In 2013, Allegiant acquired nine Airbus A320-200 aircraft from Spanish flag carrier Iberia. Seven of the A320s were delivered in 2013 and were used for growth into new markets, including destinations in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains, as well as airfields such as Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and Trenton, New Jersey. On February 24, 2015, Allegiant announced the purchase of 2 additional A320s from Philippine Airlines which entered into service in 2015. Later in 2015, the airline announced a firm order for an Airbus A320 direct from Airbus, the first time it has purchased new aircraft from the supplier.
In January 2010, the airline celebrated its one-millionth passenger to fly out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Allegiant's parent company also announced that it had purchased 18 new MD-80 aircraft from Scandinavian Airlines. In February 2010, Allegiant opened its ninth base at Grand Rapids' Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Michigan. The airline based two McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft in Grand Rapids, but ended their airport's status in 2011. The airline continues to fly out of Grand Rapids in a reduced capacity.
On October 31, 2017, the final 757 was retired from service, leaving Allegiant with only their A320 Family and MD-80 series fleets. In November 2018, the last MD-88s operated by Allegiant were retired, with Allegiant now operating an all-Airbus fleet. The move to the newer all-Airbus fleet has allowed Allegiant to benefit from lower fuel and maintenance costs, as well as operate in some airports which could not be served by the MD-80s.
September 21, 2005: Flight 292 en route from Burbank, California, to New York City performed an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport (pictured on the right) following a failure of the front landing gear during retraction when it turned 90 degrees. The plane landed after holding for about three hours to burn fuel and therefore lighten the aircraft. The aircraft came to a stop without incident on runway 25L, the second-longest runway at LAX. The only apparent damage to the plane upon landing was the destruction of the front wheels, which were ground down to almost semicircles, and the tires; the front landing strut held. The passengers were unable to see themselves landing despite the DirecTV service in each seat, as they were instructed to brace.
Allegiant also earns commissions by offering hotel rooms, car rentals and admission to tourist attractions on its website. It sells package vacations under the brand name Allegiant Vacations. The company has arrangements with 34 hotels in Las Vegas and 21 in the Orlando and Daytona Beach, Florida, areas. In 2008, the airline sold 400,000 hotel room nights. Commissions on hotel and rental car packages are up to one-third of the airline's revenue.
In October 2013, Republic Airways Holdings entered into an agreement with private equity firm Indigo Partners to sell Frontier Airlines for approximately $145 million. According to Indigo, the transaction would further Frontier's evolution into an ultra-low-cost carrier. In December 2013, Indigo Partners LLC, through an affiliate, completed the purchase of Frontier Airlines from Republic Airways Holdings. The airline's headquarters will remain in Denver. Republic Airways Holdings subsidiary Republic Airlines no longer flies Embraer 190 aircraft on behalf of Frontier, as of January 1, 2014.
Flight attendants at the carrier voted to organize their workgroup under the Transport Workers Union of America in December 2010, citing scheduling concerns among other issues in their work rules and the airline's pilots elected to vote on whether to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in July 2012. In August 2012, the pilots voted to organize and joined the Teamsters. Allegiant's chairman and CEO, Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., has been critical of the unionization of airline employees, and has stated, "Unionization is one of those things that clogs the arteries and makes you less quick and not as nimble as you need to be on top of your game... In this industry and others that are heavily unionized, you ultimately end up with bankruptcy as the primary driver."
Allegiant Air was founded in January 1997 by Mitch Allee (owner, CEO), Jim Patterson (president) and Dave Beadle (chief pilot), under the name WestJet Express. After losing a trademark dispute with West Jet Air Center of Rapid City, South Dakota and recognizing the name's similarity to WestJet Airlines of Canada, the airline adopted the name Allegiant Air and received FAA and DOT certification for scheduled and charter domestic operations on June 19, 1998. The airline also has authority for charter service to Canada and Mexico.
Allegiant aims primarily to serve leisure travelers, particularly those in colder northern climates, going to warm-weather tourist destinations such as Punta Gorda, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Phoenix. It also serves smaller destinations that see few direct flights by major carriers. Many of the airline's markets, such as Peoria, Illinois, are served only by commuter service requiring a connection at an airline hub. In October 2009, Allegiant had competition on just five of its 136 routes.
On July 24, 2007, jetBlue reported that its second-quarter revenue increased to $730 million, compared to $612 in 2006. Second quarter net income grew to $21 million for the quarter, from $14 million the previous year. CEO David Barger said the airline will take delivery of three fewer planes this year and will sell three planes from their current fleet, "slowing capacity growth ... to strengthen our balance sheet and facilitate earnings growth", but will continue to add two to four new destinations each year.
On March 19, 2008, jetBlue added Orlando, Florida as a gateway focus city to international destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America. New international routes from Orlando International Airport include Cancún, Mexico, Bridgetown, Barbados, Bogotá, Colombia, Nassau, Bahamas, San José, Costa Rica, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In conjunction with the addition of new routes the airline will continue significant expansion of operations at Orlando International Airport including a planned 292-room lodge that will house trainees attending the existing "JetBlue University" training facility (opened in 2015).
In 2014, Frontier announced it would be transitioning into an ultra-low cost carrier. Frontier will also cut several flights and jobs at their Denver hub and transition them to different markets. On January 16, 2015 Frontier announced that it will close both its Denver and Milwaukee call centers, laying off 1,300 employees and outsourcing the jobs to call center company, Sitel, which operates a large call center for Frontier in Las Cruces, New Mexico. As part of its transition to an ultra-low-cost airline, Frontier Airlines joined Spirit and Allegiant in June 2015 in removing its toll-free telephone number for customer service.
^ Jump up to: a b Cuozzo, Steve. "JetBlue Triples Size of its Queens Offices." New York Post. December 24, 2002. Retrieved on January 20, 2010. "74,000 square feet at 118–29 Queens Blvd., also known as Forest Hills Tower" and "Boulevard in Forest Hills – possibly the largest office lease in Queens this year. JetBlue was previously at 80–02 Kew Gardens Rd., across the street."
A November 2016 analysis by the Tampa Bay Times noted that Allegiant's planes were four times more likely to have in-flight failures than other major US airlines. A 60 Minutes report by CBS News in 2018 continued to investigate the issues first raised by the Tampa Bay Times. Public records cited in the investigation found that the airline had more than 100 serious mechanical incidents between January 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017, including "mid-air engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted takeoffs." Other public records further revealed that Allegiant aircraft, on average, were nearly three and a half times more likely to have mid-air breakdowns than American, United, Delta, JetBlue and Spirit.
In late 2009 Republic began to consolidate administrative positions and moved 140 jobs from the Frontier Airlines Denver headquarters to Indianapolis, Indiana. Shortly after that, in January 2010, Republic Airways announced that it would move all of its executives to Indianapolis. In February the Denver Business Journal stated that the headquarters would be moved "soon". Despite this, according to the Denver Business Journal, Frontier Airlines will still maintain a local headquarters in Denver to house Training, Marketing, Customer Reservations, and Scheduling & Planning teams after extending its lease on the building through 2020.