Allegiant Air To End Cleveland Hopkins Airport Services

  • Airlines

American ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Air will be ceasing services to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) by early next year. The airline has cited an unfavorable cost structure at the airport as unsustainable to offering low fares to customers. While Allegiant is pulling out of this airport, there could be another option for them to continue serving the Cleveland area.

Allegiant has announced it is pulling out of Cleveland. Photo: Allegiant

Allegiant is pulling out of Cleveland

A local outlet, Cleveland.com, reports that Allegiant Air is pulling out of Cleveland’s main international airport. The carrier has served CLE since 2017 and mainly operates a highly seasonal leisure-oriented model out of the airport. Currently, with various frequencies per week during various months based on demand, Allegiant services the following destinations from Cleveland:

  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Orlando-Sanford, Florida
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Punta Gorda, Florida
  • Tampa-St. Pete, Florida
  • Sarasota, Florida
  • Savannah/Hilton Head, Georgia

The final Allegiant flight at CLE will operate on January 3rd. Passengers with bookings after that date will be offered re-accommodation to another Allegiant flight or else a full refund. Allegiant states it will reach out to customers.

In a statement to Simple Flying, an Allegiant spokesperson offered the following:

“Our flights were very successful in the market, but unfortunately with the airport’s construction projects and planned expansion, the cost structure has become prohibitive to our operation – our business model hinges upon our ability to keep fares low for our customers.”

An alternative area airport

While Allegiant does serve some major cities in the United States, it does not always serve the major airport in that city. For example, in Columbus, Ohio, the airline services Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK) over the larger John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) that every other airline servicing the city flies to.

Though not a perfect alternative, there is a nearby airport to the Cleveland area: Akron-Canton Airport (CAK). Located to the south of Cleveland, the airport does receive service from major US airlines. American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines are the major US airlines servicing the airport. These airlines also service CLE.

There is another airline at CAK, which also operates a model based on Allegiant’s. That airline is Breeze Airways. Both Breeze and Allegiant serve destinations with only a few flights a week and offer customers an unbundled, low-cost product.

Construction at Cleveland

Like many major airports, Cleveland is looking at a significant modernization. The airport has served the community since 1925 when it was the first musical airport in the country. Obviously, things have changed a lot since then. CLE is now Ohio’s busiest airport.

Cleveland has seen a lot of highs and lows. It was formerly a hub for Continental Airlines. Post-merger with United Airlines, the fate of the Cleveland hub came under intense scrutiny. United decided to shutter the hub in 2014, which led the airport’s Concourse D to become vacant. However, United still has a significant presence at the airport and even plans to launch a new Cleveland to Nassau link.

There is some revitalization of air service going on at the airport. The airport has revealed a new master plan earlier this year intending to enhance the passenger experience, operate a more environmentally friendly airport, and preparing to handle the expected growth in passenger volumes over the next 15 years and beyond.

This has not been without concerns. Airlines have raised some questions about the cost of the airport’s development. This is what led Allegiant to announce it was pulling out of the airport. Nevertheless, CLE appears to be ready to move forward with its construction plans.

Are you sad that Allegiant is pulling out of Cleveland? Let us know in the comments!