Allegiant closer to launching Hawaiian flights

Allegiant Travel Co. has obtained Federal Aviation Administration approval to conduct extended-range operations, the last regulatory hurdle before launching flights to Hawaii.

The FAA imposes different rules, procedures and training regimens on airlines that fly over large bodies of water. It took more than a year for Allegiant Air to complete everything.

Service to Hawaii will begin on June 29 between Honolulu and Las Vegas, followed the next day by Honolulu and Fresno. In November, six other routes will begin.

In addition, Allegiant received flag carrier status, allowing international flights. Allegiant has operated charters to Mexico for several years but has not been able to fly scheduled service.

The Las Vegas-based airline has not announced plans to start international service. It now lures Canadians and Mexicans across the border to catch flights in places such as Minot, N.D. and McAllen, Texas.