N.H. airport loses Allegiant Airlines

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) – Allegiant Airlines, which began regular passenger service to New Hampshire’s Seacoast in 2005, is pulling the plug.

The Las Vegas-based carrier, which flew from Pease Airport to central Florida, first trimmed back its schedule to seasonal service only. This week, in a letter to the Pease Development Authority, the airline says it was faced with too much competition from low-cost carriers in Portland. Instead, Allegiant says that it will fly seasonally from Bangor International Airport in Maine.

Pease Development Authority Executive Director Dick Green called the decision disappointing, and pointed out that most flights were 90 percent filled. He also said that the authority will work to help make Skybus service successful. The low-cost airline recently began two departures daily from Portsmouth to its home base in Columbus, Ohio.

Allegiant began its seasonal service from Pease to Orlando/Sanford Airport in October 2005.

This latest setback follows failures by other carriers, including Pan Am and Delta.

Earlier this month, Allegiant said its June traffic overall climbed 43.3 percent on increased capacity.

In March, an Allegiant Air flight from Portsmouth touched down safely at Orlando Sanford International Airport after it had problems with malfunctioning nose landing gear. None of 157 passengers on board were injured.

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