Allegiant Air’s inaugural Phoenix-Mesa flight brings ‘ultra-low cost’ airfare to St. George

Fire engines shower Allegiant Air's Airbus 319 with a water canon salute as the plane arrives from its inaugural flight connecting Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, Nov. 9, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A new flight connecting St. George and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway made its inaugural landing at the city-owned St. George Regional Airport Friday afternoon, bringing with it an affordable option for flights to and from southern Arizona.

Passengers disembark Allegiant Air’s Airbus 319 after its inaugural arrival flight connecting Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, Nov. 9, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Allegiant Air’s Airbus A319 landed in St. George at approximately 3:20 p.m. where it received a traditional water cannon salute courtesy of fire engine crews from the airport and St. George Fire Department.

The 40-minute flight arrived on schedule from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona. While that airport is located about 20 miles southeast of Phoenix, fares are often significantly less expensive than similar flights to and from Phoenix proper at Sky Harbor International.

Promotional fares run as low as $49 before taxes and fees for roundtrip flights through Allegiant Air, with the tradeoff of a bit less legroom.

“We saw pent-up demand for service between St. George and the Phoenix area,” Kim Schaefer, Allegiant Air director of public relations, said in a statement to St. George News. “We believe our brand of ultra-low cost, nonstop service will be a hit with travelers in both cities, especially families with residents in both communities.”

Allegiant Air’s Airbus 319 lands its inaugural arrival flight connecting Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, Nov. 9, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Demand for flights to and from St. George is certainly high; virtually all flights are full, regardless of destination, St. George City Manager Adam Lenhard said.

The Phoenix-Mesa flight is currently scheduled to arrive and depart St. George Regional twice weekly, though additional flights may be added later.

“As they continue to prove the market, we think they’ll add additional flights,” Lenhard said, referring to Allegiant Air. “Any additional options you can give people to get to St. George at an affordable price, I think people will jump on that and take advantage of it.”

With the addition of Allegiant Air, the airport is now served by four airlines offering flights to and from Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. It’s also possible, Lenhard said, that additional airlines could decide to operate in St. George in the future.

“As this market continues to prove itself, certainly it could attract additional airlines – Southwest is one people ask about quite a bit,” he said, “Of course, we don’t control that – if they feel this is a market they want to serve, we’d be happy to accommodate any of those.”

The interior of Allegiant Air’s Airbus 319 after its inaugural arrival flight connecting Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, Nov. 9, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Residents and travelers also frequently request additional destinations.

“We hear a lot of request for additional travel to the bay area – San Francisco, San Jose, additional West Coast locations – possibly to Seattle,” Lenhard said. “There are no plans at this time, but as the city continues to grow, we expect that down the road, we’ll be adding additional flights.”

With a parking lot that’s often full to capacity, the additional flights will only add to the parking shortage. Fortunately, the city is already in the process expanding the parking area.

The parking lot’s capacity will double next week when a portion of newly laid asphalt adjacent to the existing terminal parking is completed, Lenhard said.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  • utahdiablo November 9, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Does Allegiant Air’s to Phoenix-Mesa flight know about SGU being shut down next year for 4 months to redo the washed out runway here? …oh well, great news, not that I ever want to go to Phoenix, but if I have to, this is the deal…now if we could only get more flights from SGU to some of the smaller airfields in California? ONT?

    • DB November 10, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      I expect that Allegiant knew in advance that the airport was to close for four months next Spring. Nonetheless, I can’t see why someone would want to fly into Mesa AZ, only to have to rent a car unless, perhaps, there are connecting opportunities. I’ll drive, thank you. To KR567, you’re correct. St George is St George. I can drive two hours to Vegas and fly anywhere in the world albeit with a few stops. All the airlines know that. I feel that St George is doing pretty well, airport wise, not counting the temporary interruption next year.

  • voiceofstg November 9, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Please Please Please add flights to SFO! That would be so great and I’d use them all the time! Maybe the airport can subsidize the flight for a little while like they have on some other routes! More people would use the airport if we had some destinations that were further away! SEA would also be awesome as I have family up there and a straight flight makes the trip so much easier. Hoping we can get more routes next year 🙂

    • An actual Independent November 10, 2018 at 6:55 am

      I am all for additional flights…..all the ones that people are willing to buy tickets for. The City should not be using taxpayer dollars to pay for our travel. The airlines should not be expected to operate at a loss so somebody can go visit the grandkids.
      We have one of the premier regional airlines anywhere, right here in St George. And they have repeatedly said they will provide all the flights the community is willing to pay for. I’m sure other airlines feel the same.

      • voiceofstg November 10, 2018 at 12:19 pm

        Well maybe SkyWest should just try some more routes out, we don’t know how a new destination would preform but if we could get more attempts at new air service “just for a few months” to start we’d probably have more routes. Apparently all the routes here seem to make money, let’s see if we can get more.

  • KR567 November 10, 2018 at 6:05 am

    LOL ! every just calm down this is still only.. St George

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