Updated 7/21/2010 (below).
What does Allegiant Air have in mind for their upcoming Hawaii service? We’re anxiously awaiting the announcement on which airports they’ll fly to Hawaii from, and that news is expected shortly. I’m also interested if any of their deals will apply to Hawaii residents traveling to the mainland.
Allegiant Airlines’ Director of Marketing, Chris Stacey, came to the islands recently and spoke at the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) conference. His presentation slideshow has now been posted on the HTA website. Here are some of the items I found of most interest and my thoughts on them.
1. Likely Hawaii target markets (expect last minute changes when schedule is released).
- Bellingham (Seems certain and opens up the Canadian market)
- Colorado Springs
2. Unique marketing concepts.
- Non-stop flights from local/regional, non-traditional airports.
- Low, low base fares. Allegiant’s fares are currently $70-$80 each way.
- Unbundled “a la carte pricing” (seat assignments, bags, priority boarding, in flight retail, etc.).
- High “voluntary spend” (now $32 per passenger per flight).
- Ancillary sales (hotel, car, and local attractions).
- Minimal or no market competition.
- Closed distribution. 85% of purchases are made on allegiantair.com; no on-line travel agency sales.
- Low flight frequency.
- No frills, leisure/vacation orientation.
3. Hawaii specifics.
- Opaque (Priceline-like) hotel model; property name released after purchase.
- Hawaii is the largest leisure marketing untapped by Allegiant.
- Routes offered have no existing service.
- Minimal flights; some seasonal. I don’t expect to see service more than a few days a week to each destination.
- Sightseeing and attractions to be significant component.
- Increased reliance on ancillary sales for profitability. This may work well given that Hawaii vacations are typically much longer than those to Las Vegas or Orlando.
Allegiant Air has just ordered winglets for all of their 757 aircraft in order to reduce lift-induced drag. Winglets will save the airline money and fuel (up to 225,000 gallons per year per plane) and provide for enhanced payload. The winglets also offer “added range capability” of approximately 200 miles to extend the 757’s maximum original range of 3,100 to 3,900 nautical miles. This increases the number origination airport choices from which Allegiant can pick.
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Photo credit: Allegiant Airlines