Low-cost carrier Allegiant Air expects to grow scheduled capacity by between 20% and 25% in 2013, as it adds the Airbus A319 to its fleet and operates a full year with six Boeing 757s and more seats on its MD-80s.
The carrier announced a plan today to add 19 A319s to its fleet, and will begin taking delivery of the aircraft from the fourth quarter this year through 2015. Allegiant, mainly an MD-80 operator, is in the process of adding 16 seats to each of its MD-82/83s, taking the total number of seats on each aircraft to 166. The airline says today that 29 aircraft have had the seats added.
Allegiant currently operates four Boeing 757s, but this will increase to six in the first quarter of 2013 when the two additional aircraft are returned from leases.
Altogether, the fleet developments will lead to a 20% to 25% growth in capacity in 2013. Allegiant expects no change to its scheduled capacity for 2012. It will grow capacity by between 15% and 19% in the third quarter, between 22% and 26% in the fourth quarter, and between 20% and 25% for the full year in 2012.
Of Allegiant's 19 Airbus A319s, nine will be leased from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) while the other 10 will be purchased eventually after five-year capital leases from Cebu Pacific.
The nine GECAS A319s were operated by EasyJet. The first of these will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2012, a second in the first quarter of 2013, a third in the third quarter of 2014, a fourth in the fourth quarter of 2014, a fifth in the first quarter of 2015 and the remaining four in the second quarter of 2015.
Allegiant will take delivery of the first Cebu Pacific A319 in the first quarter of 2013, the second in the second quarter, the third and fourth in the third quarter, three aircraft in the fourth quarter, two aircraft in the first quarter of 2014 and the remaining aircraft in the second quarter.
The first two Allegiant A319s will enter into service in the second quarter of 2013, and all 19 A319s will be in service in the third quarter of 2015.
Allegiant expects to end 2012 with an in-service fleet of 62 aircraft, comprised of 58 MD-80s and four 757s. In 2013, it will retire two MD-87s and end the year with 56 MD-80s, six 757s and six A319s for a total fleet size of 68 aircraft. It will operate 75 aircraft by the end of 2014 (56 MD-80s, six 757s and 13 A319s) and 81 aircraft by the end of 2015 (56 MD-80s, six 757s and 19 A319s).