DES MOINES, Iowa -- Airport officials announced some exciting news they say will benefit both travelers and the community.
Allegiant Travel Company officials said by May 2020, Des Moines International Airport will become Allegiant’s 20th aircraft base.
Allegiant has been providing service in Des Moines for more than 15 years, but now the company will start with two aircrafts and crews based in the city.
“It means investment. It’s a $50 million investment by Allegiant into the community to staff the base, for training, for the beautiful airbus aircraft that will be stationed here. We are very excited to grow that operational footprint,” said Hilarie Grey, Allegiant Travel Company's managing director of corporate communications.
Grey said with this base they will have expanded hours, meaning they can take Iowa travelers to new places.
“It’s always nice to see the growth in the airport and get more options for places to visit and maybe bring the prices down a little bit,” traveler Andy Etnyre said.
Grey said the addition will bring 66 new jobs that come with salaries that are more than double the state’s average wage.
“We are very unique among airlines. We fly all non stop. Instead of flying through hubs, we fly out and back. And what that means is the crews and the folks that are working here for Allegiant live in the community. They fly out in the morning and they come back to base at night. They're living, they're working in the community, they’re sending their kids to local schools, spending into the economy, joining neighborhood groups,” Grey said.
Non-stop, direct flights are something Iowa passengers cannot wait to see more of.
“I think more routes are great and more direct flights are definitely needed. There's not a lot of selection from Des Moines to get to the east or the west coast or even Texas or Utah. You always have to go through Denver, Chicago,” traveler Cindy Marnin-Borcherding said.