Allegiant Air has taken delivery of its first-ever new aircraft, an Airbus A320-214(WL) (c/n 7664) N246NV, ex F-WWDZ which departed Toulouse May 16.
The delivery of the aircraft marks a change in fleet strategy for the Las Vegas-based carrier, which had relied on used aircraft for its fleet. Allegiant announced the decision in 2016; the new A320 is part of its plan to move to an all-Airbus fleet.
The A320ceo is the first of 12 of the type the carrier is expected to take delivery of by first-quarter 2018, spokeswoman Hilarie Grey said. It will be based at Sanford Airport near Orlando and is the first aircraft in the fleet to be painted in Allegiant’s new livery. The aircraft’s scheduled entry-into-service has not been determined, pending induction steps, Grey said.
The A320s will eventually replace Allegiant’s fleet of 47 MD-80s, 12 of which are expected to exit the fleet this year. Allegiant SVP-commercial Lukas Johnson said earlier this year the airline plans to retire its entire fleet of MD-80s within three years.
The airline also is retiring its four Boeing 757s this year, and will cease serving Hawaii. The new A320s will not be ETOPs certified, because the carrier would have to sacrifice a number of seats on the A320s to gain ETOPs certification, “which didn’t make sense for us,” Johnson said.
Allegiant is in the process of shifting its network strategy, which the new aircraft will enable. The carrier will continue connecting small- and mid-sized markets to leisure destinations. It also is adding larger cities, such as greater New York City (through Newark, New Jersey) and a number of international destinations, Johnson said.
Allegiant now has 19 older A320s; 20 A319s; four 757s; and 47 MD-80s in its fleet, according to the Aviation Week Intelligence Network fleets database. Including 12 new Airbus aircraft the carrier will take, Allegiant has a total of 79 Airbus aircraft either in service or on order, Grey said.
(Madhu Unnikrishnan - Aviation Daily / ATWOnline News)