Flint, MI—Allegiant Air, an airline catering to travelers from underserved small and medium-sized communities, received a $200,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund for workforce development at Bishop International Airport.

The grant comes after Allegiant’s August announcement that it would be investing $75 million in building an aircraft, developing a crew base, and creating more than 80 jobs at the Flint airport in early 2022.

“Flint has been a great location for Allegiant, where our presence and success have grown each year,” said Keith Hansen, Allegiant’s vice president of government affairs in a Nov. 10, 2021 press release. “It makes perfect sense to establish an aircraft and crew base in Flint, further embedding Allegiant in the community as a hometown airline.”

The grant of up to $200,000 will be dispersed over the course of one year on the condition that Allegiant Air demonstrates completion of computer-based training, on-the-job training, and instructor-led training activities related to the positions of “general and operations managers, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics and service technicians, airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers by no later than March 31, 2023.”

Allegiant, which serves more than 130 cities across the U.S., began operating at Bishop International Airport in 2016.

Map of Allegiant Air’s nonstop Flint Bishop International Airport routes. (Map courtesy of Allegiant Air)

“Allegiant Air’s decision to focus on Flint will provide more opportunities for travel and lay the groundwork for more investments in our community,” said state Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint) in a statement for the Michigan House Democrats. “With Allegiant Air and others recognizing the opportunities we have to offer, our economy is ready for takeoff.”

Bishop itself has also supported Allegiant’s base and workforce development with an investment of around $1.9 million going toward facility improvements, discounted rent, and incentives for nonstop flights. 

“Allegiant has grown from less than 7 percent of our traffic in 2016, to over 54 percent today. It’s an amazing story of growth, commitment, and partnership,” Nino Sapone, CEO of Flint Bishop International Airport, said in the Nov. 10 press release. “We’re looking forward to taking this partnership to the next level.”

Aside from the MSF grant, Allegiant Air recently received the “Economic Development Project of the Year” award from the Flint & Genesee Group’s 2021 Art of Achievement awards as well as added nonstop flights between Bishop International Airport and Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona this month.

Kate Stockrahm

Kate is Flint Beat's business and nonprofit reporter. She joins 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...

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