(Asheville, N.C.) Today, Allegiant announced new nonstop service from Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) twice weekly through the summer.
Regional leaders held a press conference today to celebrate the new route, and to highlight its importance to the western North Carolina region.
"The community has been asking for a nonstop to Denver for many years, and we have been advocating strongly for a long time," said Lew Bleiweis, AVL Executive Director. "There is a significant link between both cities and regions, leisure and business ties alike. Denver has consistently been in the top ten markets served by AVL, even without a nonstop flight option. With the addition of a nonstop option, we anticipate that the travel numbers to and from both locations will soar."
The Denver route will be the only nonstop option within a two-hour drive from most of western North Carolina, a significant achievement for AVL. "It is a privilege to serve on the airport authority board, and to be a part of strategic planning and decisions that affect the success of our region's airport," said Matthew Burril, Vice Chair of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority Board. "We know that this new route will not only attract our local travelers, but also those from the greater region. It will truly be the easiest flight to Denver for people in WNC, parts of the upstate and friends in Tennessee, and is a great addition to the flight options available right here at AVL."
The local ties to Denver already include a strong daily number of people traveling to and from Denver. Local business links include New Belgium Brewing and Oskar Blues, both headquartered near Denver, with operations also located in western North Carolina. The Asheville Tourists minor league baseball team is connected to Denver's major league team, the Colorado Rockies, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has significant locations in both Asheville and near Denver.
"Whether we are recruiting a new business, attracting new talent or welcoming visitors, direct access is an advantage," said Kit Cramer, President and CEO of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. "Denver is a gateway to the west and we are thrilled to have a direct flight connecting us."
"The Asheville Regional Airport is a key player in maintaining a strong regional economy - providing safe, efficient and affordable service to business and leisure travelers," said Bob Williford, President of the Henderson County Chamber. "We are excited to see this success continue with yet another terrific announcement from Allegiant."
From a tourism perspective, Asheville and western North Carolina continue to be recognized far and wide. "Asheville's elevation as a popular destination has reached a national scale," said Stephanie Brown, President and CEO of Explore Asheville CVB. "We are so pleased that Allegiant continues to recognize this fact, and celebrate the opening of this fantastic gateway to our region. We look forward to welcoming many visitors from Denver and the west."
The airport and community leaders encourage the greater region to use this new service. "It is very important that our region's travelers use this new service. With strong utilization, we can make a compelling case for the service to continue year-round," said Bleiweis. "Asheville Regional Airport is now a small hub airport, and we anticipate our growth to continue. Thank you, western North Carolina, for flying from your local airport, and we also thank Allegiant for their continued commitment to growth in our region."
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By the numbers:
- Allegiant has made significant investment in our region, designating AVL as one of only 14 base cities in their network
- 60+ local jobs with Allegiant
- 19 local jobs with Worldwide Flight Services, the affiliated ground handler
- maintenance facility
- two based aircraft
- Allegiant provides 31% of all air service at AVL
- In 2017, Allegiant served 294,050 passengers to and from AVL
- Allegiant now serves seven destinations from AVL:
- Baltimore/Washington (D.C. area)
- Fort Lauderdale
- Newark (New York City area)
- Orlando (Sanford)
- Punta Gorda
- St. Pete-Clearwater (Tampa area)