A bright, shiny Airbus A319 swooped into Springfield today (Tuesday) as it ended one leg of its first Phoenix-Springfield run. We don't see many Airbus at SGF so it was a special occasion. The 319 is part of Allegiant's plan to grow its fleet, while maintaining its low-cost business structure. That low-cost structure translates into low fares for Allegiant customers.
Allegiant started its business by buying used MD-80 airplanes. While other airlines were getting rid of 80s Allegiant was picking them up for a song a dance. From Allegiant's point-of-view, 80s made perfect sense: they were (and are) solid, reliable aircraft that were cheap to buy. But they do have their downside ...
80's are getting older; they require more maintenance. On long haul flights 80s need lots of runway for takeoff. They're noisy. They aren't very fuel efficient. The 319 addresses these deficiencies with flair. Here's an example ...
In its 2012 annual report Allegiant says this about the 319's fuel consumption: "Our 156 seat A-319 burns over 200 gallons less per hour of operation than our 166-seat MD-80."
Needless to say that's a BIG SAVINGS!
The 319 is also quiter; it can fly twice a far as an 80; it needs less runway for takeoff. And, like the 80, 319s are now showing up on the used airplane market for a fraction of the cost of a new airplane.
Allegiant says it plans to add 16 of them to the fleet in the near future. Allegiant sums it up this way: "We believe these Airbus aircraft will allow for low aircraft ownership costs consistent with our business model."
And that, my friends, means low fares.