PROVO — Allegiant Air, a company that offers commercial flights out of the Provo airport, announced Wednesday they'll start having flights to California, even though the airport is under the threat of losing its control tower.
Airport manager Steve Gleason said they're waiting to see if the FAA is going to cut their air traffic controllers as part of the federal budget that resulted from sequestration.
"We're still hopeful that the control tower will stay in place," Gleason said.
That didn't stop Jessica Wheeler with Allegiant Air from announcing new twice-a-week flights to the Oakland airport starting in June. Flights will initially cost $59.99 for a one-way trip.
Despite the possible loss of the tower, Allegiant officials are confident they can run flights safely.
"All of our pilots are trained to safely operate in an uncontrolled airspace," Wheeler said.
Provo Mayor John Curtis said flights to California had been in talks for a long time.
"The potential of a flight to California has been a part of almost every conversation I've had over the past few years," Curtis said in a press release.
"I'm excited to say that we're making those wishes a reality. This flight into the Bay Area is another part of the momentum we're experiencing in Provo. It's evidence of the incredible quality of life that defines us."
Gleason said some airlines won't fly to places without a tower, but many will. The Provo airport will continue to try and expand and bring in other airlines, he said.
Frontier discontinued flights to and from Denver International Airport in early January, citing revenue problems and a fleet reduction. Those flights were typically 75 percent full.
Allegiant began offering flights to Phoenix in mid February.
Contributing: David Self Newlin and Sam Penrod