Low-cost airline Allegiant Travel Co. announced plans Wednesday to open a $40 million aircraft base at Indianapolis International Airport that will begin operations in February and create 66 high-paying jobs by the end of this year.
The Las Vegas-based company said the Indianapolis base will house two Airbus aircraft and allow the airline to offer more routes from Indianapolis in the future.
Allegiant said it plans to immediately begin hiring pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and ground personnel to support the operations. Salaries are expected to exceed the state’s average wage by more than 85 percent—or roughly $100,000 per year.
Allegiant will join Republic Airways, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, as the only airlines to have bases in Indianapolis. Shipping giant FedEx Corp. also operates a base at the airport.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Allegiant Air LLC up to $1 million in conditional tax credits based on the job-creation plans. The incentives hinge on the carrier’s ability to meet hiring commitments.
"In addition to creating new, high-wage jobs, Allegiant's decision shows the airline's commitment to future growth in Indiana, creating more direct flight opportunities and continuing to connect Indiana with the rest of the world," Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said in written comments.
Allegiant, which has 3,500 associates nationwide, said Indianapolis will become its 14th aircraft base overall. The airline began operating at the Indianapolis airport in February 2015 and offers nonstop service from Indy to 12 different domestic destinations. Half of those are in Florida.
The airline offers 23 routes from four cities in Indiana, including flights from South Bend, Fort Wayne and Evansville.
“We’re thrilled to continue our growth in the Indianapolis area and contribute even more to the community and economy with the establishment of a permanent aircraft base,” Keith Hansen, vice president of government affairs for Allegiant, said in written remarks. “Having a base in Indianapolis will further increase the efficiency of our operations and better position us for even more growth in the near future.”