Key Points:

  • Allegiant Air's anticipated first Boeing 737 Max aircraft delivery is deferred to early 2024.

  • Revisions in the delivery schedule extend the arrival of the initial 50 aircraft through late 2025.

  • Despite delays, Allegiant Air looks forward to the operational flexibility and improved economics that the Boeing 737 Max fleet will provide.

Allegiant Air Adjusts Timelines Amid Boeing 737 Max Delivery Delays

Allegiant Air, a leading ultra-low-cost carrier in the United States, has announced a shift in the delivery schedule for its first Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Originally slated to join the fleet by the end of this year, the arrival of the inaugural aircraft is now anticipated in early 2024. Maurice Gallagher, the Chief Executive Officer of parent company Allegiant Travel, confirmed this revised timeline during the company's earnings call on November 2.

Contractual Amendments and Updated Delivery Outlook

In August, Allegiant Air indicated that the delivery of its first two Max jets was delayed by approximately a month but maintained expectations to receive the first one before the year's end. However, subsequent developments have necessitated further adjustments. In October, the Las Vegas-based carrier revised its initial January 2022 agreement with Boeing, which encompassed orders for 50 737 Max jets with options for 50 more. Allegiant added options for an additional 30 737 Max aircraft and altered the mix of 737 variants in its acquisition plan.

The amended contracts outlined a revised delivery schedule, with the first aircraft due under the new arrangement in late 2023 and the delivery timeline for the initial batch of 50 jets now extending through late 2025.

Anticipating a Mixed-Fleet Future Despite Setbacks

Despite these delays, Allegiant Air remains optimistic about the integration of Boeing narrowbodies into its current all-Airbus A320-family fleet. The company envisions significant benefits from mixed-fleet operations, emphasizing the enhanced flexibility such a diversification would afford. This strategic move would enable Allegiant to deploy appropriately sized aircraft in varying markets with optimal timing.

The forthcoming Max fleet is expected to feature premium seating for over 50 of the 180 seats, a configuration that Gallagher believes will bolster the carrier's economic performance in the years ahead. While the wait for the first Boeing 737 Max has been extended, Allegiant Air's commitment to enhancing its operational efficiency and passenger experience through this fleet expansion remains unwavering.