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Despite nearly full flights, Allegiant's routes to CA won't be year-round

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Jul 30 2013 06:56:28 PM CDT

Around 400 people travel through the Idaho Falls Regional Airport daily, but some flights are only offered about 90 days out of the year.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Around 400 people travel through the Idaho Falls Regional Airport daily, but some flights are only offered about 90 days out of the year.

If you've traveled out of the Idaho Falls Regional Airport, you know there aren't many options.

So when Allegiant Airlines offered flights to Oakland California and Los Angeles once a week, travelers took advantage.

"This summer, the community has really stepped up in support of that route," said Craig Davis, airport director. "We had 90 percent passenger load, occupancy, on all of the flights."

The catch however, is those flights are seasonal and only operate from late June through August.

And even with nearly full flights every take-off, Davis doesn't see it changing soon, but not because travelers aren't interested.

There simply just isn't enough room for aircrafts at the Los Angeles International Airport.

"They operate on a 'slot system,' which basically means there are more flights than gates at LAX," said Davis. "They (Allegiant) can only get slots during the summer months."

So, Allegiant is looking for other ways to accommodate travelers looking to go to the golden state.

"They've purchased a newer, larger aircraft called the Air Bus 319 and they're supposed to be coming into our airport this fall or next spring," said Davis.

On an average day, between 10 to 12 commercial airline flights fly out of the Idaho Falls Airport.

But Davis is hopeful other flights will come to Idaho Falls soon. At the moment, he's working on getting non-stop flights to Boise and Minneapolis.

Heavy construction on the airport's terminal expansion project also begins this week.

The $2.3 million facelift should take about 10 months to complete.

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