HAGERSTOWN -- Allegiant Air's decision to end its service at Hagerstown Regional Airport was related to price competition from nearby airports and had nothing to do with the airport itself, airport Business Development Manager Greg Larsen said he was told by an airline official.
"In their view, this is all about the proximity of low-cost airline competition to what they were trying to do here in Hagerstown," Larsen said Wednesday.
Allegiant has been offering direct flights from Hagerstown to Orlando-Sanford Regional Airport since November 2008 but recently announced it was ending that service after July 19.
Larsen said when Allegiant Air Director of Airport Planning Brian Davis called the airport about the decision to withdraw service, Larsen asked what the airport could do to rectify the situation.
"Basically, he said this is not about Hagerstown Regional Airport," Larsen said. "He said, 'You have been a superb partner for the airline.'"
When reached by phone Wednesday, Davis said he was not authorized to speak to the media on behalf of the company and refered questions to a company spokeswoman, who did not immediately respond to messages.
A press release when the decision was announced cited "a lack of market demand" as the reason for ending the service.
Larsen said Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is the lowest-cost airport on the East Coast.
"That, and now Dulles (International Airport), and more recently (Ronald Reagan Washington) National (Airport), obviously in their view are starting to encumber their ability to achieve what they were trying to achieve," Larsen said, adding that he did not necessarily agree with that assessment.
Allegiant Air's website shows one-way airfare from Hagerstown to Orlando-Sanford Regional Airport, about 22 miles north of Orlando, starting at $39.99. Those flights are available on Mondays and Fridays.
Southwest Airlines' website shows daily one-way flights from BWI to Orlando International Airport starting at $89.