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Allegiant Airlines makes debut at Concord airport

By Andrew Dunn
adunn@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/20/15/09/oc1dg.Em.138.jpeg|316
    MARTY PRICE -
    Four-year-old Duncan Byrd (left, of Concord) rides on the suitcase of his uncle, Sean Williams, as he and his mother, Jenny Byrd (right, of Concord), greet Sean and Katie Williams (2nd from right) in the terminal at Concord Regional Airport. The couple live in Florida, are visiting their family in Concord and were passengers on Allegiant Air Flight 638. The flight from Orlando-Sanford International Airport was the first arriving scheduled commercial passenger flight to land at Concord Regional Airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/20/15/09/1b1oeT.Em.138.jpeg|209
    MARTY PRICE -
    Jennifer Cabell (left), from Orlando and visiting family in Charlotte, was the first passenger off Flight 638. The Allegiant Air flight from Orlando-Sanford International Airport was the first arriving scheduled commercial passenger flight to land at Concord Regional Airport.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/20/15/09/64QOf.Em.138.jpeg|209
    MARTY PRICE -
    Runway workers watch as Allegiant Air Flight 638 from Orlando-Sanford International Airport touches down on the runway. Flight 638 was the first arriving scheduled commercial passenger flight to land at Concord Regional Airport.

A commercial airline flew in to Concord Regional Airport for the first time on Friday, the next chapter for an airport that has long thrived on NASCAR-related traffic.

Allegiant Airlines Flight 638 came in from Orlando-Sanford International Airport with about 120 passengers at 7:40 a.m., greeted with a water cannon salute. City officials celebrated before about 150 passengers made the return trip to Florida.

The flights were the first commercial travel the 20-year-old airport has seen. Concord Regional Airport has been the state’s fourth busiest, with private planes and charter flights.

To handle commercial traffic, the airport converted an old hangar into an area for passenger ticketing, security, boarding and baggage claim.

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