Allegiant Air has stated it expects 20% growth over the next four to five years, as the carrier continues to expand its services offered (lasvegassun.com, 27-Nov-2009).
Allegiant Air expects 20% growth over the next four to five years
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Allegiant Air: unit revenues could still turn positive in mid-2017 as cost pressures rise
Although Allegiant Air’s niche model differs from those of the majority of US airlines, the company has not been immune from the weaker pricing environment that has engulfed the US industry during the past year. Similarly to many US airlines Allegiant is beginning to see improving trends in the US market, and believes it can attain positive total unit revenues by mid-2017 as its own capacity growth slows and certain routes within its network mature.
Allegiant is facing pressure on its 4Q2016 unit revenues driven by effects from operational disruptions that were triggered by Hurricane Matthew and the timing of the Christmas holiday. But if the company reaches the lower end of its quarterly unit revenue guidance, Allegiant’s sequential improvement in unit revenues during 2016 will continue for the final three months of the year.
A new pilot agreement and other items are creating pressure for Allegiant in its unit cost performance in 4Q2016 that could continue into 2017. One cost area where Allegiant should see relief is in its maintenance expense, as the phase-out of its older MD-80 aircraft begins in full force.
Allegiant: ULCC braces for higher capex with Airbus order, but new fleet brings long-term cost gains
Similarly to fellow ULCCs and other US airlines, Allegiant Air’s financial foundation remains solid even as investors continue to zero in on an inflection point for industry wide-sagging unit revenues. During the past couple of years Allegiant’s leverage has decreased, the company’s returns have remained steady and shareholder returns have grown.
Airlines operating all types of business models realise the importance of keeping costs in check in order to sustain a strong balance sheet, and Allegiant is no different. After a strong cost performance in 2015, Allegiant has previously guided to possible unit cost inflation in 2016, but its 3Q2016 projections are now more favourable than expected, which should result in an adjustment to expectations for full year 2016.
Allegiant’s transition to an all-Airbus operator by YE2019 fleet should create cost tailwinds for the airline in the future, stemming from lower fuel costs and the efficiencies of operating a single fleet. The company broke precedent earlier in 2016 with an order for new-build Airbus narrowbodies, and is working to adjust its projections for capital expenditures accordingly.