Low-cost carrier schedules just one Dayton route in 2020 so far

Allegiant added service to the Dayton International Airport one year in April 2016. FILE

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Allegiant added service to the Dayton International Airport one year in April 2016. FILE

The only low-cost carrier flying from the Dayton International Airport will fly to just one location in Florida next year, the company’s booking schedule shows.

Allegiant Air’s new flight schedule from Dayton through 2020 shows only flights to Punto Gorda, Florida following the first week of September. Company officials said that could change as the other four Florida flights scheduled from Dayton in the past are on “seasonal hiatus.”

A Dayton Daily News examination of airport data shows the number of passengers buying tickets for Allegiant flights from Dayton has dwindled this year. Through March, the number of Allegiant passengers flying from Dayton is down 26.9 percent compared to the same time frame in 2018.

In March, one of the busiest months for spring break travelers, 21.9 percent fewer passengers flew on Allegiant flights compared to March 2018.

The company is no longer offering routes out of Dayton year round, instead having flights on seasonal schedules.

Allegiant spokeswoman Sonya Padgett confirmed to the Dayton Daily News on Friday that seasonal flights to Punta Gorda will begin in November and are scheduled through February.

All other Allegiant flights are to other Florida destinations — Orlando, Tampa, Daytona and St. Petersburg — and go on “seasonal hiatus” beginning in September. Most of the flights end in August to the Florida locations.

Flights from Dayton to Punta Gorda went on seasonal hiatus later in April, said Padgett.

Two other routes to St. Petersburg and Sanford will go on seasonal hiatus later this year, she said. Online bookings aren’t available past Sept. 3 for St. Petersburg/Tampa and past Aug. 13 for Daytona Beach/Sanford.

Linda Hughes, Dayton International Airport air service manager, said Allegiant schedules could change at any time.

“We have to wait until the next schedule comes out,” Hughes said.

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Much of Allegiant’s service at other airports is also seasonal, Padgett said.

“That allows us to be highly responsive to customer demand. We’ll reevaluate the Dayton routes later this year,” she said.

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Other Ohio airports also have limited booking dates, but most booking seasons stretch at least four months longer than Dayton’s. Travelers can’t book flights to Punta Gorda from Cleveland beyond August 18, from Cincinnati and Columbus beyond November and from Toledo after Aug. 10.

“Allegiant strives to make air travel accessible to everyone, but we specifically focus on the price-sensitive leisure traveler…We are constantly evaluating and measuring demand throughout our system so that we can provide the highest level of service to our customers when they need it,” Padgett said.

Allegiant started flying out of Dayton in 2016 when Southwest Airlines left the airport.

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