I was just about to write about Allegiant picking up 10 A319s from Cebu Pacific and 9 from Easyjet, but then Cranky beat me to it, and let’s be honest, I’m WAY lazier than he is. Look – he’s got graphics and whatnot in there. I can’t compete. So, in short:
– They’re grabbing these planes because, well, they can and no one else wants them.
– Their operating costs are lower than the MD-80s they typically fly around (nearly 10% cheaper).
– A319 will allow for greater range and flexibility than the MD-80s
Sure, adding more plane types adds to the complexity of the operation, but their costs are much lower, and the aircraft were available. Allegiant runs a tight ship (in my mind they are, with Spirit and US Airways, the best run airline in the US). What was that? Yes, Allegiant, Spirit and US Airways. Who else has run a consistently great business in the airline industry. OK, Southwest. Fine. Throw them in there, too. But look at the stock returns from Allegiant, Spirit and US Airways vs Southwest and see who is kicking some butt (answer: Allegiant, Spirit and US Airways). You don’t have to fly them, but you do have to respect their operational focus.