Allegiant to Launch Base at LAX

For those of us who care about Allegiant (and there are a few of us), I think there was a bit of surprise when the airline announced that it would open up a base at LAX (even though Cranky reported this a little while back).

Allegiant has built an extremely profitable and well-run airline flying from out of the way locales to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tampa and a handful of other sun destinations. They have roughly zero competition on any of their routes and about 1/3 of their revenue comes from ancillary products like hotel rooms and show tickets. They may not fly to Tokyo, but they are probably the best-run airline in the US by a wide margin, if only because they have a strategy and have executed on it brilliantly.

The LA announcement, then, is interesting because it is a deviation from what has worked for them. Yes, LA is warm much of the year. But it is not the sun/fun destination that has worked for them in the past. I’m hardly going to second-guess these guys, because they haven’t done much wrong, but I have the ever-so-slightest fear that LA could be the shark-jumping moment that all the Allegiant nay-sayers have been waiting for.

Then again, Allegiant is very, very quick to dump routes that don’t work. So it’s entirely possible that they’re outta there by August anyway.


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