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Allegiant Air abruptly cancels all flights in Grand Forks during month of December

Hundreds of people in the Northern Valley are holding tickets to nowhere just a month before their flights were set to take off.

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Allegiant Air has canceled every flight in and out of Grand Forks Regional Airport in the month of December, citing a lack of demand.

Fordville, N.D., resident Julie Gemmill said she was shocked when a text about the cancellations came through in the middle of a meeting.

"I was like, 'my flight just got canceled,' what do you do," said Gemmill with a shrug.

She had a one way ticket from Arizona to get back home to rural Walsh County for Christmas.

"I had it all planned out, and now I have plan it all over again," Gemmill.

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"I just met with them (Allegiant) last month, and this was not brought up," said Grand Forks Regional Airport executive director Ryan Riesinger.

He says he was notified at the same time passengers were. The airline cited a shortage of planes. In all, 44 airports with low numbers across the country will be impacted. Allegiant told the airport they plan to resume flights in January.

"They have no intent to pull out in my conversations with them," said Riesinger.

Allegiant has been serving the Grand Forks airport since 2009. Riesinger said the seasonal airline will sometimes black out dates on the schedule, but has never canceled flights like this. The cancellations impact 25 flights during the month of December, one of the busiest months at the airport.

"It's certainly something we have to monitor," said Riesinger.

Passengers whose flights were cancelled will receive full refunds or can fly out of Fargo.

Gemmill isn't sure what her family is going to do. Fargo is 3 hours from her home, and switching airlines will cost several hundred dollars. She hopes the low-cost carrier returns to Grand Forks as promised.

"We would be lost without them, it's a very valuable asset to our communities," she said.

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November flights are not impacted by the cancellation.

AllegiantAir abruptly cancels all flights in Grand Forks during month of December
The airline cited a shortage of planes.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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