New Horizons? Allegiant Gets Some Different Airplanes...

 

Airline news has been kind of slow lately, but something popped up yesterday that's definitely worth a mention...

Image of Allegiant airplaneOur friends at Allegiant are getting some new airplanes — not brand new, but new to the Allegiant fleet. Allegiant is our low cost carrier that provides our service to Los Angeles, Phoenix/Mesa, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Tampa/St. Pete. For years the airline has flown only one kind of airplane: McDonnell Douglas MD-80s. In the past couple of years the airline latched on to several Boeing 757s. They're mostly used on Allegiant's routes to Hawaii.

Yesterday the airline announced that it's adding 19 Airbus A319 aircraft to its fleet (an A319 is shown in the photo). This is very interesting  — mainly because A319s can do things that an MD-80 can't. As investment firm Sterne Agee noted, "The planes have significantly longer range than MD-80s and can use more difficult airports which should allow them to grow their network." Indeed. Depending on variables, the A319 can fly more than twice as far as an MD-80. Why is that interesting? Well, let's look at it strictly from our point-of-view....

Springfield, Mo sits nearly smack-dab in the middle of the country. That makes it a very long haul from here to the West Coast, or to the upper East Coast. Keep this thought in mind as you read on...

Allegiant currently flies from here to Los Angeles using an MD-80. That's about 1400 miles. That's a long stretch for an MD-80 and close to the end of its range. The point I'm making here is that 1400 miles is about as far as Allegiant is going to fly from Springfield using an MD-80. So what happens when A319s get thrown into the fleet mix? It means that Allegiant has a lot more flexibility when it comes to how far it can fly — it gives the airline the ability to fly to more far flung vacation destinations.

I'm not suggesting that Allegiant is about to add far flung destinations to Springfield's roster. I'm merely pointing out that the A319 broadens our horizons.

 

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