Allegiant Air early today announced 23 new nonstop routes, including a twice-a-week trip from Northwest Arkansas National Airport to Houston.
The Allegiant flight to Houston Hobby starts Nov. 19, and the airline is selling seats on some of those first flights for $39 each way.
The new route continues an Allegiant Air new-service surge at XNA. It’s the fourth XNA route announced by the airline since February.
Allegiant’s flights to Austin and St. Petersburg-Clearwater in Florida start on Friday. Trips to Fort Lauderdale begin in October.
“We continue to expand our network to provide customers with our unique brand of convenient, affordable nonstop service to even more of the cities they want to visit – whether it’s for a long overdue vacation, or to reconnect with family and friends,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant’s senior vice president of revenue and planning. “Now more than ever, travelers choose to fly Allegiant because we take them directly to their destinations – without the hassle of layovers or connections.”
The other low-cost carriers at XNA have been busy with their own news.
XNA newcomer Breeze Airways announced its plan in May to fly to three cities (New Orleans, San Antonio and Tampa). Frontier Airlines recently announced plans to fly to Las Vegas twice each week.
Allegiant’s decision to fly to Houston Hobby is an important one for Northwest Arkansas travelers because it pits Allegiant against United Airlines, a legacy carrier that’s served Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport for years. The Hobby airport is closer to downtown, but Intercontinental is the far larger airport and provides connections to international flights.
The Houston trip from XNA isn’t all that expensive right now. United flies there three times a day, and the roundtrip fare typically sells for $220 to $270 if purchased far enough in advance.
Houston becomes one of a handful of XNA routes with competition. The competitive routes include:
- Chicago. Both American Airlines and United fly to the Windy City.
- Denver. United’s daily schedule faces competition from low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines, which flies to Denver on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Las Vegas. Frontier start trips to the city in mid-August, creating competition with Allegiant.
- Tampa. Low-cost carrier Breeze started flying to the city in June. Allegiant will land at an airport that’s just 14 miles from Tampa.
- New York. Delta, American and United all provide service to the New York market (United goes to Newark), but none of those routes are active right now, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The airlines are expected to restart the services as NYC is one of XNA’s most important, largest markets.