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Allegiant Air will be leaving Cleveland
Budget carrier Allegiant Air announced last Friday that it will end service to and from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport at the end of this year.
Hopkins became the only mid-sized airport in the country with service from three budget carriers when Allegiant joined Spirit and Frontier in Cleveland in 2017. It had operated in Northeast Ohio out of Canton-Akron until then.
In the ensuing four years, Allegiant didn't pick up much ground against the other two low-cost airlines in the Cleveland market and currently accounts for only 3% flights at Hopkins with its seven direct flights, all of which are to southern, leisure destinations like Orlando and Hilton Head.
In a statement, Allegiant blamed the impending departure on increased costs associated with Hopkins' construction projects.
“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. That is the hallmark of our service,” a rep said in a statement
to local outlets. “Our flights were very successful in the market.”
Hopkins issued a brief statement this weekend addressing the news:
"We are disappointed to learn of Allegiant Air’s decision to leave the Northeast Ohio marketplace. They have provided the region with low fares to many destinations. While this is disappointing, we understand that it is part of each airlines decision-making process, particularly in these challenging times. Although Northeast Ohio travelers will miss these destinations by Allegiant, they will still be available to travelers out of CLE Airport through our eight other carriers, who will continue to provide service despite the challenges of the global pandemic. CLE is still on track to welcome 6.9 million passengers in 2021, treading above the national average for recovery. In 2022, CLE is forecasted to welcome 8.5 to 8.8 million guest."
All travelers with Allegiant tickets in 2022 will be fully refunded.