DE MOINES – Yesterday, Allegiant Airlines (G4) inaugurated service from Des Moines, Iowa (DSM) to Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), Portland International Airport (PDX), and San Diego International Airport (SAN).

Airways was on board the first of the new hub routes, between Des Moines and Houston, which departed at 6:47 AM, and landed a short two hours later at 8:44 AM.

As a new base, G4 hired 66 new employees, including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, ramp agents, and more. The new DSM based flight crew on board the inaugural flight were enthusiastic to introduce Allegiant to customers.

To facilitate the new expansion, two aircraft will be based overnight on RON (Remain Overnight) flights, with both ground and flights crews that will now be based out of DSM.

Photo: Brad Tisdel/Airways

Allegiant’s Recent Expansions

Earlier this year, G4 announced a few major expansions of its route network to increase service to underserved airports, an increasingly popular strategy for ultra low cost carriers.

As COVID restrictions ease and vaccinations in the United States continue at a steady pace, airlines can look to the future as they anticipate a surge in summer travel.

Just this week, Allegiant announced 23 new routes, including service to four new cities in its route network. The new routes are aimed at families wishing to reconnect after months of quarantine, and vacation-goers this winter.

Photo: Dwight Hartje/Airways

The Inaugural Flight

Passenger on all the new inaugural flights today were greeted with a celebratory bar of complimentary refreshments such as cold water, hot coffee, donuts, cupcakes, and more.

Additionally, all passengers on the HOU flights were given $50 vouchers for future Allegiant trips. On the return Houston flight, the aircraft received a celebratory water cannon salute upon exiting the runway. 

The flight out of DSM departed 17 minutes late due to bad weather in southern Iowa, and took off out of Runway 31, before reaching a cruising altitude of 37,000ft, and landing a short 1 hour and 56 minutes later on Runway 13R of HOU.

The return flight, G42993, cruised at a high 40,000ft to avoid bad weather in Missouri and Kansas. Upon arrival at DMS, the flight was greeted with a water cannon salute.

Photo: Dwight Hartje/Airways

Allegiant Airlines’ Airbus A320

The aircraft that performed the flight was N283NV, a nearly 15-year-old Airbus A320. The aircraft was previously operated by Aeroflot and Cobalt before joining Allegiant Airlines’ fleet in late 2019.

N283NV is equipped with Allegiant’s 177 high-density two-class seat layout. The aircraft-wide slimline seats are supportive but lack comfort.

Without In-Flight Entertainment (IFE), inflight WiFi, or charging ports Allegiant offers a true ultra low cost experience for travelers. The standard seats have 30” of legroom, which while sufficient for me will be tight for many individuals will want to select Legroom+ which offers 34” of legroom. 

Article Produced by Dwight Hartje/Airways | Featured Image: Nicholas Ambrosecchia