Allegiant expects 2013 growth to move away from Las Vegas base

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Low-cost carrier Allegiant Air sees more growth coming out of other destination markets instead of its Las Vegas base during the next year.

The carrier's senior vice-president of planning Jude Bricker said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference today that Las Vegas "disappointed" in the airline's first quarter.

While the Las Vegas market is considered stable, he added that it would be a "good assumption" that the airline expects its growth in 2013 to be in destinations like Hawaii as well as in new markets from Orlando-Sanford and Phoenix-Mesa which are doing very well, said Bricker,

Allegiant will launch its first flights to Hawaii in June, with Boeing 757 operations to Honolulu from Fresno, California and Las Vegas. On 15 May, Allegiant announced that it will add more Hawaii flights in November, with non-stop flights to Honolulu from Bellingham, Washington; Eugene, Oregon; Santa Maria, California and Stockton, California, as well as a non-stop flight from Bellingham to Maui.

The airline expects to secure US Federal Aviation Administration approval in June for extended operations (ETOPS) for its 757s to operate the Hawaii flights.

A mainly Boeing MD-80 operator, Allegiant owns six 757s. Two of the six 757s are being leased out to third parties but Allegiant expects them to be returned in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Of the four 757s with Allegiant, one is being operated and the remaining three are being prepared for revenue service. The airline expects that all four aircraft to be operating by end-2012, said Bricker. By the end of the first quarter in 2013, all six 757s will be in service.