Allegiant Airlines Overview
Allegiant Air was founded in 1997; initially, the airline wished to be called West Jet Express. However, two other airlines with similar names filed trademark disputes, and the airline adopted the name Allegiant Air when it received its FAA and DOT certification in 1998. The airline’s first hub was in Fresno, CA (FAT) where it serviced nearby West Coast cities like Burbank (BUR) and Las Vegas (LAS). Unable to cover the costs of its operations in 2000, the airline filed for bankruptcy protection. Read More
In 2002, the airline restructured and exited out of bankruptcy, with a new CEO at the helm; the airline transitioned to the low-cost model it uses today. Along with the restructuring, the airline signed a contract with casino conglomerate Harrah’s to provide charter service to its resorts in Laughlin and Reno. In the late 2000’s the airline opened focus cities in Phoenix and Ft. Lauderdale, which gave the airline a presence in one of its target markets in South Florida. Today, the airline continues to add passenger service to leisure destinations, all while packaging other travel offerings along with its airfares.
Headquartered in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin, Nevada, Allegiant Air uses a strategy of servicing smaller markets and airports that are under-served by large airlines to benefit its low-cost approach. As an example, instead of flying to the busy Sky Harbor (PHX) airport in Phoenix, Allegiant Air instead uses Phoenix/Mesa (AZA) as its focus airport in the area. The same is the case in Orlando where the airline uses secondary Orlando/Sanford (SFB) for its service. Because Allegiant operates in pockets geared toward leisure travelers, it doesn’t maintain any central or major hubs. Instead, Allegiant uses spread-out focus cities like St. Pete/Clearwater (PIE), Bellingham (BLI), and its hometown of Las Vegas (LAS) to base its aircraft.
Allegiant Air does not belong to an airline alliance nor does it have any other airline code-share partners. In 2016, Allegiant introduced a points program entitled myAllegiant Rewards. However, it is only available to flyers who sign up for their co-branded credit card, with points gained by purchases and not by miles flown on the airline.
As of 2018, Allegiant Air has 100 airplanes in service including Airbus A319, A320, and McDonnell Douglas MD-80s. The later, MD-80s are scheduled for retirement later this year after the airline has had a string of safety concerns and incidents with that fleet.
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