Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co. increased the number of passengers on its namesake airline nearly 21 percent in March, despite a national recession that has hit the travel industry hard.
On Thursday Allegiant reported it carried 515,298 scheduled passengers in March, an increase of 20.9 percent from the same month last year.
The numbers represent traffic over Allegiant’s entire network, which links small cities throughout the country to leisure destinations such as Las Vegas, Florida and Arizona.
Allegiant also increased its load factor — the percentage of full seats on a given flight — by 1.5 percentage points to 92.3 percent.
It reduced average stage length, the distance of a given flight, 2.4 percent to 885 miles. Reduced stage lengths mean the airline uses less fuel and time to get passengers to their destinations.
For the first quarter, Allegiant Air traffic was up 14.8 percent to 1.2 million passengers nationwide.