Allegiant Air pulls back Reno-Las Vegas flights |

Allegiant Air pulls back Reno-Las Vegas flights

Allegiant Air is dropping its three daily flights between Reno and Las Vegas,

only nine days after the commuter airline started the routes.

Poor bookings forced the airline to pull the flights, spokesman Mark Peterson said. A series of delays in the planned Nov. 1 start-up date contributed to the problem.

Allegiant entered Reno in July with one flight to Fresno and two to Portland, Ore. Those flights remain.

Loads on those flights have steadily improved from 32 percent of seats filled in July, to 41 percent in August, 53 percent in September and 54 percent in October, according to airport data released Tuesday.

The flight deletions are especially disappointing to efforts in Reno to rebuild air service that has steadily eroded since a 1997 peak, when Reno Air had its hub here, according to the Associated Press.

The cancellations between Reno and Las Vegas won’t have any bearing on service out of the Lake Tahoe Airport, at least for now, Peterson confirmed. “We’re constantly evaluating all routes to determine whether or not they’re performing as expected,” he said.

Currently, the air carrier flies from South Lake Tahoe to Las Vegas and Long Beach on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Allegiant also flies out of its home base of Fresno, Portland, Ore., Reno and Las Vegas.

As for the Nevada cities, Peterson insisted dropping the route between them was prudent. The process of finding a new market to replace the route is currently up in the air.

In the meantime, the airline plans to expand its charter service – the business the airline started out in.

It recently took the Boston Pops on a charter flight from Palm Springs to Sacramento for a holiday concert and plans to transport the Duke University Basketball Team to a game next month.

The pullout may not turn out to be a slam dunk though.

”We’re very disappointed,” airport authority spokesman Adam Mayberry said. “(But) we are working hard to change their minds on eliminating that service as we speak. We think that they need to have a little more time to see the success.”

Peterson said Allegiant isn’t giving up hope for flying the route again.

”We’ll continue to keep it on our radar screen, but at this particular time, the (booking) pattern was not developing the way that we had expected or needed it to with the start-up of a new market,” he said.

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