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Allegiant Air to enter Hawaii market in June with Honolulu flights to Fresno and Las Vegas

Allegiant Air on 29-Jun-2012 will realise its ambition for Hawaii services with the launch of thrice-weekly services to Honolulu from its Las Vegas hub and then weekly Fresno-Honolulu service on 30-Jun-2012, both on 757-200s, according to schedules filed in global distribution systems. Allegiant first announced in 2010 its intentions to serve Hawaii, but has been involved in a protracted effort to acquire aircraft with the range to make the flight and also regulatory approval for ETOPS operations. Allegiant in Mar-2012 had reaffirmed its commitment to launch Hawaiian services in Jun-2012 and will just barely achieve that, launching a month into the popular northern hemisphere summer season.

See related article: Allegiant faces pivotal year as it seizes on AirTran cuts and works toward Hawaii launch

Allegiant had acquired six 757-200s, complementing its existing fleet of MD-80s workhorses, for Hawaiian services but during the extended regulatory process leased two of the aircraft out. Local reports indicate that Allegiant is still awaiting final approval that will be contingent on ETOPS proving flights to be performed in the coming weeks.

Allegiant Air initial Hawaii capacity as of 10-Apr-2012

Route Flight Number Departure Arrival Frequency Commences
Fresno-Honolulu 573 09:10 11:55 Sun 01-Jul-2012
Honolulu-Fresno 572 13:10 21:25 Sat 30-Jun-2012
Las Vegas-Honolulu 570 08:40 11:50 Weds, Fri, Sun 29-Jun-2012
Honolulu-Las Vegas 571 13:10 21:50 Weds, Fri, Sat 29-Jun-2012

Allegiant's initial Las Vegas capacity – 651 one-way seats – is small both for the Las Vegas and larger US market. Hawaiian Airlines is the sole current operator between Las Vegas and Honolulu, operating in Jul-2012 double daily 294-seat A330-200 service and thrice-weekly 264-seat Boeing 767-300 service for a total of 4644 weekly one-way seats.

Allegiant's weekly service between Honolulu and Fresno, between Los Angeles and San Francisco, will see just 217 one-way seats. No carrier presently links Fresno with Hawaii. Allegiant's capacity is small considering the significantly larger capacity at both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In the larger mainland US-Hawaii market, Allegiant's roundtrip 1736 weekly seats will initially hardly compare with American Airlines, Delta and United, which intend to operate between 22,000 and 33,000 weekly seats from Honolulu to the mainland.

Allegiant's entrance is unlikely to deliver long-term fare decreases on other carriers given Allegiant's low-cost base targeting a different sector than Hawaiian Airlines, which is full service with complimentary meals and checked luggage for all passengers, or even American, Delta or United, which offer perks to elite frequent flyers and have large frequent flyer programmes to woo passengers with. Allegiant's low fares typically open new markets and segments that would not fly on existing carriers.

Honolulu International Airport capacity by carrier (seats per week): 09-Jul-2012 to 15-Jul-2012

The hub for Hawaii flights, with Honolulu the main Hawaiian port, is at Los Angeles, where four carriers will offer capacity this summer. Additional capacity is available to other Hawaiian airports.

Los Angeles to Honolulu International Airport (seats per week, one way): 19-Sep-2011 to 30-Sep-2012

North of Fresno in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Allegiant will seek to woo passengers from, United leads in Honolulu capacity from San Francisco while Delta and Hawaiian are also represented. Hawaiian is also represented at Oakland, as is Alaska Air. As at Los Angeles, carriers also operate services to other Hawaiian airports from the Bay Area.

San Francisco to Honolulu International Airport (seats per week, one way): 19-Sep-2011 to 30-Sep-2012

Oakland to Honolulu International Airport (seats per week, one way): 19-Sep-2011 to 30-Sep-2012

Service expanded to Punta Gorda

Allegiant has also expanded services to Florida's Punta Gorda, which this summer season it already planned to serve from Greenville and Knoxville with twice-weekly service, and from Lexington with four-weekly service.

This summer Allegiant will add twice-weekly service from Fort Wayne (from 28-Jun-2012), Niagara Falls (29-Jun-2012), Peoria (28-Jun-2012) and South Bend (27-Jun-2012). All Punta Gorda services are operated by MD80s. Allegiant is currently the only operator at Punta Gorda following the suspension of services from Direct Air. The airport is an alternative to Fort Myers, approximately 30 miles away.