U.S. airline Allegiant Air has announced it will begin offering cheap flights from Washington State to Hawaii later this year, a cross-border alternative that may prove tempting to budget-conscious B.C. travellers fed up with the cost of flying from home.

Allegiant will start flying non-stop from Bellingham to popular Hawaiian vacation destinations twice a week starting in mid-November, with prices as low as $159 USD for a one-way ticket to Honolulu International Airport and $199 USD to Maui's Kahului Airport. Taxes are not included.

In addition, the carrier is planning to construct a 9,000-square-foot building at Bellingham Airport to welcome another airline, Frontier Airlines, which will connect passengers to American cities via Denver, Col.

Allegiant president Andrew C. Levy says the company is hoping to court both American and Canadian customers – including British Columbians, whom Levy says make up "well over half" of the carrier's clientele in Bellingham.

Levy says Canadians are drawn south by the availability of cheaper flights and the convenience of leaving from smaller airports, particularly for those who live near the border.

"It's a very nice, small, easy to navigate little airport, and I think that a lot of our customers around the country, including B.C., really appreciate flying out of smaller airports," Levy told CTV News.

Allegiant Air was founded in 1997 and became a public company in December 2006.