Bangor airport to get its 1st discount carrier


BANGOR (AP) – Bangor International Airport will get its first discount carrier when Allegiant Air begins nonstop service to Orlando, Fla., this November, officials said Wednesday.

The twice-weekly flights, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, will be offered with an introductory fare as low as $89 one way, Allegiant officials said. After the introductory fare period expires, regular fares will start as low as $99 each way.

Rebecca Hupp, airport director, predicts the service, which begins Nov. 7, will be a hit. “As three of our top 10 destinations are in the Florida market, and Allegiant is a low-cost carrier, our region will be well-served by this addition,” she said.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant said its market research indicates northeastern Maine and Atlantic Canada will welcome nonstop flights and low fares to Orlando as an alternative to connecting flights and long drives to other airports.

The news came a day after American Eagle announced it was pulling out of Bangor this November. American Eagle provided four to six departures per day, with one flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport and the rest to Boston Logan Airport.

American Eagle has a 20 percent share of the Bangor market but it has been having trouble filling the 37-seat regional jets, officials said.

While Allegiant Air doesn’t make up for the loss of American Eagle, airport officials were upbeat on Wednesday.

Bangor’s airport has always been at a slight disadvantage because air fares are often lower at busier airports to the south.

But air fares generally decrease upon the arrival of low-cost carriers as other airlines match the fares.

Passenger traffic was down 4.7 percent in the first five months of the year in Bangor, and airport officials have blamed low-cost carriers flying from Portland International Jetport and the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

AP-ES-07-18-07 1256EDT