Allegiant Air is looking south of the border for its next possible flight destination.
The Las Vegas-based low-cost carrier applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation to offer nonstop flight service between the U.S. and Mexico, the company announced Monday.
Allegiant serves more than 450 domestic routes, many between small- to medium-sized cities and popular vacation destinations. The planned Mexico service would expand that philosophy internationally.
“Unlike other U.S. carriers, Allegiant has always been laser-focused on leisure travel and providing access to affordable, non-stop flights for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go on vacation,” said Maury Gallagher, Allegiant chairman and CEO in a statement. “Offering service to Mexico will provide a whole new array of options for travelers to discover world-class destinations that may have been previously out of reach.”
The application to the U.S. Department of Transportation is the first step in the process for Allegiant to begin service to Mexico. Projected dates and locations for the start of the planned Mexico service would be announced later. The hope is to have that mapped out by the end of the year if the approval process goes smoothly, said Allegiant spokeswoman Sonya Padgett.
Gallagher said, “We believe that providing scheduled service to Mexico will also be of great economic benefit, by stimulating traffic and providing additional competition in the international leisure market. It will not only bring exceptional value to travelers, but will also enhance both tourism and business impact in the communities we serve.”
With the initial filing done, other carriers have until mid-May to weigh in on Allegiant’s application. If plans are approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. State Department would then get involved, Padgett said. After U.S. approval, Allegiant would then have to repeat the application process in Mexico.
If approved, and if Las Vegas is one of the service areas, Allegiant would continue a recent surge of airlines adding nonstop service to Mexico from Las Vegas. Frontier Airlines kicked off its service in December and Sun Country Airlines plans to start its service to Mexico in June.