Hawaii bound: Allegiant Air celebrates inaugural non-stop flight to Honolulu

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Months after announcing service to Hawaii, Allegiant Air's first direct flight to Honolulu took off from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Friday morning. By Catherine Holland Months after announcing service to Hawaii, Allegiant Air's first direct flight to Honolulu took off from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Friday morning. By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MESA, Ariz. -- Months after announcing the launch of service to Hawaii, Allegiant Air's first direct flight to Honolulu took off from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Friday morning.

Plans for the new route were announced back in August, along with a promotional one-way fare of $199. That's about half of what other carriers were offering at the time. Some 200 people snapped up the deal and have been eagerly awaiting their trips. One passenger even won a free ticket.

During check-in, Luau dancers performed near the security checkpoint to help travelers celebrate the inaugural flight. In addition, firefighters did a water canon shot over the 757 as it taxied to the runway for its 7:30 a.m. departure.

While there are a variety of options to get to Hawaii from Phoenix, the low-cost niche was left open when ATA Airlines shut down more than four years ago.

Southwest reportedly has been considering a Hawaiian route for some time, but it has yet to make a formal decision, which means implementation is still a ways off.

Based in Las Vegas, Allegiant has been ramping up service at Gateway as it continues to focus "on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations."

Honolulu is the first high-profile luxury destination for Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, which also offers non-stop flights smaller cities like Appleton, Wisc.; Bellingham, Wash.; Bismarck and Fargo, N.D.; Las Vegas; Ogden, Utah and South Bend, Ind.

There are three Allegiant flights to Honolulu each week.