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

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Tess Rafols and Bruce Haffner

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 14 at 10:08 AM

Map: Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

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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.

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