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Discount Airline to Begin Service To and From Newark International

Discount carrier Allegiant Airline is cleared for landing at Newark Liberty International Airport, where it announced last week that it will begin providing non-stop service between the New Jersey hub and four other cities at deep bargain rates starting in mid-November.

“It’s been something we’ve talked about for years, and now we’re just so excited to serve the New York metropolitan area,” said Lukas Johnson, Allegiant’s vice president for network and pricing.

“We think we provide something really unique. At Newark, we’ll be the first ULCC,” or ultra low-cost carrier, he told USA Today.

Allegiant will provide flights to and from Newark, NJ; Cincinnati, OH; Savannah, GA; Asheville, NC; and Knoxville, TN, with rates starting at just $39 or $41 for a one-way ticket.

The discount airline is geared toward leisure travelers, Johnson said, and the price does not include add-on fees for online bookings, paying with a credit card, seat reservations, baggage fees, or other nominal charges.

“This is the biggest market in the country,” Johnson said of Newark. “Certainly it’s the largest tourism market — the most-visited metro region in the country. There’s going to be excess demand at the price point we’re going to be offering.”

Significantly, Allegiant is the first new airline to enter Newark’s coveted runway since a federal lawsuit last year charged United Airlines with monopolizing 900 of the airport’s 1,200 daily slots, stifling market competition. A similar one-way flight from Newark to Cincinnati currently costs about $161 on United.

“We compete vigorously with many airlines throughout our network, including at Newark Airport,” said United spokesman Rahsaan Johnson, “and believe customers will continue to value our frequent flights to more than 150 destinations worldwide and our extensive support of organizations throughout the region.”

For the eight million people who fly every day, the choice at Newark may come down to a matter of preference: United offers more legroom than Allegiant, and most of its costs are up-front. Allegiant’s flight offerings are still very limited, though the company hopes to expand service soon.

Allegiant also announced new service to and from Denver, CO, and Ogdensburg, NY, some 60 miles south of Ottawa. All told, the company will represent 117 American destinations once the new flights begin service.