Monday, March 8, 2010

Allegiant buys 6 Boeing 757s

A couple of days ago Allegiant Air announced that it has signed an agreement with a European carrier(now known to be TUI’s Thomsonfly) to purchase six Boeing 757-200s(all six planes are sister ships) for $75-90 million which will get them ready to enter the fleet. The first two planes should be delivered to Allegiant in the coming months and those planes will enter service in the fourth quarter off 2010. Two more will go into service in the first half of 2011 and the last two will go into service in the first half of 2012.

I can only guess that the aircraft will be configured in a single class like their MD-80s unless they decide to try a first or business class on these planes. It would be a way for Allegiant to experiment and hey if it doesn't work, just configure the planes to all economy. I don't see the seating in the planes going over 200 seats. One reason being that they could keep four flight attendants on the planes with 200 seats and the more seats you add, the more weight gets added when those seats are filled and you loose range that the plane can operate with this extra weight.

Allegiant has stated that they plan on using the aircraft to enter the Hawaii market from the west coast. Knowing how Allegiant likes to go into smaller second hand airports, Long Beach(LGB) makes perfect sense for the LA basin. Not only is the runway at LGB plenty long but no airline serves Hawaii from there and it's small so it would work well especially since Allegiant recently got 2 slots there. LAX has quite a few airlines already serving Hawaii and there are no slots at Orange County(SNA).

They could also tap into the Canadian market by flying from Bellingham, Washington which they seem to be doing pretty well with by flying to Las Vegas from there. This might be a good way to steer some traffic away from Vancouver or possibly just generate a passenger growth especially when you consider than the price of tickets are going to be quite a bit less than anything you could get from any airline serving Vancouver currently.

Anyway you slice it, this should be a win-win for Allegiant and if they do their homework and pick the right airport(s) to serve Hawaii from, they will be reaping the rewards for some time to come!