Michael wants to know...
"I just noticed that Allegiant now lists Springfield-Branson, or should I say Branson-Springfield Airport, as Featured Destinations on their homepage. Additionally, when looking at their route map of destinations, SGF is listed both as Branson-Springfield and Springfield-Branson. Is Allegiant looking to expand services, making this more of a "Destination" or just trying to take advantage of the locations that serve SGF now? I have noticed that several flights I've taken, especially LAX, has travelers from the "Destination" traveling to SGF. I hope this is not a revelation to you and there has been discussions. Please share your thoughts, as best you can."
Allegiant began offering "Branson-Springfield" as a destination late last year. At first blush it definitely seems a bit strange, doesn't it? It makes perfect sense, though, when viewed from the Allegiant business perspective. The first thing to know about the "Allegiant business perspective" is that the airline does everything it can to maximize productivity and profit. It's probably the only airline in the world that keeps track of costs down to a fraction of one cent (we know this from first hand experience!). Keep this penny pinching in mind as you read on.
In the fourth quarter of last year the average Allegiant flight to/from Springfield had a 92 percent load factor —meaning that the average flight had 92 percent of its seats filled. Each flight has 150 seats, so on average there were 12 empty seats on every flight. Keep in mind it's just a average — the flights are often sold out. As you noted, there are customers on the Allegiant flights who don't live in or near Springfield that use the service to fly to Springfield. It's been our observation that it's particularly true on the flights from Los Angeles and Phoenix.
Given all this information, it's easy to figure out why Allegiant is now offering a Branson-Springfield destination...it's doing everything it can to fill those 12 empty seats. Other airlines would be content to let those seats sit empty. It's this sort of aggressive, out of the box thinking that sets Allegiant apart from all other airlines. The only downside, that we can see, is that it's confusing to some customers who live outside the market. "Springfield-Branson?" "Branson-Springfield?" And then there's the airport south of Branson, the "Branson Airport?"
Kind of makes your head hurt!