Allegiant Approved for Large Jets | Business
Las Vegas-based Allegiant Airlines took another big step toward its eventual goal of offering service to Hawaii.
Allegiant has obtained approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin operating the Boeing 757-200 aircraft type.
“This is an important day for Allegiant,” Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President, said. “The addition of the Boeing 757-200 will play an important role in our company’s future growth. Our operations team worked long and hard to ensure the completion of this certification and we thank them for their dedication in achieving this important goal.”
Allegiant’s operating fleet now consists of 51 MD-80 aircraft and one Boeing 757-200 aircraft. The company owns three additional 757-200 aircraft, which are being leased to two European carriers until mid-2012. Allegiant has committed to the purchase of two additional 757-200s, which is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2011. These aircraft are expected to be introduced into Allegiant’s fleet during the first quarter of 2012.
The Boeing 757-200 is a narrow body, twin-engine, medium-range jetliner. Each 757-200 will hold 217 passengers in a single-class, three-by-three seat configuration. Allegiant will begin to operate the 757 on existing routes between Las Vegas and McAllen, Texas, and between Las Vegas and Rockford, Ill.
The next focus for the company will be to gain Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards 180 (ETOPS) certification and Flag Carrier status from the FAA for the 757-200. Both are required for flying to Hawaii, which the company anticipates achieving in summer 2012.
“We look forward to serving the Hawaiian market with the same business model that has made Allegiant so successful on the mainland—linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations,” Levy said.