OGDEN -- After much talk and speculation, commercial passenger flights are officially coming to the Ogden-Hinckley Airport.
Teaming with the Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company, Ogden-Hinckley will begin nonstop jet service between Ogden and Phoenix on Sept. 20, with flights twice a week.
Ogden city and airport officials will formally announce the new service at an 11 a.m. news conference today at the airport terminal.
"The airport is looking to become the value leader for all types of travelers and the gateway to our year-round high-adventure recreation areas," said airport manager Royal Eccles.
"Northern Utah wins (now that the deal is complete)."
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said the new service ties in perfectly with Ogden's growing reputation as an outdoor adventure destination.
"This is a real game-changer
for the tourism industry in Ogden. This will not only expand the opportunity for travel in and out of Northern Utah, but it will change the face of travel in the state for years to come."
Caldwell said the city is already looking toward adding more destinations.
Allegiant currently flies in and out of locations like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Bay Area and Bellingham, Wash., which is near Seattle -- all destinations that could eventually be reached from Ogden.
"We're going to do all we can to expand here," Caldwell said.
The airport is also expanding its square footage.
A $650,000 project to expand the airport's terminal by constructing a 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot building on the northwest corner of the existing terminal building was recently added to the city's capital improvement plan.
The new service to Phoenix will feature fares starting at $69.99 for a one-way ticket, as well as hotel and air packages starting at $203.50 per person for three nights at Howard Johnson.
Allegiant focuses on linking travelers in smaller cities to world-class leisure destinations.
Through its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, the company operates a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline and offers other travel-
related products such as hotel rooms, rental cars and attraction tickets through its website, allegiant.com.