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Allegiant predicts unit cost 'surprise' in 2018

Allegiant Air expects cost per available seat mile (CASM) improvement in 2018 thanks to lower pilot training expenses and the introduction of more Airbus A319 aircraft, says the company's chief operating officer Jude Bricker.

"CASM is going to be the more positive surprise in 2018 because we have some really easy accomplishments before us," says Bricker during the Wolfe Research Transportation Conference on 23 May. "I think it's going to be a very positive surprise to where the street expects us to be."

Bricker says Allegiant expects a reduction in pilot training costs in the coming year. Currently some 20% of Allegiant's pilots are in training, but that figure will decline to around 5%, Bricker says.

Also, A319s that the airline now leases to EasyJet will soon join its fleet, a change that will positively impact CASM, Bricker says.

Those aircraft, which currently generate costs but not available seat miles, "will in 2018 have a material impact on CASM", say Bricker.

Allegiant leases 12 A319s to EasyJet, and intends to place those aircraft into service when the leases expire in 2018, the company has said.

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