Topic of the Week: Allegiant’s 757s In the Air Soon


Allegiant has finally received permission to fly the 757 from the FAA. Until it gets certification to fly long overwater segments to Hawai’i (ETOPS), these airplanes will head from Vegas to McAllen (TX) and Rockford (IL). Anyone want to speculate on whether Allegiant will in fact begin Hawai’i flying by next summer? Where do you think the airline will fly from on the mainland?

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28 comments on “Topic of the Week: Allegiant’s 757s In the Air Soon

  1. I think they will be flying by next summer and I think they will fly out of Long Beach, Las Vegas, Phoenix/Mesa, Los Angeles, then maybe a small city in Oregon like Eugene, and a small city by the bay like Stockton or Monterey.

  2. I was wondering more on how they picked which cities they would use them for now.

    But LAS would be a good choice for Hawaii since you would assume pilots are based there and a cheap fare would get HA rethinking how to fill it’s widebody aircraft. Hawaiians love heading to Vegas and if Allegiant is a lot less the HA, that’s who they will use.

    Since they don’t fly daily from one city to another, I would think a few cities in California that don’t have service and maybe Mesa.

  3. I’ll think outside the box and suggest maybe something like LAS-FAT-HNL-LGB-LAS v.v. to start. As David SF stated above, a/c are probably LAS based and routings such as my example above serve several market segments with one plane and maintains the integrity of the LAS base.

  4. My .02:

    Strong contenders (in tentative order):

    1. Bellingham, WA – existing focus city, 90 miles to SEA (#12 Combined Statistical Area in 2010 with 4.2 mil), 50 miles to Vancouver, CA (3rd largest metro area in Canada around 2.5 mil)

    2. Mesa, AZ (#14 Metro Statistical area with 4.2 mil), existing focus city, could provide connections from 20+ stations IF allegiant decided to enable connections (if not, could slide down this list)

    3. Long Beach, CA – over 20 mil in catchment area of LA/OC/inland empire (#2 CSA with 17.8 mil) plus SD (#17 Metro Statistical Area with 3.1 mil), tons of Hawaii competition at LAX but at least this would be at alternate airport

    3. Stockton, CA – 50 miles to Sacto (#24 MSA with 2.1 mil), 75 miles to much of East Bay and South Bay area (#7 CSA of SF/SJ/Oak with 7.5 mil) plus Stockton/Modesto MSAs combined have 1.2 mil (which would be #46 MSA if combined)

    Long shots:

    1. Colorado Springs, CA – 70 miles from DEN (#21 MSA with 2.5 mil), Col Springs itself is #82 MSA with 645k

    2. Fresno, CA – stranger things have happened but it would be soooooo allegiant do fly here and back weekly (#55 MSA, over 900k population)

    3. Las Vegas, CA – This would likely be contingent on offering connections from the numerous small cities in middle america that have service to LAS; however, there is lots of competition to Hawaii at LAS and it is not a low-cost alternate airport

        1. Yes, AS probably started BLI-HNL to stop Allegiant, which probably will work. It’s harder to keep costs that low on longer flights, so Allegiant will probably will just use the planes elsewhere.

  5. Bellingham seemed likely, though Alaska anticipated that move and started flying BLI-HNL daily. It’ll be interesting to see what Allegiant does there. It would be kind of hillarious if little old Bellingham, WA (which really is Vancouver-South as far as who flies out of there) started having two airlines competing on routes to Hawaii.

  6. Las Vegas is an unlikely contender for a hawaii route. The only example I can think of where Allegiant purposely entered a route already served by another airline is Las Vegas – Long Beach, and they really don’t want to continue serving that route on a permanent basis, anyway. The airline does not seem interested in offering connections, so a multi-city structure also seems unlikely.
    That being said, however, Bellingham – Honolulu seems like a likely contender, despite Alaska already serving this route. Looking at Alaska’s fares on this route, I question whether they are doing all that well. It will be interesting to see who’s flying this route a year from now.
    I would also put money on Long Beach – Honolulu. Other than that, I’m guessing Allegiant will do what it does best, which is select a few cities that don’t have service, try it out, and pull out as quickly as possible if they can’t fill the seats.

    On another note, I wonder how Allegiant’s brand of tight seating and zero legroom is going to come off with passengers on long haul flights.

    1. I’m pretty sure that US Airways Express was still in the LAS-Monterey, CA and LAS-Medford, OR markets when Allegiant started those routes.

      One thought I have about Hawaii-LAS is that it may not originate in HNL. The HA flights and Omni charters tend to focus on HNL, so Allegiant could try something like Maui-LAS.

  7. If Allegiant were smart, they should “try” operating out of LAX, since there are no longer “Low Cost” alternatives to the majors, since Suntrips quit thier daily operations with Skyservice USA and Pleasant Hawaiian stopped after ATA shut down. Both of those airlines were ALWAYS full.

    Las Vegas might be an option, but the Hawaiian “locals” come to Vegas on the daily charters operated by Omni Air International, and Hawaiian Airlines has the rest of the traffic. A low cost alternative might just give HA a run for thier money!

    But realistically, as others have stated on here, the logical choices would be the “secondary” cities that Allegiant is known for: Mesa, Long Beach, perhaps Bellingham (if they truly intend to compete head-on with Alaska), perhaps Palm Springs even?

    It will be interesting to see if they can fill those 217 seats when EVERYTHING costs extra (like Spirit Airlines).

    I’m curious to see what they do!

  8. I agree with JD. I have hands-on experience with this topic and Allegiant’s 757, and there’s significant frustration corporate-wide related to the certification and EIS of these aircraft and their intended destinations in Hawaii.

  9. well i think they may invade an island airport with a lack of service…..say hilo….to stockton, long beach, mesa, bellingham, las vegas, and maybe even oakland…..and for good measure eugene

    1. I’ve been to Hilo and there is no reason to go there, but if the flight is cheap enough it could be worth while for those willing to rent a car and drive to the other side of the island to Kona.

      1. Hilo is closer to the volcano than the Kona resorts, but the hotels in Hilo aren’t that great (they’re pretty much stuck in the 1970s), so it’s not going to have the attraction for selling Hawaii-bound vacation packages that Kona has.

  10. Las Vegas is the most Hawaiian city on the mainland. Not only for Hawaiian visitors but a destination for residency. Many islanders take advantage of Las Vegas vacation packages much in the same way mainlanders seek Hawaii packages. But almost all Hawaiians complain about the high price of travel.

    As an Alligent hub, Las Vegas is a good place to ‘top-off’ the aircraft with Hawaiian passengers along with mainlanders.

  11. Should be interesting with onboard service. Hawaii is a long way for some people to go without food so there could be a lot of passengers packing a meal or buying food at the airport if they don’t want to pay what Allegiant might offer if anything.

    And if Allegiant does offer food for sell and if people bring their own onboard that adds more weight to the plane which means more fuel used. If even 100 people brought 1 pound of food that is an extra 100 pounds to fly.

    But on the other hand they could have 200 people buying food onboard and that could help pay to operate the flights.

    Should be very interesting to see how this all plays out.

  12. The combination of high weight due to 218 units of self load cargo, the fuel for 2600 miles against prevailing winds, and ETOPS fuel requirements plus the ‘warmth of BUR make Burbank an iffy proposition for a 757 with PW2037’s.

    My estimate for the TOW for the BUR-HNL run is about 235,000 pounds. On a +25F day (certainly not uncommon at BUR), and PW2037’s, the Boeing charts say you need about 300 feet more runway than BUR has…

    I’ve tried to find out what engines Allegiant has, but even the FAA database for N902NV doesn’t say.

    If they have RB211-535E4’s or PW2040’s, Burbank should work. With PW2037’s on a warm day they are likely to forced to leave with some empty seats and that is something Allegiant tries very hard NOT to do.
    (With PW2040, 235,000 pounds on a +25F day you need about 6100 feet, even less RB211-535E4B’s)

  13. Last summer the Port of Bellingham shut down BLI for over a month rebuilding the runway in anticipation of accommodating larger and heavier 757’s. This from an airport that has historically only served Seattle, a short train ride away. The project wasn’t cheap.. also building a new terminal now triple the size of existing which should open 2013.. right when the Allegiant’s 757’s are certified. Given the swarms of Canucks all over B’ham buying up cheap stuff already, why not add flights to hawaii too? Flights out of YVR are steep, many Vancouverites fly out of Seattle i’ve noticed. The fight with Alaska is interesting but maybe they’ll fly to Maui instead of HNL? Maybe BLI to Florida? There really are a lot of Canadians in Bellingham.

    1. BLI isn’t a short train ride away from Seattle. Its two hours on Amtrak Cascades, or any of their bus service. Its also a two hour drive, presuming there is no traffic..

      As a Seattlite BLI doesn’t enter into my travel planning. Maybe if I were in Everett it would… SEA is where its at, its a half hour light rail ride. Picks me up three blocks from my apartment and drops me off about the same distance from the checkin and security gates.

  14. BLI;
    – closed their airport for 3 weeks last Sept to repave/reinforce to handle “aircraft up to the size of a 757”
    – just tripled the size of their passenger hold area
    – 50 miles from Vancouver (3rd largest metro area in Canada, and 50 miles from Abbotsford)
    – 75 miles from Everett (where G4 are also trying to operate out of)
    – scared AS enough that AS started operating BLI-HNL on a 738 (since Jan)
    – massive G4 city, serving (deep breath) LAS,LGB,LAX,IWA,PSP,SAN; with some days seeing volume like 5x to LAS

  15. There’s already so much service from LAS and LAX to Hawaii, and Allegiant doesn’t compete on hardy (if any?) of its routes, so I don’t think you’ll see it happen there. They also won’t do connections to the Hawaii routes… their less-than-daily flight schedule to most destinations would make it a nightmare for delays/missed-connections that their business model wouldn’t support. Alaska already serves BLI-HNL, so I doubt you’ll see it there either. I agree that they will likely be Hawaii-based flights, doing a Hawaii-Mainland-Hawaii roundtrip each day (remember, Allegiant likes doesn’t like paying for flight crews to spend the night off-base). So each plane could serve 2-3 destinations a week. I bet Stockton, maybe Ontario, CA, Mesa, and an Oregon city besides Portland.

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