 passengers.

The airport recently settled a lawsuit that it launched against Aerodynamics Inc. stemming from its ending of air service between Youngstown and Chicago in 2016 just weeks after it began.

The airport was seeking to recover $361,714 it paid to Aerodynamics as a revenue guarantee when the service began.

ADI filed a counterclaim, demanding the $294,221 it claimed it was owed for its subsidy for the final month of the service.

The parties agreed to dismiss all claims and the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the airport, agreed to pay $150,000 to ADI.

CAK Passenger Traffic Fell 9% in 2017

January 25, 2018

The trend of falling passenger traffic continued at Akron-Canton Airport last year, dropping 9 percent.

The airport reported serving 1.27 million passengers, a decline from the 1.4 million who used the airport in 2016.

Figures provided by the airport show that traffic has been falling since 2012 when a record 1.84 million passengers used the facility located between Akron and Canton. The 2017 passenger figure was the lowest recorded since 2008.

Much of the decline has been attributed to lost flights from Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air, both of which has ceased flying to Akron-Canton last year.

Although Southwest ended its last flight to CAK last June, it had reduced the number of flights and destinations served from the airport over the past two years.

Most of those flights Southwest had inherited from AirTran Airways, which at one time accounted for more than half the passenger traffic at CAK.

Allegiant pulled out of Akron-Canton last February, shifting its flights to Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Southwest in the past year has been increasing the number of flights and destinations that it offers from Hopkins.

Officials believe that airline growth at Hopkins has siphoned passenger traffic from Akron-Canton, which continues to be served by Delta Air Lines and its regional brand Delta Connection, Spirit Airlines, and regional airlines operating under the United Express and American Eagle brands of United Airlines and American Airlines respectively.

Last Allegiant Youngstown Flight Leaves Today

January 4, 2018

Allegiant Air will fly from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport today for the final time.

The low fare carrier has cited low boardings for ending flights from Youngstown.

The last Allegiant flight is expected to lift off at 5:37 p.m. en route to Clearwater International Airport in Florida.

Allegiant, which began flying into the Youngstown-Warren airport in 2006, is the last carrier to provide scheduled service there.

However, airport officials have said they are talking with other potential carriers about providing flights.

Officials of one of those carriers, Southern Airways Express, attended a public forum last month to gauge interest in providing service to Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Detroit’s Coleman A. Young International Airport.

Dan Dickten, director of aviation for the Western Reserve Port Authority, which runs the Youngstown airport, has also talked with SkyWest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines about serving Youngstown.

Sun Country has provided charter flights from Youngstown and Dickten said there’s a possibility it may begin low-cost commercial flights similar to those of Allegiant or Spirit Airlines.

“Things like this just don’t happen overnight,” Dickten said. “There will be a break in service before we are able to get a new service in here.”

In the meantime, the airport authority has sued Aerodynamics Inc., which briefly operated scheduled flights between Youngstown and Chicago in summer 2016 before abruptly terminating the service.

ADI, which operated the service under the brand name Great Lakes JetExpress, has countersued the airport.

The trial in those cases is expected to begin next August at the U.S. Courthouse in Youngstown.

Youngstown-Warren Airport Optimistic About Landing New Air Service to Replace Allegiant

December 16, 2017

Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport officials are talking with four airlines about serving the airport, which is poised to lose commercial service next month.

Allegiant plans to end its flights to Youngstown on Jan. 4. Among the carriers that airport officials are meeting with are Sun Country, SkyWest and Southern Airways Express.

Southern has proposed launching routes from Youngstown to Detroit and Baltimore using nine-seat Cessna Caravans 208B turboprop planes.

A public hearing was held earlier this month at the airport to gauge the public interest in the service that Southern has suggested providing.

Founded four years ago, Southern provides service between Pittsburgh and smaller communities in western Pennsylvania, including Altoona and Franklin.

The airline’s chief commercial officer, Mark Cestari, said the carrier is working to form interline agreements with major airlines to boost the attractiveness of its potential service from Youngstown.

Dan Dickten, director of aviation for the Western Reserve Port Authority, which runs the airport, plans to meet with SkyWest Airlines in January to discuss service to Chicago.

SkyWest operates flights under the United Express brand, which feeds passengers to United Airlines.

Youngstown had flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport for a short time in summer 2016 that were provided by Aerodynamics Inc.

Airport officials blamed a lack of an interline agreement to access United’s baggage handling and ticketing network for the failure of ADI’s service.

Dickten said SkyWest wants a revenue guarantee for the flights. The port authority has $500,000 that it could pay to SkyWest.

Dickten has also talked with Sun Country. “They are another ultra-low-cost carrier” that flies many of the same routes as Allegiant, he said.

Youngstown airport officials have also contacted Ultimate Jetcharters, which is based in North Canton and flies 30-passenger aircraft.

Ultimate provides scheduled service from Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport to Cincinnati and Atlanta.

Dickten said discussions with various carriers have turned serious and he expects to see scheduled air service within the next six to eight months from Youngstown.

Allegiant currently offers flights twice weekly from Youngstown to Orlando Sanford and St.  Petersburg/Clearwater airports in Florida. It has cited low demand as its reasons for leaving the Youngstown market.