So supposedly the last MD-80 flight is November 28. However they still have almost 30 active frames. Is it realistic to have them all retired in the next 4-5ish months? Seems like a lot and doesn’t seem like that many airbuses coming in...
That is why there is so much speculation on Allegiant aircraft decisions. While the Airbuses are flown more intensely (due to lower costs per flight, more flights are viable), so it doesn't have to be one for one. More like 3 Airbus replace 4 or even 5 MD-80 (The MF-80s require many more ready spare aircraft on hand).
But there will be a deficit. In Las Vegas, there is a peakier demand (less Tuesday and Wednesday flying in particular) compared to Orlando. So when the MD-80s, are retired, Allegiant will be unable to meet weekend demand for Las Vegas (I'm just picking an easy example. The whole network will be impacted).
Allegiant will eventually grow back. But this is why we speculate on added buys.
Up thread I asked if Allegiant is in a financial position to take delivery of the new A320CEOs built for Iran (now blocked by sanctions). Simple supply and demand shows us these will have to be heavily discounted; for example Allegiant already expanded their new A320 purchase. This is despite Allegiant management being quoted as saying they wouldn't take anymore new.
For these new A320CEOs it is all about the pricing, financing offered, and delivery schedule. Rumors are that Airbus has offered most of the examples to Allegiant, but needs Allegiant to sign up for six to eight new CEOs in 2019. In return, Allegiant would get exceptional prices. Rumor is Allegiant would have to take 6 to 8 in 2018.
Will Allegiant be able to retrain pilots fast enough? If I recall correctly, Allegiant intentionally stopped hiring pilots to allow their training system to timely convert them to Airbus pilots.
So perhaps Allegiant will buy 12 to 16 new Airbuses with half this year. Since new Airbus are flown more than twice the hours of the MD-80s and have more seats each, this is not any real deficit.
Or Allegiant could wait and buy more used A320 family. The resale value of A319s is ridiculously low. For Allegiant, the huge quantities rolling out if Easyjet and Cebu Pacific are an opportunity. But AA recognized the opportunity too. It is a good thing for the buyers there are more than enough going around.
Allegiant is also willing to buy used A320s that take more rework to get into service (Saudi). So maybe they wait. The drop in CEO and NG resale values is steeper than my kids' slide.
I wish I had a more direct answer, but this is but an opportunity for Allegiant and they have multiple strategic decisions that all work. All have there merits. It depends on there real ability to hire and train pilots, finance aircraft, cash they are reserving for real estate purchases, willingness to change their adversion to debt, and their internal estimate on CEO values.
And offers for NEOs.
Allegiant should send a large executive team to Farnborough. They will be the bell of the ball.
Winter is coming.