Allegiant Travel Company celebrated its 2,000th flight as a Make-A-Wish partner on Jan. 19.
The company is recognized as a Wish Champion and receives donations of $1 million annually through in-king flights, event sponsorships like the annual Walk for Wishes event in Las Vegas, and selling specially-branded Wingz Kids Snack Packs on every Allegiant flight with a $1 donation for every sale. The airline is the only one to feature a special Make-A-Wish design on the A320 Airbus.
Allegiant flew its 2,000th kid, Annabelle from Reno to Las Vegas, Nevada, to fulfill her wish of hitting the ice as a professional hockey player. Eight-year-old Annabelle has cystic fibrosis and was welcomed at Harry Reid International Airport by dozens of Allegiant and Make-A-Wish staff members. She was presented with a gift basket by Allegiant Chief Marketing Officer Scott DeAngelo, filled with Vegas Golden Knight gear, a jersey signed by Mark Stone and a hockey stick.
"We are beyond thrilled to have reached such a significant milestone as a partner with Make-A-Wish," Allegiant CEO John Redmond said. "Helping to make wishes come true for these brave and inspiring children is a true honor for us at Allegiant. We can't wait to continue celebrating with Annabelle and her family on this unforgettable experience."
Since becoming a national partner with Make-A-Wish in 2012, the airline has donated over $7 million to the organization through fundraising efforts. Wish fulfillment is often trips to amusement parks or the beach, but many have been flown to Las Vegas over the years. The Airline's 1000th wish kid, Cuatro, flew from his home in Texas to Las Vegas to attend the Monster Jam World Finals XIX.
"Time and time again, Allegiant and its employees have shown through their care, kindness and commitment that their partnership with Make-A-Wish is something they hold near and dear," President and CEO of Make-A-Wish America, Leslie Motter, said. "We know that wishes can lead to improved health outcomes and quality of life for children with critical illnesses, and that impact is something Allegiant has now played a significant part in delivering thousands of times for which we are incredibly grateful."
The partnership between Allegiant and Make-A-Wish offers more than flights, with the airline donating office spaces at its Las Vegas headquarters to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada in 2017. The donation of office space has allowed the nonprofit to reduce administrative costs, allocating those funds to wish fulfillment.
Nearly 77 percent of wishes involve air travel. Allegiant allows the Make-A-Wish program to provide real life-changing experiences for children with critical illnesses. A program like this makes these wishes a reality for those who deserve it most.