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Teamsters: Pilots vote to authorize strike at Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 WL N247NV (msn 7704) BWI (Tony Storck). Image: 941920.

The International Brotherhood Of Teamsters issued this statement:

Pilots at Allegiant Air—one of the country’s most profitable airlines—voted with 93.5 percent support to authorize a strike should it become necessary.

The vote comes in response to Allegiant’s years-long refusal to live up to its commitments and fix a sham scheduling system that has negatively impacted the lives of many pilots and their families.

Voting took place over a one-week period from June 29 to July 6 and was conducted online via a third-party election management provider.

A strike could result in cancellations out of major hubs including Las Vegas, Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale and impact thousands of passengers.

An airline that has made headlines for its bare minimum approach to business, Allegiant made the unilateral decision to force its pilots to use a homemade scheduling system that goes against industry standards and disregards pilots’ seniority and preferences—often upending pilots’ planned time away with their families. A growing number of Allegiant pilots have been leaving the company for other airlines that respect the basic needs and interests of pilots.

“We are people with spouses and children, not cells on a spreadsheet that Allegiant executives can move around with no rhyme or reason,” said Captain Andrew Robles, an Allegiant Air pilot and Executive Council Chairman at the pilots’ union, the Airline Pilots Association, Teamsters Local 1224. “Striking is a last resort, but we’ll do whatever it takes to hold Allegiant to its promises and to make our airline the best it can be for our pilots, our families and our passengers.”

Allegiant pilots have been raising concerns about the scheduling system for years. In 2016, the pilots and Allegiant reached an agreement requiring that they negotiate and implement a new system within 180 days. Allegiant has again stonewalled that negotiation process and recently backed out of its prior agreements with the pilots over terms for the new scheduling system.

Allegiant customers have felt the effects of the company’s bare minimum approach to business. In June, Allegiant canceled dozens of flights in and out of major airports across the country after Allegiant failed to deliver Airbus planes on time, affecting thousands of passengers’ travel plans.

“Allegiant has a long track record of breaking its commitments to its pilots and we’ve had enough. Allegiant executives are acting in complete and utter bad faith in failing to negotiate a fair, industry-standard scheduling system,” Captain Robles said.

Photo: Allegiant Air.

Allegiant Air is one of the most profitable commercial airlines in the U.S. with 60 consecutive profitable quarters. Its executives are among the highest compensated in the industry, with the company CEO – and largest shareholder – taking home tens of millions in shareholder returns in recent years. The company enjoyed a $74 million windfall as a result of the recent tax bill.

Top Copyright Photo: Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 WL N247NV (msn 7704) BWI (Tony Storck). Image: 941920.

Allegiant aircraft slide show:

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Allegiant is coming to Nashville

Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 WL N247NV (msn 7704) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 104577.

Allegiant Air is coming to Nashville. Nashville will become the 120th Allegiant destination.

Service is due to start on June 7 with year-round flights to Punta Gorda, Florida and seasonal flights to Destin, Myrtle Beach, Richmond and Savannah.

The airline is expected to make an announcement today on other routes.

Copyright Photo: Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 WL N247NV (msn 7704) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 104577.

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show:

Allegiant Air to expand at Destin/Fort Walton Beach

Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 WL N247NV (msn 7704) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 104577.

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced it will convert its Destin/Fort Walton Beach destination into a year-round base with two new based aircraft. Destin/Fort Walton Beach in the Florida Panhandle will become the airline’s 14th year-round base.

The carrier is starting five new seasonal, twice-weekly routes from the new base in June to:

Bentonville, AR (Northwest Arkansas) (June 6)

Concord, NC (June 7)

Evansville, IN (June 8)

Lexington, KY (June 7)

Raleigh/Durham, NC (June 8)

Total service from Destin/Fort Walton Beach:

Allegiant made this announcement:

Allegiant announced plans to establish a two-aircraft base at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS). As part of Allegiant’s growth in Florida, the company anticipates adding more than 65 new, high-wage jobs during 2018. Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport will become the airline’s 14th year-round aircraft base.

The Las Vegas-based company is investing more than $49 million to establish a year-round base of operations, which will house two Airbus aircraft. Allegiant set the stage for this expansion by utilizing Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport as a seasonal base during the summer of 2017. Today Allegiant also announced new service to five cities – routes made possible only by establishing the Destin base.

Allegiant’s service in Destin-Fort Walton Beach began with six routes in 2016, and expanded to 16 cities in 2017. With a unique focus on leisure travelers, Allegiant flies all nonstop service built around an “out-and-back” model whereby aircraft and crews return to base after a day of flying.

As part of today’s celebration, Allegiant announced new, seasonal service to five cities, bring the total number of cities with service to the Emerald Coast to 21.

New seasonal service to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) includes:

  1. Bentonville, Arkansas via Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) – begins June 6, 2018 with fares as low as $68.*  
  2. Concord, North Carolina via Concord Regional Airport (USA) – begins June 7, 2018 with fares as low as $46.*  
  3. Lexington, Kentucky via Blue Grass Airport (LEX) – begins June 7, 2018 with fares as low as $62.*
  4. Evansville, Indiana via Evansville Regional Airport (EVV) – begins June 8, 2018 with fares as low as $61.*
  5. Raleigh / Durham, North Carolina via Raleigh-Durham International Airport(RDU)  begins June 8, 2018 with fares as low as $46.* 

“We are thrilled! Allegiant’s model fits like a glove at VPS and a year-round base will bring monumental widespread economic impacts to our region. We look forward to Allegiant’s continued success at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport,” said Tracy Stage, Okaloosa Countyairports director.

The new routes will operate twice weekly and expand on the service Allegiant currently operates to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS), bringing the total number of Allegiant routes to VPS to 21.

*About the introductory one-way fares:

Seats are limited. Price includes taxes and fees. Fares are one way and not available on all flights. Flights between EVV and VPS must be purchased by Feb. 13, 2018 for travel by Aug. 27, 2018. Flights between LEX and VPS must be purchased by Feb. 13, 2018 for travel by Aug. 19, 2018. Flights between RDU and VPS must be purchased by Feb. 13, 2018 for travel by Aug. 27, 2018. Flights between USA and VPS must be purchased by Feb. 13, 2018 for travel by Aug. 26, 2018. Flights between XNA and VPS must be purchased by Feb. 13, 2018 for travel by Aug. 11, 2018. Additional restrictions may apply

Copyright Photo: Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 WL N247NV (msn 7704) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 104577.

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show: