MIAMI — Ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) Allegiant Air has announced seven new routes for the upcoming IATA Northern Winter season of 2016-17, including two new year-round routes from Austin,Texas and two new seasonal routes from San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The seven new routes and their details are as follow:

  • Austin – Pittsburgh
    • 2x weekly
    • Airbus A319
    • December 16, 2016
  • Austin – St. Petersburg-Clearwater (FL)
    • 2x weekly
    • Airbus A320
    • February 17, 2017
  • Cincinnati – San Juan (PR) (seasonal)
    • 1x weekly
    • Airbus A319
    • December 17. 2016
  • New Orleans – Concord (NC)
    • 2x weekly
    • Airbus A320
    • November 18, 2016
  • Portsmouth (NH) – St. Petersburg-Clearwater (FL) (seasonal)
    • 2x weekly
    • McDonnell Douglas MD-83
    • November 17. 2016
  • Pittsburgh – San Juan (PR) (seasonal
    • 1x weekly
    • Airbus A319
    • December 17, 2016
  • Punta Gorda – Dayton
    • 2x weekly
    • Airbus A320
    • November 17, 2016

As is Allegiant’s model, most of these routes are served just one or two times per week, as its customer base is primarily leisure oriented. Much of the expansion is now also serviced by the company’s new fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 narrowbodies, marking yet another data point in the slow but assured draw down of Allegiant’s much-discussed fleet of McDonnell Douglas MD-80 family aircraft.

The tenor of the new routes is also reflective of Allegiant’s more encompassing route strategy over the last year or so. While many of the same Allegiant network stalwarts, such as secondary airports and flights to holiday destinations, are certainly present in this round of expansion, there are also more routes that fall closer to the visiting family and relatives (VFR) spectrum of leisure traffic. Austin – Pittsburgh, in fact, is the kind of route that rival ULCC Spirit Airlines has begun launching in earnest under new CEO Robert Fornaro.

The growth for Allegiant in San Juan, while off of a tiny base, is also notable given the changes the San Juan and Puerto Rico markets have undergone in the recent months. Due to that territory’s economic turmoil, it could very well be that the market dynamics now favor ULCCs for penny pinching travelers and vacationers, as opposed to the legacy and more upscale LCC airlines that have historically dominated the PR market.

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