Allegiant Airlines expands to 10 new cities

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Get used to seeing the Allegiant Airlines logo more regularly in the skies.
  
Allegiant Air is expanding to 10 new cities with an emphasis on east coast travel to Florida.

In Concord, North Carolina, Allegiant will offer the only commercial service.

"It's going to bring a lot of business and alternatives to Charlotte Douglas. It's a great area and it's going to do a lot for Concord," Bobby Atkins, a Concord businessman said.

The Las Vegas based airline is known for flying passengers from smaller, under-served cities to sunny destinations. Often, at lower base fares on non-stop flights.

"It's good news in the sense there is more airline service at affordable prices for consumers," Charlie Leocha with Consumer Travel Alliance said.

Allegiant only grabs a sliver of the industry's yearly passengers, but airline representatives say its expansion indicates the industry can handle more consolidation.

"The airline industry remains hyper competitive, and that's good news for the consumer because it's meant more routes, affordable fares, more destinations, better product," Jean Medina with Airlines for America, an industry trade group, said.

Last week, concerns about competition prompted a federal lawsuit to stop the merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways.

Allegiant's CEO Andrew Levy sees consolidation as opportunity.

"Routes get eliminated and there is less service in small cities and that opens up opportunities for us," Levy said.

Consumer watch dogs warn travelers would see fewer options overall if American Airlines and U.S. Airways are allowed to join forces.

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