Last remaining airline at Ogden airport will drop services, leaving city with no commercial flights
Passengers leave an Avelo Air flight at Ogden-Hinckley Airport in July 2021. Both Avelo and Allegiant Air recently dropped services out of the Ogden airport, leaving it with no commercial flights. (Brian Champagne)
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OGDEN — The Ogden-Hinckley Airport will soon be without a commercial airline.
Allegiant Air confirmed Friday that the airline stopped flights out of the northern Utah airport in April. Bryant Garrett, the Ogden airport manager, said Friday that Avelo Airlines will run its last flight in Ogden on June 26.
“While we made the decision to put our service at Ogden airport on hiatus in April, we remain highly committed to Utah,” Allegiant spokeswoman Sonya Padgett told KSL.com. Allegiant has provided commercial flights out of Ogden for nearly a decade, offering flights to Los Angeles, Mesa, Arizona, and Las Vegas at different points during that timespan.
Padgett pointed to the company’s $95 million dollar investment in Provo as evidence of the airline’s commitment to Utah. The company announced in April that it added an aircraft and crew based at the Provo Airport. Last month Allegiant also added four new flight routes out of the city.
Garrett told KSL.com on Friday that a big reason for Allegiant discontinuing service in Ogden is a shortage of pilots. He said that it takes a significant amount of time and resources to become a commercial pilot, and larger airlines have the ability to hire away pilots from smaller companies.
He added that Allegiant has not told the city that resuming service is out of the question, but only time will tell.
A big reason for Avelo’s future departure from the airport is the high price of fuel in Ogden, Garrett said. A spokeswoman for Avelo, which is based in Houston, told the Standard-Examiner that despite the airline’s success in Ogden, costs like jet fuel did not allow the company to continue the Ogden route. The spokeswoman did note, however, that the company would reevaluate the flight route as costs fluctuate. Avelo began flying from Ogden to Burbank, California, in May 2021.
Garrett said that as of now, it seems Ogden will be without commercial flights for some time, though he said if an airline called him tomorrow, he’d push for commercial flights.
He also said there could be a silver lining to the situation. Fewer passengers going through the Ogden-Hinckley Airport meanS the city will be able to expedite ongoing projects to renovate and expand the facility, Garrett said. He hoped the renovations could be done sooner, which could save the city money and draw airline companies back to Weber County in the near future.
The news of airlines leaving Ogden comes shortly after the Provo Airport celebrated the grand opening of a new $55 million terminal in May. The Provo Airport also has Utah-based Breeze Airways, which will begin flying to five destinations starting later this year, including San Francisco, San Bernadino and Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Westchester, New York.
Allegiant, which is based in Las Vegas, currently has eight destinations available out of the Provo airport — Austin, Texas, and Houston; St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida; Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona; and Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Orange County, California. The airline also announced it will add four more cities to its list of destinations by the end of the year — San Diego, Las Vegas, Portland and Orlando.