Friday, April 28, 2006
Passenger flights return to airport
Allegiant Air offering low-fare flights from Stockton to Las Vegas
By Mike Martinez
The Tri-Valley (CA) Herald
STOCKTON – For the first time in almost three years, there is going to be an unfamiliar buzz of passengers around the Stockton Metropolitan Airport. Allegiant Air, a low-fare airline catering to air terminals without a lot of tourist traffic, is bringing passenger flights back to San Joaquin County’s largest airport beginning in June. The company is offering flights on Fridays, Sundays and Wednesdays to Las Vegas as “an alternative to long drives and expensive parking at other airports.”
Tyri Squyres, a spokeswoman for the airline, said population, demographics and demand led her company to offer three flights, rather than the usual two flights when they begin service on a new route.
“We’ve been working with the airport for some time and have been in a constant growth pattern,” Squyres said. “We finally had the aircraft available to make this happen. There’s no other service, let alone a low-cost way, to get to an exciting vacation destination like Las Vegas.”
America West, the last airline to offer regular passenger flights from Stockton, stopped direct flights to Phoenix in September of 2003, airport officials said.
Barry Rondinella, the airports director, said flights to Mexico are expected to begin later this year and this is the beginning of a lot of domestic service coming to the airport.
Its very exciting news for us, Rondinella said. There are a huge number of people who have worked hard on this and its always great when it comes to fruition. Its really going to depend on the community stepping up to the plate and flying out of here as often as they can.
San Joaquin County Supervisor Victor Mow said it was a good day for the county and the developing region with 1.5 million people within a 50-mile radius of the airport.
I think our region is primed, Mow said. I think we can show that we can support an airline and hopefully this is the beginning of additional air flights out of our region.