Shrinking charter business slows growth at Allegiant Travel Co.

Losing or dropping some charter contracts has slowed the growth of Allegiant Travel Co.

During August, the number of passengers the company’s Allegiant Air unit carried dropped 2.9 percent compared to the same month last year to 571,000 because of the shrinking charter business, even though scheduled service posted a 2.4 percent gain to 560,000. The number of miles all the paying passengers flew went up 1.3 percent to 550.8 million, officials said in a newly released report.

Allegiant has cut its schedule, with the number of flights down 13.2 percent, but this was offset by longer flights and more seats per plane. The load factor, or percent of seats filled, went up 3.2 points to 90.5 percent.

However, the estimated total revenue for each mile a seat flies, including the base fare and all the extras Allegiant charges, is estimated to go up 4.7 to 5.1 percent in August, after dropping 2 percent in July.

During the fourth quarter, management expects more activity. The number of flights will be about flat for the entire system and rise 3 percent to 7 percent on scheduled service during the fourth quarter. The figures for the miles each seat flies will be higher, again due to longer flights and more seats per plane.