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Allegiant Air will have two new nonstop flights to Montana and Arkansas connected to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport by this summer as ticket sales once again begin to lift off.


A flight to Bozeman Yellowstone National Airport in Montana is set to start this May, and another flight to Bentonville, Arkansas will begin on July 2. According to Allegiant's Senior Vice President of Revenue Drew Wells, each destination—including Austin—is centered around outdoor activities in anticipation of higher ticket sales this summer as vaccines continue to be distributed.

"As summer approaches, we expect a lot of pent-up demand for travel, especially for places where people can hike, fish, camp or visit the beach," Wells said in a release. "With this expansion, we've added even more service to destinations known for their outdoor appeal. Now, with Allegiant's low-cost, nonstop service, travelers will have easy, affordable access to the cities they want to visit."

Routes to Bozeman will start on May 27 with one-way tickets as low as $59, while fares to Bentonville will begin at $49.

Just before these two new routes jet off, Austin will welcome Hawaiian Airlines' first-ever flight to Texas with a non-stop service from Honolulu to Austin-Bergstrom set to begin in April. The airport has also expanded its dining options with plans for a Whataburger location announced in January.

The new additions should add a boost to the Texas Capitol's airport, which like the rest of the industry has seen rapid drops in traffic. Austin-Bergstrom's passenger activity was down 62% percent in 2020 from the year before.

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(Laura Figi/Austonia)

When Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he would rescind business capacity limits and a statewide masking mandate on Texas Independence Day, he framed it as a step forward. "With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny," he said during a press conference at a Mexican restaurant in Lubbock.

But some local restaurants and bars, which have been caught in the regulatory crosshairs since Texas' first positive COVID test 364 days ago, have chosen to ignore Abbott's overture. Instead, they will continue to maintain pandemic precautions once the executive order takes effect next week, citing a desire to keep their staff and patrons safe.

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(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Austonia has hired Claire Partain as a reporter covering Austin FC, the MLS expansion team that will be Austin's first major league sports franchise.

Partain is a former sports editor for the The University Star, Texas State University's daily newspaper. She edited, covered sports, produced podcasts, and hosted a pre-game TXST football tailgate live series. Partain has been freelancing with the company since January, prior to accepting a staff position.

A native of Fairfield, Texas, Partain grew up playing youth soccer. In her high school years, she played alongside her mother in what was then called the Freestone County Hispanic Women's Soccer League.

Claire's coverage philosophy: "I like to bring out the humanity of sports, and I want to make this the most accessible sports coverage possible."

She notes that soccer is the predominant sport for young people. "It's a global sport, and we're more connected to the world than older generations."

That approach fits the team's already visible presence in Austin, says Austonia CEO Mark Dewey. "Austin FC has established itself as a leading Austin brand, one that stands for a more unified Austin community, a bigger global presence for Austin and fun. Austonia shares those values."

Partain's soccer coverage begins immediately, with her free, hosted text service—Austonia FC. For updates, special access and inside info, all moderated by Claire, sign up below.

Austonia is the city's independent, free, locally-owned and all-digital source for Austin news, information and entertainment.

Connect with Austonia through its daily email newsletter and text updates, @austonianews Instagram feed, @austonianews and @austinist Twitter feeds, @austonianews Facebook page and its website austonia.com.

(Jordan Vonderhaar)

Austin Public Health will release another batch of first dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Thursday on Wednesday evening. A department spokesperson estimates between 3,000 and 4,000 slots will be available.

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