Flint, MI—Allegiant Air is adding flights at Bishop International Airport and bringing jobs and investment to Flint, officials from the airline said. 

The airline announced at an August 10 press conference that they will be adding twice weekly service between Bishop International Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport starting November 18.

“Just in time for winter vacations in the desert,” said Sarah Richardson, Airport Affairs Manager for Allegiant Air.

Richardson also said that on February 16, 2022, Allegiant Air will make Bishop International an aircraft and crew base for the airline. 

“In our world that’s very exciting,” she said to the assembled audience, “but you may be wondering ‘what does it mean to be an aircraft and crew base?’ It means investment.”

She went on to say the airline will be investing $75 million to establish a base in Flint, which includes “equipping and expanding (the airline’s) operational footprint.” 

Doing so will mean housing three aircrafts and creating at least 89 jobs according to Richardson, who added that Allegiant is “ramping up the process” to begin hiring pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians, administrative and ground support staff.

Hilarie Grey, Managing Director of Allegiant’s corporate communications, did clarify that crew assignments (pilots and flight attendants) “are made based on seniority and preference, so the FNT crew members would not necessarily be new to Allegiant. But there will certainly be local recruitment efforts for station staff and other positions.”

Richardson said that Allegiant’s unique “out-and-back” model means their employees will be able to start and end each day in Flint, a potential draw for Flint’s local candidates.

Richardson added that establishing a base in Flint also means “the potential for new service and more frequent routes” out of the city, giving folks flying to or from Bishop International more options alongside creating jobs. Neither Richardson nor Grey were able to share what those new routes might be for competitive reasons, Grey said.

Nino Sapone, CEO of Flint Bishop International Airport, said this announcement was fulfilling a major goal for the airport. 

“One thing about the airport … which is dear to me is becoming a community partner and an economic impact on the region. With the announcements today,” Sapone said, “it’s going to be big for the region, big for the community, and it’s going to be continued growth for the airport.”

Allegiant Air began operating at Bishop International in 2016 and will offer eight nonstop routes with the addition of Phoenix/Masa. The airline currently makes up around 54% of Bishop International’s air traffic, Sapone said.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....