Allegiant Air announced today that they will be adding 16 additional seats to most of their MD-80 aircraft. All of the 48 currently operating and nine of the additional ones will be operating with 150 seats will be changed to accommodate 166 seats. The three MD-87’s that hold 133 seats will not be changed.
Allegiant is investing $50million into this change, which includes removing the galleys. They will start the changes near the end of 2011 and will be completed by the end of 2012.
“These added seats will allow us to grow our capacity with the least amount of risk,” Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant President, said. “This project effectively increases our capacity by 11 percent while lowering our cost per seat. In addition, we expect to fund this through internally generated cash-flow.”
This investment shows that Allegiant will continue with their fleet of MD-80 aircraft as well as their newer Boeing 757s for the future.
Due to the increase in passengers, Allegiant will be adding a fourth flight attendant to the 166 passenger aircraft. This increases the ratio of flight attendant to passenger from 1:50 to 1:42.
I wondered if this would mean Allegiant would offer less seat pitch for customers. Just back in 2004, Allegiant made a big deal about taking out three rows of seats to provide more leg room (thanks to Dan Webb for that link). I asked Jordan McGee, Director if Allegiant Corporate Communications and she explained that all Allegiant’s aircraft are not configured the same, but even after the conversion to 166 seats, all the aircraft will have a seat pitch between 30-32 inches.
“Our current seat pitch varies by aircraft because of different configurations, but our average is 30-32 inches. We also have quite a few seats at 33 inches and then some upwards of that, depending on the aircraft. Once we make the conversion to 166 seats, each seat will be between 30-32 inches,” McGee explained.
If they aren’t using the galleys to serve food, why have them? Heck, if Allegiant can put in more seats and more flight attendants while not taking any leg room away from me and while trying to keep fares competitive, I am all for it.Image: p1anespotting