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Allegiant Locates New Airbus Hub in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Allegiant Travel Company will invest more than $49 million to establish a new, two-aircraft base with year-round routes at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport in Okaloosa County, Florida.

The aircraft base will create 65 new jobs and bring an anticipated $418 million in tourism revenue to the area over the next five years, state officials said. Allegiant’s year-round base will house two Airbus aircraft. Allegiant plans to immediately begin hiring pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians and ground personnel to support operations.

Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., Allegiant’s Chairman & CEO, said, “We are excited to continue our growth in Florida’s Emerald Coast by establishing a full-time base at Destin-Fort Walton Beach. The base will not only afford many more options when it comes to adding routes and expanding service, but will also give us the opportunity to contribute even more to the community and the state’s economy. We have a terrific partnership across many state and local agencies, without which today would not be possible. We can’t thank them enough for their support.”

State officials said the new Destin base will also allow Allegiant to offer new routes to five cities. Allegiant currently supports more than 25,000 Florida jobs and generates nearly $3 billion in annual economic impact in the state.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Today’s announcement is a great reminder of how our tourism industry supports Florida business and communities and creates new opportunities for our families. Tourism partners like Allegiant work hand-in-hand with VISIT FLORIDA to bring more visitors to our state and we must make sure this success continues by fully funding VISIT FLORIDA at $100 million. I look forward to seeing Allegiant’s success in Destin and across the state as we continue to welcome families from all across the world to Florida.”

VISIT FLORIDA President & CEO Ken Lawson said, “Allegiant’s decision to make Destin a base of their operations and create new routes to the Emerald Coast is great news for Florida’s tourism industry. By opening new airline routes to our state, we’re able to share sunshine with more people around the world. VISIT FLORIDA is proud to play a small part in Allegiant’s decision, and we look forward to working with them to welcome more visitors and continue to set visitation records to our state.”

Nathan Sparks, Executive Director of the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, said, “Allegiant’s decision to name Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport a year round base is a win for the countless travelers who will benefit from the expanded service, and also a win for the 65 customer service personnel, aircraft maintainers and flight crew members who will now be hired to support the service expansion.”

Tracy Stage, Okaloosa County Airports Director, said, “We are thrilled! Allegiant Air’s model fits like a glove at VPS and a year-round base will bring monumental wide spread economic impacts to our region. We look forward to Allegiant’s continued success at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.”

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