Allegiant Air exec promoted in management shake-up

Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., chairman/CEO of Allegiant Air, walks through the company’s new Airbus A319 passenger jet during an aircraft “open house” for employees at McCarran International Airport Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The new jet is more fuel efficient than the company’s current jets.

A week after a top deputy resigned, Allegiant Air boss Maurice “Maury” Gallagher has given the job to an existing executive as part of a management shake-up.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant announced Thursday that Senior Vice President of Planning Jude Bricker has been promoted to chief operating officer of the ultra-low-cost carrier and Chief Financial Officer Scott Sheldon will take on additional duties.

Bricker, who joined the airline in 2006, will run day-to-day operations. He already ran Allegiant’s route network and fleet strategy as head of planning, though now he also will oversee flight operations, maintenance and safety.

Sheldon, who joined Allegiant in 2004, will remain the carrier’s finance chief and also run its Inflight and Operation Control Center, overseeing “all frontline employees who are the day-to-day touch points for Allegiant customers,” the company said.

The moves come after the airline announced Jan. 15 that Chief Operating Officer Steve Harfst, who had been on the job for only a year, resigned, effective immediately.

“In the near-term, our efforts will be focused on reviewing our operations group and understanding where we can make improvements in both systems and processes, but we are looking to the future with these changes to our organization,” Gallagher, chairman and CEO of parent Allegiant Travel Co., said in Thursday’s news release.

“I have every confidence in Scott and Jude in their enhanced roles and that they will both continue to contribute to our ongoing success. They have each demonstrated their commitment to Allegiant during their tenure here,” Gallagher said. “Having built up their current teams, we are fortunate to have them expand their focus and expertise to more areas of the organization.”

Allegiant, which reports full 2015 earnings on Wednesday, posted record profit levels last year amid low fuel costs but was dogged by a series of emergency landings and other safety-related incidents that garnered national media attention.