Allegiant Travel Company has set aside more than $50m to establish a two-aircraft base at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tennessee, US.

The company aims to start its base operations at the airport in October.

Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority board of commissioners chairman Eddie Mannis said: “Over the past decade, Allegiant Air has provided low-fare nonstop flights to popular destinations from McGhee Tyson Airport.

“They are continuing to support our region by selecting our airport as a base of operation, leading to more jobs and travel opportunities for the people of east Tennessee.”

“Knoxville will become Allegiant’s 15th aircraft base, allowing the airline to expand its service to and from the region.”

At present, Allegiant operates on 27 routes from five cities in the state of Tennessee, including flights from Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Tri-Cities. Out of the total routes, 22 are non-competitive, providing Tennesseans more nonstop options across the country.

Allegiant Travel Company government affairs vice-president Keith Hansen said: “Allegiant has already seen great success in the Knoxville / Great Smoky Mountains area, and establishing a permanent base affords the opportunity to embed even deeper into the community and contribute further to the local economy.

“Having based aircraft and crews increases the efficiency of our operations and positions us for even more growth in the future, offering more access to and from the Great Smoky Mountains than ever before.”

In December 2006, the company started operating at McGhee Tyson Airport and currently flies directly to eight destinations in the US, including Las Vegas, Baltimore / Washington DC, and New York / Newark in New Jersey, as well as five cities in Florida.

Knoxville will become Allegiant’s 15th aircraft base, allowing the airline to expand its service to and from the region.

More new direct routes will also be offered in the future to increase the 21 services currently available from the airport.