Allegiant Air is an American low-cost carrier that is navigating a challenging time and is emerging relatively successfully. The airline believes it has an opportunity to move forward with growth in 2021. However, it will continue to do so on its merits and strategy. However, amid the crisis, the airline has altered its schedules and, so far in 2021, the carrier has not flown a single flight on a Tuesday.
Allegiant Air has not flown a flight on a Tuesday in 2021
On the airline’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Drew Wells, SVP of Revenue and Planning at Allegiant, stated the following:
“Our low-cost, high-flexibility model allows us to pull down capacity while setting us up well to operate when demand exists. As a matter of example, our typical Sunday has seen about 260 flights, while we haven’t had a single scheduled Tuesday flight yet this year.”
Maurice Gallagher, CEO of Allegiant, stated the following on the earnings call:
“Our approach focusing on peak days or when our leisure customers want to travel has us only flying our aircraft an average of six to seven hours per day with that pattern. Today, the industry appears to be matching our approach, given leisure traffic is all that’s moving, namely they have stopped flying on the Tuesday’s of the week and hence their 35% reduction or more compared to the same period in 2019. There is a good reason for them not to fly on Tuesday, namely minimal business traffic, the industry is rationalizing their offerings to customers available, the leisure customer, and the leisure customer for the most part does not move on Tuesday or Wednesday. This is advantage Allegiant, in my opinion.”
The airline expects its first-quarter capacity to be higher, about 0.5 to 5.5% higher than the first quarter of 2019. The airline plans to do this without adding Tuesday flights that can be tougher to turn a profit on.
Allegiant Air is historically a non-Tuesday airline
Allegiant Air draws its success from flying a large portfolio of routes. Many of them seasonal, and nearly all of them only a few days of a week when leisure travelers are willing to step onboard a plane.
Leisure travelers mainly fly from Thursdays to Mondays, and a lot of them like to fly home on a Sunday, which is why Allegiant is flying plenty on Sundays.
Aside from special weeks, like Thanksgiving and the December holiday season, Allegiant normally does not fly a lot on Tuesdays, which is one reason why its capacity is down less than other carriers. Allegiant was already scaled for the leisure traveler while the other carriers are working on getting scaled to the leisure traveler.
While it may seem interesting to shut down an airline for an entire day, it makes sense from a financial perspective. Allegiant knows it will have to pay for fuel costs, added maintenance costs, hours for ground staff, landing fees, and more on Tuesday flights.
Tuesdays are the slowest travel days
For example, the data from the TSA for the last week shows this:
- Friday, January 29th: 774,688 travelers
- Saturday, January 30th: 617,489 travelers
- Sunday, January 31st: 859,039 travelers
- Monday, February 1st: 628,989 travelers
- Tuesday, February 2nd: 493,338 travelers
- Wednesday, February 3rd: 618,615 travelers
- Thursday, February 4th: 778,065 travelers
Take Tuesday, February 2nd, on the same Tuesday last year, 1.7 million passengers stepped onboard an aircraft and, on the same day in 2019, 1.6 million travelers took a flight. Just the day before, on Monday, nearly 2.1 million people took a flight in the US.
Airlines generally rely on business travelers to keep their planes full on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Allegiant, which is already scaled for leisure travelers, knows that it does not need to fly seven days a week or use its aircraft endlessly each day, is sticking true to its model. But, for now, it is happy that it is not flying on Tuesdays.
Are you surprised to see Allegiant not fly on Tuesdays? Let us know in the comments!