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New Allegiant flights at Knoxville airport McGhee Tyson

by Staff

Allegiant Air, which operates a base at McGhee Tyson Airport and serves over half of Knoxville’s destinations, will add three flights to unserved destinations beginning in June.

The new flights will connect Knoxville with Jacksonville, St. Louis, and South Bend, Indiana, with select one-way fares as low as $45.

Flights to St. Louis will operate on Thursdays and Sundays beginning June 13 and are bookable now through Nov. 11.

Flights to Jacksonville and South Bend will operate on Mondays and Fridays beginning June 14 and are bookable now through Nov. 11. South Bend, home of the University of Notre Dame, is under two hours’ drive from Chicago.

Flight days, times and low fares can be found only at Allegiant.com, the airport said in a release.

Knoxville has been a favorite destination for Allegiant for nearly two decades. The airline brings travelers from around the country to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and flies Knoxville vacationers to eight Florida airports and Las Vegas.

“Allegiant’s unique business model, connecting small-to-medium sized cities to vacation destinations, creates accessible travel options not otherwise available in what we believe are underserved markets,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant’s chief revenue officer, in a release.

Allegiant invested $50 million in McGhee Tyson in 2018, stationing two Airbus planes at the airport and expanding its flights from Knoxville.

With three new destinations, McGhee Tyson offers nonstop flights to 31 destinations from six airlines: Allegiant, American, Avelo, Delta, Frontier and United.

Allegiant expands Knoxville footprint on heels of Avelo

The announcement came less than a week after McGhee Tyson welcomed its first new airline in over a decade. Avelo Airlines, a budget carrier started in 2021 by an Allegiant co-founder, will offer nonstop flights to its hub in New Haven, Connecticut, beginning May 9.

Though the new airline was touted by the airport as a sign of growth that could attract other flights, McGhee Tyson did not say Allegiant’s added flights were related to Avelo’s entrance in Knoxville.

The three new flights from Knoxville were part of a package of 10 new nonstop flights to 14 U.S. cities Allegiant announced Feb. 12.

They are not the only new flights coming to Knoxville. One day after Avelo announced it would break into the Knoxville market, Frontier announced it would begin flights to Philadelphia International Airport on May 16.

“When you have community support and a growing region, airlines take notice,” said Patrick Wilson, president of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, in a release on the Frontier announcement.

McGhee Tyson served a record 2.81 million passengers in 2023, and began preparing to construct a new parking garage in February. The garage, set to be completed in 2026, is the first step towards adding six new gates in a terminal expansion project set to be completed by 2029.

Daniel Dassow is a growth and development reporter focused on technology and energy. Phone 423-637-0878. Email [email protected].

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