Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel, parent company of Allegiant Air, today reported its 41st straight profitable quarter, posting double-digit percentage increases in revenue, earnings and earnings per share.
Allegiant, the fifth-busiest air carrier at McCarran International Airport, reported earnings of $31.9 million, $1.65 a share, on revenue of $273 million for the quarter that ended March 31.
That compared with earnings of $21.7 million, $1.12 per share, on revenue of $237.9 million in the comparable quarter a year ago, which had one more day because of Leap Year.
“The month of March is typically our busiest month of the year and this year was no different,” Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher said in a release issued this afternoon.
During the quarter, Allegiant completed the conversion of its fleet of MD-80 twin-engine jets with 16 additional seats and in March began flying two recently acquired Airbus A319 jets. The company also added eight routes in the quarter and began flying to Reno and Provo, Utah.
In the current quarter, Allegiant plans to add five routes and will begin flying to Little Rock, Ark. The airline operated 198 routes at the beginning of the first quarter of the year and will grow to 203 by the end of the second quarter.
Known for its aggressive development of additional revenue through customer fees, Allegiant reported ancillary revenue of $87.5 million, a 36.2 percent increase over the first quarter of 2012.
Allegiant plans to add seven more of the 156-seat A319s and nine 177-seat Airbus A320 jets by 2015.
The Airbus jets are more fuel-efficient than the airline’s MD-80s jets, driving down operational costs while increasing the number of seats.
Even though Allegiant’s first-quarter load factor — the percentage of seats filled with paying customers — was down 1.3 percentage points and the company had about 10 percent more employees than it had a year ago, the company generated more revenue with more passengers, higher fares and greater ancillary revenue generated.
Allegiant also is removing some of its Hawaii flights during the fall off-season and will redeploy its efficient Boeing 757 jets on other domestic routes.