U.S. travel company Allegiant has announced that it has purchased 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with options to purchase 50 additional aircraft. The deal is Boeing’s first multi-year U.S. based ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) deal.

The 737 MAX is part of Allegiant’s plan to expand and modernise its fleet, with initial delivery beginning in 2023. Among the new aircraft will be both the 737-7 variant and the 737-8-200 variant. The 737-8-200 variant is the same high-density model that Irish ULCC Ryanair has recently introduced as part of its growth platform.

737 MAX to allow future growth

Allegiant’s growth strategy has historically been to acquire used aircraft in good condition, and now the airline is using the purchase of the new 737 MAX as an opportunity for operational benefits. Allegiant currently has 108 Airbus aircraft in its fleet and will also continue to source used A320s.

The new aircraft will begin to be delivered in 2023, with Allegiant taking delivery of the remaining aircraft throughout 2024 and 2025.

Allegiant a319
This Allegiant A319 (reg. N323NV) was previously delivered to EasyJet in 2005 before joining the fleet in 2018. | © Tomás Del Coro Wikimedia

“While the heart of our strategy continues to center on previously-owned aircraft, the infusion of up to 100 direct-from-the-manufacturer 737s will bring numerous benefits for the future – including flexibility for capacity growth and aircraft retirements, significant environmental benefits, and modern configuration and cabin features our customers will appreciate.” – Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Allegiant

Under the arrangement, Allegiant will be able to replace aircraft that are ready for retirement. Additionally, the expansion, as a result of adding the new 737 MAX aircraft, will help the airline reach its projection of 10 per cent-plus annual growth.

New features

Each aircraft comes with new in-cabin features, such as Boeing Sky interior and Space bins. These features will create more space, provide additional legroom, and improve luggage storage capacity for passengers. In addition, the 737 MAX burns approximately 20 percent less fuel than older Airbus A320 family aircraft in Allegiant’s fleet.

boeing 737 max 8 200
The 737 MAX 8-200 variant was launched with Ryanair as a high-density model of the popular aircraft. Allegiant will be introducing this variant into its fleet beginning in 2023, as well as the 737 MAX 7 variant. | © Boeing/Ryanair

“We are thrilled that Allegiant has selected Boeing and the 737 MAX as they position themselves for future growth, improved efficiency and operational cost performance. This deal further validates the economics of the 737 MAX family in the ULCC market and we’re excited to stand alongside Allegiant as they integrate these new airplanes into their fleet.” – Stan Deal, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Allegiant has also signed a 12-year deal for an exclusive maintenance agreement with CFM, as the new aircraft will be powered with CFM LEAP 1-B engines.

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