The bankruptcy allowed Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., one of the airline's major creditors, to gain control of the business. A veteran leader of low-cost airlines, Gallagher had worked with WestAir and as CEO of ValuJet Airlines. In June 2001, Gallagher restructured Allegiant to a low-cost model, focusing on smaller markets that larger airlines did not serve with mainline aircraft. Allegiant's headquarters and operations were also moved to Las Vegas.[13]
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During the last few days of June and the first few days of July 2015, jetBlue began charging for bags in certain booking classes, leaving Southwest Airlines the only major U.S. carrier to not charge for bags. For the classes in which bag check fees are charged (generally the lowest class of fares offered; jetBlue offers 3 classes of fares), the cost is $20 for the first bag and $35 for the second, which is the lowest in the United States besides Frontier Airlines with similar prices.[62]
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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.[1] 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.[8]
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In January 2008, Allegiant opened its sixth base at Washington's Bellingham International Airport. The airline bases two McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft in Bellingham as part of the expansion.[19] Routes served exclusively from Bellingham include Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco and Phoenix. Expansion in Bellingham has been largely driven by its proximity to Greater Vancouver, British Columbia.
Scheduled service began on October 15, 1998, between Las Vegas and the airline's original hub in Fresno, California, at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, with Douglas DC-9-21 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 jetliners. During the second half of 1999, the airline was operating nonstop flights between Fresno and Las Vegas, Burbank and Lake Tahoe, and Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe as well as flying one-stop direct service between Fresno and Lake Tahoe via Las Vegas.[9] Shortly after WinAir Airlines closed in 1999, Allegiant Air opened a small hub in Long Beach, CA (LGB) and in 2000 was operating nonstop flights to Fresno and Las Vegas in addition to Fresno-Las Vegas nonstop service.[10] Later in 2000, Allegiant continued to expand and was operating the only nonstop jet service between Lake Tahoe Airport from Long Beach in addition to operating new flights into Portland, Oregon and Reno with Portland-Reno and Reno-Fresno nonstops and direct one-stop service between Portland and Fresno via Reno.[11] Citing higher fuel costs as a major factor, Allegiant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2000.[12]
In July 2007, the airline partnered with 20th Century Fox's film The Simpsons Movie to become the "Official Airline of Springfield".[26] In addition a contest was held in which the grand prize would be a trip on JetBlue to Los Angeles to attend the premiere of the film. The airline's website was also redecorated with characters and their favorite jetBlue destinations and the company was taken over by the show/film's businessman villain Montgomery Burns.[27]
Allegiant Air (G4) is an American low-cost carrier that is headquartered in a suburb of Las Vegas. Founded in 1997, the airline does not use hubs, but has designated more than 10 focus cities. These include McCarran International Airport (LAS), Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). Although Allegiant flies into some major airports, many of its destinations are smaller cities or secondary airports that serve larger cities. In total, the airline serves about 105 domestic destinations in 41 states. The airline's fleet of 81 aircraft are each configured with a single Economy Class cabin.
Allegiant also transports firefighters for the United States Forest Service as well as college basketball teams.[44] Allegiant had a contract to supply charter flights from Miami to four cities in Cuba beginning June 2009. One aircraft was committed to the contract.[44] The contract was for fixed-fee flying, meaning all the airline was required to do was provide the dry aircraft and the flight crew. The contractor was responsible for all other costs including fuel. However, Allegiant ended this service in August 2009.[47]
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).[33]
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.[25]
As of 2018 it ranked No. 402 financially on the Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.[8] JetBlue Airways operates over 1,000 flights daily[9] and serves 102[10] domestic and international network destinations in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. JetBlue is not a member of any of the three major airline alliances, but it has codeshare agreements with 21 airlines, including member airlines of oneworld, SkyTeam, Star Alliance, and unaffiliated airlines.
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