Allegiant Air Announces Twelve New Routes

By Vinay Bhaskara / Published March 4, 2014

Allegiant AirlinesLas Vegas-based ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC) Allegiant Air announced yet another expansion early Tuesday morning. This time the carrier detailed twelve new routes that it plans to launch out of its focus cities at Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach, Palm Beach, Phoenix  Mesa, and St. Petersburg-Clearwater. The new routes mark Allegiant’s first major announcement in 2014, after launching 39 new routes to 15 new destinations in 2013. The details of the new flights are below:

Los Angeles (LAX)

  1. Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CID)–> Starting June 6, 2014 –> Seasonal
  2. Great Falls, Montana (GTF) –> Starting June 6, 2014 –> Seasonal
  3. Kalispell, Montana (FCA) –> Starting June 5, 2014 –> Seasonal
  4. McAllen, Texas (MFE) - Starting June 5, 2014 –> Seasonal

Myrtle Beach (MYR)

  1. Cincinnati, Ohio (CVG) –> Starting May 30, 2014 –> Seasonal
  2. Columbus, Ohio (CMH) –> Starting May 29, 2014 –> Seasonal
  3. Lexington, Kentucky (LEX) –> Starting May 29, 2014 –> Seasonal
  4. Syracuse, New York (SYR) –> Starting May 29, 2014 –> Seasonal

St. Petersburg-Clearwater (PIE) 

  1. Cincinnati, Ohio (CVG) –> Starting May 15, 2014 –> Seasonal

Palm Beach (PBI)

  1. Asheville, North Carolina (AVL) –> Starting May 5, 2014 –> Year Round

Phoenix Mesa Gateway (AZA)

  1. Colorado Springs (COS). - Starting May 15, 2013 –> Year Round
  2. Stockton, California (SCK) –> Starting May 15, 2014 –> Year Round

A map of the routes announced can be found below:

Covington is Cincinnati – Maps generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

The most interesting parts of this announcement are the expansions in Myrtle Beach and Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, the carrier will be going head to head with Delta on the route to Kalispell. Delta serves Kalispell on a Saturday only basis using Embraer E175 equipment, and while the route technically qualifies as utilization flying, its secondary purpose is to serve as a weapon in Delta’s battle to win Los Angeles based frequent flyers (the thinking goes that adding Saturday-only flights to popular destinations will sway customers on the leisure side of the ledger, which when paired with competitive schedules to key business destinations, will sway passengers over to Delta’s side). However, Allegiant already has a presence on a lot of the potential Saturday-only markets that Delta could look at adding, creating an unsavory pricing environment for Delta (who would primarily be using relatively expensive regional jets on these routes). It will be interesting to see how Delta responds in Kalispell over the coming months.

Myrtle Beach, meanwhile, is Spirit Airlines country. Long a Spirit stronghold, Myrtle Beach currently sees nonstop service to thirteen destinations from Allegiant’s ULCC rival. After this expansion, Allegiant will serve eight. Over the past couple of years, Spirit’s strategy of expanding from major airports while Allegiant continued its Ryanair-esque growth in secondary airports meant that the two carriers largely didn’t compete much head-to-head. However, Spirit’s nationwide ambitions mean that its traditional secondary strongholds like Atlantic City or Myrtle Beach are vulnerable to attack, and Allegiant has acted accordingly. Admittedly, the carriers do not yet compete head to head on any routes from Myrtle Beach, but it will be interesting to see if Allegiant continues to build there.

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Contact the author at Vinay.Bhaskara@Airchive.com

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