SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport will be a new aircraft base location for one national airline.
Allegiant Travel Company announced Wednesday that it is investing $50 million to establish a new base of operations, that will house two Airbus aircraft at the airport. The airline announced 44 weekly, non-stop flights to 15 cities from Savannah/Hilton-Head International.
According to a news release, Allegiant’s growth plans in the state include creating at least 66 new high-wage jobs.
Savannah will become the airline's 17th aircraft base, which will allow Allegiant to expand its service to and from the city and possibly offer more non-stop routes in the future.
In the release, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp states, “We are excited that Allegiant will grow its presence in Georgia by establishing a base in Savannah.”
Allegiant currently carries more than 240,000 annual passengers through Savannah.
“With the increase in air service and this base of operations, we’ll have more people flying in and out of Savannah than ever before,” said Joe Marinelli, President of Visit Savannah.
The company plans to begin its base operations in Savannah on June 6, 2019.
“A base is huge, and it’s the first time we’ve ever been able to have a base here in Savannah," said Bill Miles, President and CEO of the Hilton-Head/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. "To show the confidence Allegiant has in the market and the confidence that Allegiant has in the airport will speak volumes for the years to come.”
Allegiant Corporate communitcations director Hilarie Grey says the decision to base here comes after studying how many people were already flying with them.
“Savannah’s really been a great station for us," Grey said. “It’s grown by leaps and bounds. We started here in 2015 with just a few cities and it became so popular through our system that we’ve just added and added. It just made sense to base some planes here, to be able to have that flexibility.”
Basing planes here also means basing people here, bringing a boost to the local economy and the chance to keep it growing.