Allegiant Air’s inaugural non-stop flight from Casper to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport pushed back from the gates of Casper-Natrona County International Airport on Thursday.

Prior to the flight, officials and travelers gathered in front of the airport’s security checkpoint for a route dedication ceremony.

Airport manager Glenn Januska says the new route illustrates a strong bond between Allegiant and Casper-Natrona County International Airport.

“Allegiant Airlines has been flying for four years out of our market to Las Vegas,” Januska said. “We’re really excited to have a packed plane going out for the first flight.”

Januska says initial load factors have been strong despite limited advertising.

“Allegiant really hasn’t done advertising in our market, and they really won’t until January,” Januska said. “So, right now, everything has been word of mouth, or Facebook or social media, so, the fact that our passengers have responded as well as they have to this point, I think, is kind of a testament.”

Allegiant says it will fly its new Casper to Mesa, Ariz., route twice weekly.