April 10, 2012. Allegiant Air announced today the first of what I imagine will be many new service offerings, including an excellent Hawaii travel deal. I’m happy to say that our predictions as recently as 5 days ago, were pretty much right on, including that Las Vegas would be part of the initial offering.
This morning the first two routes and associated pricing were announced for service beginning June 29:
- Fresno to/from Honolulu $174 each way, all-inclusive
- Las Vegas to/from Honolulu $149 each way each way, all-inclusive
Allegiant is feeling confident regarding Las Vegas, as I’d said they should. This service is largely about Honolulu to Las Vegas, rather than the reverse at this point. It’s intended to bring Hawaii residents to their favorite destination. If you read “what’s up next” below, there’s an additional twist. Allegiant will be able to deliver solid Las Vegas deals, given all the packaging they already have in place for air, hotels and attractions. That makes them unique when compared with competitor Hawaiian Air, which already has 17 flights per week into Las Vegas. They’re also strong positioned against largely unknown Boyd Gaming, which runs 5X weekly charters between the islands and Vegas. Allegiant is starting with service three times weekly and I firmly expect them to break from their typical 2-3 times a week mold, and for this to become daily service.
Las Vegas (flights 570/571) is three times per week. They operate Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, departing Las Vegas at 840a arriving Honolulu 1150a. The return leaves Honolulu at 110pm and arrives Las Vegas at 950p.
A toe in the water is how I’d portray this offering. Fresno of itself does not have proven traffic to Hawaii. Time will tell if they can build a regional base for this service.
Fresno (flights 573/572) are once weekly. They operate Saturday/Sunday, departing Fresno Sunday at 910a arriving Honolulu at 155p. The return leaves Saturday at 110p arriving Fresno at 925p.
Fares are for available for purchase by April 30 for travel by November 13. Baggage fees are “up to $35 per bag, per segment will apply to one carry-on and the first two (2) checked bags.”
Competition heating up
First, in the Las Vegas market look for competitive fares from Hawaiian. A quick glance this morning showed their fares dropping first to $239 and now to $219 each way, which considering their service inclusive model, including free overhead storage ($35 value) and a meal/beverages ($15 value), comes out just about right. I do expect more competition and the likelihood both carriers will need to discount further.
What’s up next
This is just a small, conservative beginning for Allegiant. Wanting to offer service by the end of June meant there simply was not enough time to put all the pieces in place that might have led to a wider initial route release. Today’s two conservative offerings are barely enough to require just one of their fleet of new 757’s. So this is a test. I understand these flights will be staffed by a Las Vegas based crew that will work both directions without a stay over in Hawaii.
Assuming bookings are on target, I still expect to see some or all of the other destinations we’ve discussed added to the Allegiant Hawaii route roster. Also watch for Allegiant to venture into the hub/spoke model, offering deals from other cities to Honolulu, via their Las Vegas hub.
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