Allegiant Air, a discount airline that serves mostly small to midsize cities, will begin weekly nonstop flights from Spokane to Honolulu in February.
The once-per-week flight will leave on Saturday mornings and return on Friday evenings.
The last time Spokane passengers had nonstops to Hawaii was in 2003, when Anchorage-based Hawaiian Vacations offered charter flights to Maui. That charter service stopped after several months, said Spokane airport spokesman Todd Woodard.
“We think Spokane will embrace the service and the deals we have with great bundles for hotels and rental cars,” said Eric Fletcher, an Allegiant airport manager. He said the goal is to build traffic to two flights per week.
The airline has no other routes planned for Spokane other than Hawaii, he added.
Allegiant’s service is the first scheduled Spokane-Hawaii flights and will be the longest direct-flight route offered for Spokane passengers, Woodard said.
Fletcher said the company’s business plan is offering flights in small and midsize cities to leisure and vacation destinations.
Spokane International Airport Director Larry Krauter said about 50,000 people flew from Spokane to Hawaii in 2011, “more than demonstrating the strong market opportunity that Allegiant will serve.”
The airline is based in Las Vegas and now serves about 80 cities.
It began providing direct flights to Hawaii in July. So far, it has six cities with service to Hawaii.
Boise will also begin offering Allegiant flights to Hawaii in 2013, Fletcher said.
Allegiant is offering introductory one-way fares to Honolulu for $180; those rates will last for about a week, Fletcher said.
“A lot of the cities we fly into are in the Dakotas and in Montana and other places,” Fletcher said. “Once we add Spokane, it might be one of our largest cities.”
The airline typically buys used aircraft in order to maintain low operating costs. The Spokane-Honolulu flights will use relatively new B-757s with a 223-passenger capacity, Fletcher said.