Allegiant Air provides low-cost scheduled domestic services linking destinations in the United States. The airline operates primarily from secondary and smaller city airports, linking them with eight hubs ('focus cities'), all of which serve leisure markets. Allegiant also provides flights as part of vacation packages sold by its Allegiant Vacations affiliate and offers charter flights throughout the US, Canada, Cuba and Mexico.
Founded as WestJet Express, the airline became Allegiant Air to avoid brand confusion with similarly named carriers.
Commenced charter services from its Fresno, California base in June 1998, and launched scheduled services on 15 October 1999, operating a mixed McDonnell Douglas DC-9 fleet between Fresno and Las Vegas.
Established a second hub at Long Beach in 2000, replicating the network previously operated by Winair. The expansion at a time of rising fuel costs proved costly and the airline was forced to suspend services on four of five scheduled routes and file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in December 2000.
Allegiant relocated to its Las Vegas hub in 2001 and refocused on serving smaller markets not already served by the mainline US carriers.
The airline emerged successfully from Chapter 11 in 2002. Allegiant then expanded steadily, opening two new hubs in Florida.
Parent Allegiant Travel Company was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange after an IPO which closed in December 2006.
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport became the fourth hub, or ‘focus city’ in October 2007, shortly followed by additional hubs at Fort Lauderdale, Bellingham and Los Angeles International Airport. In February 2010 some services were moved from the hub at Orlando/Sanford International Airport to Orlando International Airport. In February 2009 the airline announced that its sixth operating base would be Grand Rapids.