Allegiant begins A319 revenue service

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Allegiant Air has started scheduled revenue service with its first Airbus A319 out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

The airline says the aircraft, the airline's first Airbus, started flying revenue flights on 1 March. The aircraft is not assigned to a specific route, but has been flying to a variety of the 36 destinations that Allegiant serves from Phoenix-Mesa.

Allegiant plans to have a second A319 in revenue service by the end of the second quarter of 2013, two A320s in service by the end of the third quarter and another five A320s in service by the end of the fourth quarter.

More aircraft are expected to arrive next year. The airline has said it will acquire a total of nine A319s and nine A320s.

The A319s have 156 seats in a one-class layout and the A320s will have 177 seats, also in one class.

The airline did not say where the planes will be based or which routes they will be operated on, but Jude Bricker, senior vice-president of planning and treasurer at Allegiant, told Flightglobal late last year that the A319s may serve high and hot airfields like those in Mexico and the Rocky Mountain region.