Donor Corner: Allegiant Travel Company
Editor’s Note: Step Up For Students would not be able to provide life-changing scholarships to low-income Florida children without the help of our generous corporate donors. Occasionally, we highlight the corporations that partner with Step Up to give K-12 schoolchildren educational options beyond those dictated by a student’s ZIP code, or income level through, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Today, we highlight Allegiant Travel Company.
Allegiant Travel Company specializes in linking travelers in small, underserved cities to world-class leisure destinations through its low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline. The company also offers other travel-related products such as hotel rooms, rental cars, and attraction tickets.
The company, which became publicly traded in 2006 under Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT), also offers low-cost travel packages and has a strong presence in Florida.
“It allows working-class folks to use their local airport and fly and travel in a way that was previously economically not in their reach,” said Brian Davis, Allegiant’s vice president of marketing. “Most of the travelers we serve are budget-conscious vacation travelers, who come to town on Allegiant and are able to have a fantastic trip that’s within their budget.”
Since 1997, that’s exactly what Allegiant has been doing and now serves 107 cities throughout the U.S. Florida has become a vital part of Allegiant’s operations, serving Orlando, Jacksonville, Palm Beach, Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach and St. Petersburg-Clearwater, where Allegiant recently added several new flights. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the airline’s first flight to Florida at the Orlando-Sanford International Airport.
“As our presence has grown in Florida, it’s important to give back to a community that has served us so well, and we feel we have very much become a part of over the years,” Davis said.
This was a key factor in the company deciding to partner this year with Step Up For Students, which helps administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program for low-income students. Allegiant has contributed $1 million to Step Up. The donation will provide about 170 students with scholarships worth up to $5,677 for the 2015-16 school year to help with tuition at participating private schools. Or, students may instead choose a scholarship worth up to $500 to help with transportation costs to out-of-county public schools.
“This demonstrates our commitment to the state of Florida,” Davis said. “This helps us go beyond just flying into the state. We are able to give back through education. Education is so important and that’s why we’re investing in it.”
Allegiant’s primary charitable focus has been working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It was an ideal fit, Davis said, because the majority of wishes require travel, something Allegiant could easily provide. On a smaller scale, the company has worked with local schools near its headquarters in Las Vegas, organizing book bag drives and other activities. Partnering with Step Up was the next step that made sense, he said.
“We are so grateful to Allegiant for their generous contribution and commitment in helping us provide educational options to students in Florida who need it most,” said Step Up President Doug Tuthill. “We’re excited about this upcoming school year and watching our scholarship programs grow with new donors like Allegiant. There’s no better investment than in the education of our children.”