Allegiant expands in Bellingham; Alaska wins Reagan National route
Low-cost carrier Allegiant is finally coming through with long-rumored flights from Bellingham to Hawaii.
The Las Vegas-based carrier announced that service from Bellingham to Maui will begin Nov. 14, and service to Honolulu will begin Nov. 15.
Alaska Airlines, based in SeaTac, already connects Bellingham nonstop to Honolulu.
Allegiant plans introductory specials of $159 to Honolulu and $199 to Maui one-way.
The Nevada airline already connects Bellingham with Los Angeles, Phoenix, Palm Springs, Oakland, Las Vegas and San Diego.
The leisure-oriented airline has built its business by connecting smaller cities to vacation destinations, often with less-than-daily flights.
The Bellingham flights are expected to attract passengers not only from northwest Washington but from Canada.
Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines was one of four airlines to win federal Department of Transportation approval earlier this week to fly new long-distance routes from Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport.
Alaska had applied for two routes from the close-in Reagan Airport — the other route was to San Diego — but won only one.
The DOT instead allowed US Airways to trade an existing flight from Reagan to Dallas for a flight from Reagan to San Diego’s Lindbergh Field.
Flights from Reagan are strictly controlled by the DOT because of limited capacity at the airport, which is much closer to the nation’s capital than Washington’s other airport, Dulles.
Until just a few years ago, no flights beyond 1,200 miles from Reagan National were allowed, but Congress has gradually loosened the restrictions, allowing a few select flights to more distant cities.
Alaska flies directly from Sea-Tac to Reagan, but the new flight will be the first nonstop from Portland to the airport.
The new flight will begin Sept. 8.
Three other airlines won new long-distance flights from Reagan. JetBlue will connect the airport with San Juan, Puerto Rico. Virgin America will fly from Reagan to San Francisco, and Southwest Airlines will connect Reagan with Austin, Texas.