PROVO – Utah County residents looking for a quick get-a-way can now add the San Francisco Bay area to the list of possible vacation spots.
Starting June 7, Allegiant Air will fly passengers twice a week to Oakland International Airport. The non-stop flights will run twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. Allegiant Air made the announcement Wednesday morning, saying the growth is due to positive response to existing flights.
"We've been very excited to be here and our flights to Mesa, [Arizona], have done very well and have been very popular," says Allegiant Air spokesperson Jessica Wheeler. "So we've decided that we're going to try one more."
Wheeler says the Mesa flights have been between 90 and 95 percent full, prompting the additional flight to Oakland. Provo Mayor John Curtis says it's an exciting addition for the city.
"It's clearly part of the momentum of the things that are happening in Provo," says Curtis "You add all the things up together and you have this tremendous wave of positive things happening in Provo."
Curtis points to commercial construction and the addition of UTA FrontRunner as other positive additions. Curtis has said before the airport is among his top priorities, citing its importance as an economic driver.
Even with federal sequestrations threatening funding cuts for the airports control tower, Curtis says flights will go on.
"We're committed to keeping scheduled flight service flying regardless of what happens with the sequestration," says Curtis. "We actually don't need the tower for commercial flights."
Airport administration says the control tower is an issue for private flights, which make up the majority of the planes going in and out of Provo.
"The business jets that come in and out. The flight school that does hundreds and hundreds of operations per day," says Provo airport manager Steve Gleason. "That's where the control tower really becomes important. We need that control tower to keep those people safe."
The expiration date on those federal cuts keeps changing. Gleason says they're fighting to show the necessity of the tower, but they'll find a way to operate without it.
More information on the new flights to Oakland can be found at www2.allegiantair.com