Topic of the Week: Allegiant’s Big Expansion


Allegiant announced 18 new routes last week from existing bases to a variety of new cities. At first, I figured some of these were because with A319s, Allegiant has longer legs than it did with the MD-80. But the airline says that any of these could be flown with an MD-80. So what do you make of these? Any stand out to you?

(I’m interested in Concord, NC – just on the northeast side of Charlotte.)

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9 comments on “Topic of the Week: Allegiant’s Big Expansion

  1. I live in Charlotte and the JQF expansion is really interesting. The airport lies just 25 minutes NE of CLT and it used to lie just North of the 23 arrival pattern as arrivals pass just South of Concord’s runway to turn to the 23 final. I doubt this is the reason, but the FAA recently stopped most 5/23 operations ( because of the potential for flight paths to cross. But I figured this had to do with flight paths closer to CLT.
    I do like the idea that the Charlotte area has another commercial airport option, but I doubt that others like Spirit or Virgin America would follow Allegiant and go to JQF. There are too many other airports nearby like GSO and GSP. Plus, Delta tried reviving the Hickory airport only 45 minutes away from CLT several years ago with a couple dailys to ATL that never panned out.
    Anyway, I can’t wait to see and hear that MD-80 roar off of JQF’s runway – especially when it passes right over Concord Mills mall.

  2. I think there is a possibility that ISP might become a destination city beyond just PGD service.

    G4 has made no secret of the fact that they want to enter the NYC leisure travel market. After losing out on the LGA slots, I think that ISP is their next viable alternative since there is name recognition associated with New York/Long Island”.

    Even though ISP is fifty miles from Manhattan, I think G4 has the ability to make that airport there gateway to NYC. Anybody familiar with the area knows that ISP is a stretch from all the main NYC tourist attractions, but the average Midwest leisure travel probably wouldn’t care so much as long as there is a good package deal involved.

    I think RFD would be one of the initial test origins if they ever decided to launch this market.

  3. Wow two Friday topics of the week, I almost didn’t see this one.

    Looks like get snowbirds to Florida for winter and a couple of Mesa tossed in.

    I’m never impressed with their announced service unless they give a begin and end date.

  4. With LGA, EWR, JFK and other airports nearby ISP is rarely, if ever, considered by most in NYC. It’s inconvenient to access by public transit and not served by major shuttles. ISP is definitely for Long Island snowbirds.

    I’d almost wonder if an airline really wanted to make ISP their hub they’d do like Azul, which I believe offers a shuttle to/from city centers, in this case midtown Manhattan (in true Allegiant fashion for an extra fee, of course). G4 already does this in Las Vegas with a partner, it might actually work to make NYC a destination.

    RFD is a bit of a different beast because ORD is so close to the NW suburbs time-wise it doesn’t compete. I see it more competing with MDW for NW pax because of geography and price. My girlfriend flew into RFD instead of MDW with similar pricing because her pick-up would avoid Chicago traffic.

    Allegiant is known for doing some crazy things and I have to wonder if this is just another example of seeing what sticks on a wall.

  5. I am, too, looking forward to Allegiant coming to Concord. I am from Gastonia, 15 miles west of CLT, but I would be willing to give Concord Regional a try. I do think that the Charlotte/Gastonia area is already within decent reach of an existing Allegiant city (Greenville-Spartanburg, SC; Asheville, NC and Greensboro, NC), but it’s simply exciting because the service will be the first commercial service ever from the field.

  6. I don’t get whats so big about Concord, NC? Its another play of Allegiant/LCC’s normal strategy of serving a smaller, lower cost airport near a higher cost airport..

    1. Nick – What’s interesting to me about this is that Charlotte is far from a high cost airport. It’s a cheap place to operate already and there’s plenty of room for growth if they wanted to go in. But it must be pretty compelling from a population location perspective, which is why I think it could be interesting.

  7. Oh, also ELM->PIE would’ve been useful in the late 80s to visit my Aunt Edna. Not that I ever really wanted to be at ELM (it was the alternate airport when BGM was fogged in, whatta expect when you build the airport on top of a hill?) or visit Aunt Edna. (She was a nice lady, but bugged my pre-teen self.)

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