Flight Blog

Nov 13 2012 LAX Service Suspended BY adminTAGS Allegiant

Allegiant has officially told us that it’s suspending its service between Springfield and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in mid-January. The news was not unexpected. The airline told us several months ago that it could happen due to operational issues at LAX.

According to several media reports those operational issues include construction, and a lack of gate and counter space. As a result, Allegiant began suspending LAX service early in the fall in cities across the country. Our service is apparently one of the last to go.

Note that I’m using the phrase “suspending service,” rather than, “cutting service.” On Sunday Allegiant told me that it’s “actively working to find a way to make the route successful long term." In other words, Allegiant hopes to bring the service back. Exactly what that means remains to be seen…

My best guess is that the airline will dump LAX and fly to another airport in the Los Angeles area. There are plenty to choose from: Santa Barbara, Burbank, Orange County, Long Beach, and Ontario.

Check out this Cranky Flier post on the LAX/Allegiant issues.

 

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Oct 29 2012 Take a Peek at an Allegiant A319 BY adminTAGS Allegiant

 

Earlier this year Allegiant announced that it will start using Airbus A319s. Check out this blog and its photos of a 319 in it's new livery.

 

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Allegiant recently flew its 500,000th customer from our airport. The half-a-million milestone was reached in May; almost exactly seven years after the low fare airline began flying from Springfield.

Allegiant began service here in April 2005 with low fare flights to Las Vegas. Flights to Orlando, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Phoenix, and Los Angeles followed.

The importance of the airline to this market should not be underestimated. Because of Allegiant people fly from Springfield who wouldn't have flown otherwise. That's because it's not unsual to find round trip fare on Allegiant for less than $200. And it's not just people from this area who are doing it. People come here from Tulsa. From Kansas City. Central Missouri. Northern Arkansas. St. Louis. They come here to fly on Allegiant.

Allegiant’s passenger milestone comes at a time that finds passenger numbers up in Springfield. For the period January through August, total passenger numbers were up 4.5%. Here’s how that compares with other airports in the region:
 

AIRPORT

TOTAL PASSENGERS (ARRIVING & DEPARTING)

January through August, 2012, compared to the same period last year

   
Northwest Arkansas - 1%
Tulsa + 1.5%
St. Louis + 2%
Kansas City - 1.4%
Springfield + 4.5%

 

Yes, our passenger numbers are bucking the trend. Will it continue? Our best guess is that we'll finish the year with flat passenger numbers, or up slightly.  This forecast is based on the fact that the airlines have announced more nation wide capacity cuts (fewer seats in the air) for the rest of the year. Why cut? The price of jet fuel and the sluggish economy. While this may sound dreary, it's a whole lot better than last year...we finished 2011 with an 8% decline in passengers, and a 21% cut in capacity. So this year is much, much better.

 

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Allegiant will soon offer passengers video-on-demand. That's according to a press release from Row 44.

Allegiant serves our airport with non-stop flights to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, and Tampa/St. Pete. According to the press release the video service will primarily be offered on Allegiant's Hawaiian flights. Read the release here.

 

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Image of regional jet

Last week's posting about the soon-to-be phasing out of regional jets prompted these comments and questions from SGFpilot:

"Yeah for bigger jets at SGF!! That's always exciting. DO you think it will be the bigger 70-90seat RJ's like the CRJ-900 and Embraer 170/190 replacing the  50 seat CRJ-200's and EMB-145? OR will it be out with the RJ's alltogether and some Airbus A-318's, 737's, MD-80/DC-9's coming in? Any insight?"

It's hard to say exactly what will replace the 50-seats-or-less regional jets (RJs) in Springfield, but here are some candidates:

 

I suspect many of you are happy with the thought of bigger jets. But there is a down side: fewer flights...

Example: right now American has seven daily flights to Dallas. Let's assume that all these flights are on 50 seat aircraft. That's a total of 350 seats a day. Suppose American switched to 90 seat jets. It would only need four flights a day to carry the same number of people. The reduction in flights means that travelers have less flexibility flying to/from Dallas.

 

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