Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022 |
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LIHUE — Allegiant Air is pulling out of Hawaii.
The Las Vegas-based airline said Tuesday that it will discontinue flights between the mainland and the Aloha State in August due to mounting competition and a desire to purge from its fleet six Boeing 757s, which are used on the Hawaii routes exclusively.
“We’re leaving the Hawaii market because the competitive environment is uncertain and likely to worsen in the coming years (and) we want to simplify our network,” said Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company’s senior vice president of planning. “I believe over the next several years the competitive environment in Hawaii is going to worsen. We’ve seen the initiation of service from Virgin America to Hawaii. I think over the next several years we’re going to see Southwest in the market. And Hawaiian Airlines has begun ordering A321neos, which begin delivering over the next several years.”
Allegiant entered the Hawaii market in June 2012. The company slowly ramped up its service to the islands, at one point offering flights here from 10 mainland cities before pulling back to two routes from Honolulu to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Allegiant previously serviced Maui’s Kahului Airport, but discontinued service there in April 2014.
“We have a lot to be proud of,” Bricker said. “We’ve carried about 65,000 passengers to or from the islands on about 3,500 flights. We’ve launched new, non-stop service to markets that have never had non-stop service to Hawaii before, like Fresno, Stockton and Santa Maria. I think many of the passengers that flew on us to Hawaii wouldn’t have been able to go but for our really low fares.”
Allegiant spokeswoman Stephanie Pilecki said the company has offered to relocate, with assistance, the 46 Honolulu-based employees affected by the service discontinuation to any other base in the airline’s network.
The news of Allegiant’s withdrawal comes on the heels of Island Air’s discontinuation of service to Kauai in June, leaving Hawaiian Airlines as the only major interisland passenger carrier left operating at Lihue Airport.
Island Air CEO Dave Pflieger cited a record financial loss of $21 million and stiff competition among the reasons for the decision to pull out of Lihue, adding that the airline would reduce the number of flights and reduce its overall workforce by 20 percent in order to cut costs.
Island Air previously operated an average of six round-trip daily flights to Lihue and approximately 2,300 round-trip flights annually.
Hawaiian Airlines currently provides an average of 17 round-trip flights to Lihue Airport per day. Spokeswoman Tara Shimooka said the airline does not plan to add additional flights in response to Island Air’s decision to discontinue service to the island.
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