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US low-cost leisure specialist, Allegiant Air has revealed it will launch new services on 22 domestic routes this summer, including the introduction of five new markets to its network: Akron-Canton, Ohio; Brownsville, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.
The carrier has traditionally focused almost exclusively on connecting small and medium-sized cities to its focus airports located mostly in leisure destinations across the United States. However, this latest expansion continues a recent trend of introducing flights into larger markets. Most of these routes will be served with between two and four weekly frequencies.
Allegiant’s low-cost business model has allowed it to grow from one aircraft and one route 16 years ago, to offering access to low-cost, non-stop travel over 100 communities nationwide, more than any other domestic low-cost carrier. The airline operation is complement by the Allegiant Travel proposition that offers holiday packages alongside the flight options.
The carrier’s new year-round routes starting in summer 2015 will include flights to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport from Concord (from May 8, 2015) and Memphis (from May 22, 2015); to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport from Brownsville (from June 4, 2015) and Memphis(from May 22, 2015); to Los Angeles International Airport from Boise (from June 5, 2015); to Orlando-Sanford International Airport from Memphis (from May 22, 2015) and Raleigh-Durham (from May 7, 2015) to Punta Gorda Airport from Raleigh-Durham (from May 7, 2015) and to St Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport from Akron / Canton (from May 21, 2015) and Raleigh-Durham (from May 6, 2015).
Seasonal summer flights will be introduced from May and June, initially with a link between Oakland and Omaha from May 1, 2015. A new focus city of Savannah will see flights from Hilton Head International Airport open from May 8, 2015 to Cincinnati and May 21, 2015 to Akron/Canton.
More summer only flights will also be introduced from the start of June between Myrtle Beach and Akron/Canton, Clarksburg, Indianapolis, Orlando and Pittsburgh; Austin and Cincinnati; Los Angeles and Little Rock (from June 4, 2015) and Telluride via Montrose Regional Airport (from June 5, 2015) and the new focus city of Savannah and Columbus.
"We are pleased to announce this expansion and bring new convenient, low-cost vacation options to five new communities, as well as new destination options for those communities we currently serve," said Jude Bricker, senior vice president of planning, Allegiant Travel Company. "Allegiant is dedicated to making vacations more affordable for more people, offering travellers the lowest possible base fare and the best deals on vacation packages."
Over the years, Allegiant has carried over 43 million passengers, and the company continues to grow, offering more nonstop service in more communities. In 2014, Allegiant announced service in six new cities and added 25 new routes to its network. It recently announced its 48th consecutive quarter of profitable operation while keeping its average one-way fare under $100.
The airline continues a fleet renewal process to support its development. This month it has entered into an agreement to purchase six additional Airbus A319s currently being operated by Cebu Pacific Air in the Philippines. These are scheduled to enter the Allegiant Air fleet from the end of 2015 through 2017.
"We continue to be able to find high quality, used A319s that fit our specification," said Bricker. "These aircraft will have 156 seats which is similar to our current A319s. Including these aircraft, we have added commitments for ten additional A320 series aircraft so far this year and will remain active in the used A320 market."
Two of the aircraft will be purchased in 2015 and the company expects the remainder to be purchased in 2016. Allegiant's expected plan including all aircraft currently under contract will see its fleet grow 14 per cent in 2015, eight per cent in 2016, six per cent in 2017 and 13 per cent in 2018, by which time its Airbus short-haul fleet would have grown to 30 A319s and 14 A320s. These will complement its current 53 McDonnell Douglas MD-80s and six Boeing 757-200s, taking its total fleet above the 100 aircraft figure.
In our analysis, below, we look in closer detail at the main points in the Allegiant Air network in 2014 and how departure capacity compares with the previous year. In total, the carrier’s network capacity grew by 12.1 per cent between 2013 and 2014. Over the past ten years its network capacity has grown 596.2 per cent from 1.26 million seats in 2005 to 8.83 million last year, an average annual rise of 66.2 per cent.