Allegiant sees opportunity in AirTran's abandoned markets

Washington DC
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Allegiant Air plans to capitalise on AirTran Airways' withdrawal from certain markets, and believe there are more opportunities to begin flights to the cities that the carrier has abandoned.

AirTran, which was acquired by Southwest Airlines in May, announced last month it would cease operations at four airports in the first quarter of 2012 as it could not sustain operations there.

Allegiant has subsequently announced it would launch flights from Orlando Sanford International airport to two of these cities: Newport News in Virginia from 16 November and Asheville in North Carolina from 18 November.

The airline's president Andrew Levy said Allegiant believes it would be able to make a profit on these routes, and that there are "probably more opportunities" to serve the markets that AirTran has withdrawn from.

Allegiant plans to launch 18 new routes in the second half of 2011, including the Asheville and Newport News flights. Six of the 18 routes will be announced shortly, said Levy.