By Colin McEvoy, Director of Communications for LVEDC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lehigh Valley, PA — Allegiant Air has announced it will establish an aircraft base in the Lehigh Valley, creating 66 new high-wage jobs and providing yet another critical link for businesses seeking to come, start, and grow here in the Lehigh Valley.
The two-aircraft base will be established at Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA), where the Allegiant Travel Company is investing $50 million to establish its new base of operations, which is expected to be operational on Feb. 12, 2020.
“The convenience and success of the Lehigh Valley International Airport is a critical factor in both the economic and population growth of the Lehigh Valley,” said Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).
“Allegiant Air selecting the Lehigh Valley to expand its operation and to add a large group of maintenance and flight crew employee is another indicator of the Lehigh Valley’s economic growth and the increased activity at the Lehigh Valley International Airport,” Cunningham said.
Allegiant Air will house two Airbus aircraft at the LVIA base, which will become the company’s 18th aircraft base. Allegiant focuses on linking travelers in small-to-medium cities to world-class leisure destinations.
“Lehigh Valley is a perfect location for a permanent base, which will further establish Allegiant as a hometown airline in eastern Pennsylvania,” said Keith Hansen, vice president of government affairs for Allegiant.
“It has been a great area for Allegiant, where passenger demand has grown steadily over the years,” Hansen said. “As a base airport, having locally-based aircraft and crews will give us a host of options for both new service and expanded operational hours. This will mean more opportunities for affordable, convenient travel for local residents and visitors to the area.”
LVEDC engaged Allegiant early in the process as they were considering the Lehigh Valley, providing them with labor data and economic information about the region and coordinating with regional partners like the Pennsylvania Governor’s Action Team, state Sen. Pat Browne’s office, and the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley.
Additionally, LVEDC Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing Matthew Tuerk serves as Vice Chairman of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority.
Allegiant plans to immediately begin hiring pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and ground personnel to support the operations. Allegiant officials said the addition of new routes at the airport are likely in the future.
The majority of new positions are expected to offer salaries that are more than double the state of Pennsylvania’s average wage, according to the company. Interested applicants may apply online here.
“The Lehigh Valley International Airport plays a crucial role in regional economic development,” Tuerk said. “Allegiant Air placing a flight crew here is another sign of the growing national importance of the Lehigh Valley and the desire of companies from around the nation and the world to invest here.”
Allegiant began operating at LVIA in 2005. The airline offers seven non-stop routes and carries more than 280,000 annual passengers through Lehigh Valley.
“Excitement is sky high throughout the Lehigh Valley with the news of an Allegiant Crew Base landing at ABE,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, LNAA Executive Director. “Since day one, Allegiant has demonstrated a strong commitment by providing air travelers affordable options and also have supported impactful regional initiatives,” Stoudt said. “Now, they’ve created employment opportunities for this region which makes your neighborhood airport a more critical economic asset.”
LVIA also recently announced it will receive more than $20 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration to support runway improvements, pavement rehabilitations, and other infrastructure improvements.
LVIA’s nonstop destinations include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach (seasonal), Nashville (seasonal), Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Punta Gorda, Savannah/Hilton Head (seasonal), and Tampa Bay.