Last month we reported, based on multiple sources, that six Boeing 757’s had been acquired on behalf of Allegiant Air, likely in preparation for service to Hawaii. It is believed that at least one of these 757’s is in the shop at Goodyear, Arizona.
We’ve been reporting Allegiant’s plans to begin service to Hawaii for some time. While the company has not yet confirmed this, I feel there is no doubt that an announcement is coming.
Bellingham to Hawaii is the route I predict.
Washington newspapers reported that Bellingham (WA) Airport’s aviation director has confirmed that Allegiant has discussed Hawaii plans with him.
Bellingham is an extremely profitable location for the carrier.
It successfully draws passengers from both Western Washington and neighboring British Columbia. The entire region is among the most popular for Hawaii tourism. Likely Allegiant Air’s brilliant marketing will draw passengers away from Hawaiian, Northwest/Delta, as well as WestJet.
Bellingham has received their first two “adjustable” aircraft tugs.
All prior tugs were too low to be able to push a Boeing 757. While not big news in and of itself, it does further support just where Allegiant is headed.
ETOPS and Runways are the next hurdle.
Bellingham’s airport needs to have its runways overhauled.
Until then, regular 757 service cannot begin. Its director has begun a technical analysis of the situation according to published reports.
Sources also tell me that Allegiant is actively recruiting for the new 757’s and ETOPS.
ETOPS certification might take 12 months. It includes enhanced safety equipment, redundancies, a more sophisticated maintenance program, training, and more.
Allegiant reported excellent 2nd quarter earnings of nearly $38 million.
This compared with less than $5 million in the same quarter in 2008. Lower fuel costs were a big factor. This is one smart company, however, and they accomplished this in spite of sharply lower airfares, in part because they were able to get passengers to pay more in “extras.”
If you want to come to Hawaii from the Pacific Northwest in the next year, don’t plan on Allegiant Air to take you. After that, however, I’d be surprised to not see their 757’s on approach to our islands.