Skip to content

Will Las Vegas be back in business by July 4? Hometown carrier Allegiant says it's possible

May 13, 2020
4 min read
Will Las Vegas be back in business by July 4? Hometown carrier Allegiant says it's possible
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Independence Day on the Las Vegas Strip? It may happen, at least as outlined in a potential reopening timeline presented by executives of budget carrier Allegiant Air on Tuesday.

Allegiant has a lot riding on hotels on the Strip reopening. The carrier's business is built around offering travelers cheap, no frill flights between smaller cities like Fargo, North Dakota (FAR), and Hagerstown, Maryland (HGR) and popular leisure destinations in places such as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Florida.

Maury Gallagher, CEO of the Las Vegas-based airline, told Wall Street analysts Tuesday that he would be surprised if "hotels here in Vegas are open within the next 30 to 45 days." Beyond that — or after June 27 — however, is a definite possibility.

Get Coronavirus travel updates. Stay on top of industry impacts, flight cancellations, and more.

And based on the carrier's own surveys of its passengers, as many has half are eager to travel again as concerns of the coronavirus pandemic abate.

Like nearly every airline around the world, Allegiant has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. The company, which includes both the airline as well as other travel-related businesses, reported a $33 million net loss during the three months ending in March. However, the airline alone eked out a nearly $39 million pre-tax profit for the period.

Allegiant has halted work on its Sunseeker Resort in Florida and stopped nearly all other planned investments for 2020. It delayed plans to open new bases in Concord, North Carolina (USA), near Charlotte, and in Des Moines (DSM). It also suspended plans to add Boston Logan (BOS) and Houston Hobby (HOU) to its route map.

Related: Allegiant picks secondary Charlotte airport for newest base

In addition, the carrier may permanently remove around 25 of its Airbus A320 family jets — more than a quarter of its fleet — as a result of the crisis.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Allegiant flew just less than 13% of its schedule in April, and continues to make comparable reductions on a week-by-week basis this month. But bookings appeared to hit the bottom in mid-April and have been trending up in the weeks since, Allegiant chief marketing officer Scott DeAngelo said on Tuesday.

The uptick in bookings are focused on beach communities in Florida, specifically on the state's west coast and panhandle, he said. Florida began lifting its "safer at home" order at the end of April.

Allegiant has several major bases in those parts of Florida, including Destin/Fort Walton Beach (VPS), Punta Gorda (PGD) near Fort Myers, and St. Petersburg/Clearwater (PIE).

Related: Which US airlines are blocking middle seats, requiring masks?

Florida appears to be leading the recovery in air travel following the pandemic. JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines, which also have large bases in the state, have reported their own upticks in passenger numbers to the Sunshine State.

Airline executives and Wall Street analysts expect leisure travel, whether for a holiday or to visit friends and relatives, will lead the industry's recovery. That's an advantage for an airline like Allegiant, whose customers are almost exclusively holiday travelers.

"While we do not expect a faster demand recovery of any one particular region (within the U.S.), Allegiant's network and leisure customer base fit well with our expectation of domestic/leisure recovering faster than international/business," Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth wrote in a report Wednesday. As such, she upgraded the bank's recommendation of Allegiant stock to investors.

Related: Travelers starting to 'want to move' again, say Spirit, JetBlue execs

Featured image by AFP via Getty Images

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees