Charter service, scheduled flights rise for Allegiant

As management had predicted, Allegiant Travel Co. stepped up its flying in October.

During the month, the total passenger count for both charter and scheduled airline service rose 10.3 percent to 456,000, as the number of flights rose 9.9 percent. By contrast, passenger totals rose 2 percent during the third quarter, as the airline reined in its schedule as fuel prices escalated.

However, management for Allegiant Travel, which operates discount flier Allegiant Air, has seen fuel prices head down in recent weeks as it scoped out expansion opportunities. From Las Vegas, Allegiant has announced or already launched new nonstops to cities in Louisiana, Tennessee and Kentucky. In the Eastern United States, the company will pick up service in cities that AirTran abandoned after its merger with Southwest.

Although charter passengers account for only about one-tenth of the total, they grew at a faster clip than scheduled air service in October.

For the fourth quarter, Allegiant projects flight numbers will rise 5 percent to 9 percent, including 2 percent to 6 percent for scheduled flights.