Allegiant Air is an American low-cost airline owned by Allegiant Travel Co. (NASDAQ:_ALGT) that operates scheduled and charter flights. Allegiant Travel Company is a publicly traded company with 1,300 employees and one billion USD market capitalization. The corporate headquarters is in Enterprise, Nevada, near Las Vegas. Allegiant Air was founded in January of 1997 by Mitch Allee (Owner, CEO), Jim Patterson (President), and Capt. Dave Beadle (Chief Pilot). The airline received FAA and DOT Certification in June of 1998. Allegiant was founded in 1997 under the name WestJet Express. After a trademark dispute with West Jet Air Center of Rapid City, South Dakota, and with the name's similarity to WestJet Airlines of Canada, the airline adopted the name Allegiant Air and received its operating certificate for scheduled and charter domestic operations in 1998. The airline also has authority for charter service to Canada and Mexico. Wholly owned by Allegiant Travel, the airline now has over 1,800 employees. Scheduled service began on October 15, 1998, between Las Vegas and the airline's initial hub in Fresno, California, at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, with Douglas DC-9-21
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