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Returning Seasonal Routes Boost Traffic at QC Airport

November 22, 2021

The Quad Cities International Airport recorded its highest number of passengers since the pandemic began reaching 51,623 travelers in October. The return of seasonal routes through Allegiant Air are a contributing factor to a strong month.

“October has historically been a busy month at the airport, even surpassing November and December,” said Benjamin Leischner, A.A.E., executive director, Quad Cities International Airport. “Leisure travel has rebounded at a much faster rate than business and in many ways is carrying the industry. We’re seeing that here with Allegiant gaining 6 points of the market share over 2019, evening out the playing field between all four airlines that serve the Quad Cities.”

Flights to Punta Gorda, Florida, resumed in October departing Friday and Monday. While Punta Gorda has been a seasonal route at the QC Airport since it was introduced, two more Allegiant routes saw temporary pauses in response to the ongoing volatility of travel in the pandemic. St. Pete-Clearwater and Phoenix-Mesa both had a brief hiatus in late-summer but have returned to their normal Wednesday/Saturday schedule.

Allegiant is known for its nimble approach to air service and ultra-low-cost airfare. It uses a destination-to-destination network, rather than the hub and spoke network more typical of legacy carries like American, United and Delta, which helps cut costs. Allegiant has a unique ability to quickly adjust routes and provide seasonal or even event-based service. That flexibility is one of the reasons it has weathered the decline in travel over the course of the pandemic.

Allegiant’s full schedule from MLI:

  • Orlando/Daytona Beach/Sanford (SFB): Thursday, Sunday
  • Las Vegas (LAS): Thursday, Sunday
  • Phoenix/Mesa (AZA): Wednesday, Saturday
  • Punta Gorda/Fort Myers (PGD): Monday, Friday
  • Pete/Clearwater/Tampa (PIE): Wednesday, Saturday

Leischner recently met with Allegiant representatives to discuss how routes out of MLI are performing as part of Allegiant’s annual conference with airport partners.

“We received positive feedback in terms of how the current routes are performing,” said Leischner. “They’ve had a great year growing their network and capturing pent-up travel demand. We are optimistic that our partnership with Allegiant is on a good track and will continue to grow.”

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