ARIZONA NEWS

Allegiant Air may jet to Phoenix airport after Mesa ‘dishonesty’

Jun 16, 2015, 1:24 PM | Updated: 1:25 pm

...

PHOENIX — Allegiant Air may soon call Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport home after claiming Mesa officials planned to subsidize a rival company’s destination.

“There’s a whole history around this subsidy of just dishonesty,” Brian Davis with Allegiant said.

Mike Merk with Phoenix-Mesa Gateway said Allegiant has brought about five million passengers to the East Valley since 2007 and the airport is not ready to call it quits.

“If they’re having hard feelings because we brought in a small airline, we’re going to make them feel like they’re the most important customer in town,” he said.

Davis said incoming airline Elite Airways was offered a revenue subsidy by the airport to serve the Salt Lake City area.

Davis said while his airline disagrees with subsidized routes in general, Allegiant took offense when Elite was offered compensation to fly a route Allegiant already served.

The airline expressed its concern to airport officials, and believed the subsidy was off the table after it was not presented during a public meeting.

Davis alleged the city intentionally removed the subsidy from the public presentation but left it on the official vote as “an active act of deceiving us and the public.”

Merk said the relationship between the airport and Allegiant is mutually beneficial.

“We really appreciate the relationship and I believe they do because we’re a low-cost airport,” he said, adding Allegiant flies to about 30 percent of its destinations from Mesa.

Allegiant is booking flights at Mesa Gateway through mid-February. Davis said a decision to move could be made in the fall, when the airline typically opens booking for spring flights.

Merk believes Allegiant’s contract with the airport runs through December 2016.

Though it was offered the Salt Lake City subsidy, Elite will begin service with just one route — three weekly flights between Mesa and San Diego. The Florida-based airline signed a one-year contract with the airport.

KTAR’s Jeremy Foster and Paul Ihander contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Mesa homicide suspect arrested in connection to Feb. 4 murder...

KTAR.com

Mesa police arrest man accused of fatally stabbing a victim in his apartment

A Mesa homicide suspect has been arrested, police announced on Wednesday. Mario Ortiz Jr. allegedly killed a 29-year-old man on Feb. 4.

5 hours ago

Kari Lake's many jabs at John McCain; daughter reacts...

Serena O'Sullivan

Kari Lake is ‘delusional’ for backpedaling on her anti-John McCain rhetoric, Meghan McCain says

Kari Lake told Barry Markson on Monday her many jabs at John McCain were jokes. Meghan McCain told KTAR on Wednesday she isn't buying it.

8 hours ago

Lester Paul Richmond was arrested in Alabama on Feb. 16, 2024, on animal cruelty charges. (Pike Cou...

KTAR.com

Scottsdale man accused in animal cruelty case arrested in Alabama

A Scottsdale man accused in an animal cruelty case was arrested Friday in Alabama, authorities said.

10 hours ago

Split image of Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, left, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvi...

Kevin Stone

Maricopa County’s top prosecutor at odds with Manhattan DA over violent crime suspect

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is accusing metro Phoenix’s top prosecutor of “playing political games” with a high-profile violent crime suspect.

11 hours ago

A look inside the South Concourse terminal expansion at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizo...

Kevin Stone

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport debuts new terminal in time for spring travel season

After 18 months of construction, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s terminal expansion project is complete in time for the spring travel season.

12 hours ago

John Holmberg Amazing Arizonans KTAR News 92.3 FM...

Mike Broomhead

Amazing Arizonans: Radio host John Holmberg dishes on voice work, stand-up comedy, more

Longtime Valley radio host John Holmberg is the latest guest on Mike Broomhead's Amazing Arizonans podcast, which celebrates greatness.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Allegiant Air may jet to Phoenix airport after Mesa ‘dishonesty’