For air travelers out of Provo and Utah County, Allegiant Air’s latest announcement Tuesday should make you want to dust off your Mickey Mouse ears.

Allegiant Air will begin non-stop flights on Fridays and Mondays to the Orange County/John Wayne Airport beginning Feb. 12.

John Wayne Airport is a gateway to many of the Southern California theme parks including Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and more.

“The second flight expansion notice confirms what we have known all along, Provo and Utah County have unmet flight needs and wants,” said Mayor Michelle Kaufusi. “With a recently added route to Denver and today’s announced route to John Wayne Airport, we are seeing an increasing vacation market, not to mention an untapped business travel market. Provo is clearly taking flight.”

Steve Gleason, Provo Airport manager agrees.

“The day is fast approaching when whatever your final destination, it can start in Provo,” Gleason said.

Allegiant already flies to the Los Angeles International Airport twice a week, as well as the nine flights a week to Phoenix/Mesa. Starting Thursday, flights to Denver will begin, according to Allegiant representatives.

Flights to Tucson have been going seasonally since 2018 and will resume Feb. 11.

With the added flights in Provo, Gleason is having to look at temporary ways to expand the current terminal while the new four-gate terminal is under construction.

Even with the current pandemic and face mask requirements, Gleason said the airport couldn’t be busier.

“Despite COVID, our market has remained solid,” Gleason said. “Flights are at about 90% full, and we are trying our best to keep the terminal clean and wearing face masks.”

When Gleason says 90% full, that means about 150 to 160 passengers a flight. He also noted that corporate, as well as the commercial, flights are keeping the airport busy.

Gleason recently hired two more employees, raising his staff to seven. As the new terminal is completed, more will be added.

The terminal has a completion date of the end of 2021 if all goes well. The worst-case scenario is it will open in spring of 2022, according to Gleason.

“We are on target for next year,” Gleason said.

Provo’s airport is either the second- or third-largest airport in the state depending on the time and how you count it. St. George shares the spot, according to Gleason.

The new flights to Orange County will include night flights and that means a little more work for Gleason’s staff, particularly during the winter storm months.

While Gleason is tight lipped about other potential airlines coming to Provo, he did say that he and the city are always talking to other airlines about the new terminal and possibilities.

To celebrate the new John Wayne Airport flight, Allegiant is offering one-way fares as low at $49. Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found only at Allegiant.com.

Seats and dates are limited and fares are not available on all flights. Flights must be purchased by Nov. 18, for travel by May 24. Price displayed includes taxes, carrier charges and government fees. Fare rules, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice. Optional baggage charges and additional restrictions may apply. For more details, optional services and baggage fees, check Allegiant.com.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter

@gpugmire

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