The Extra product delivers a minimum of 6 inches extra pitch for travelers compared to the regular economy class seats. Once on board these travelers also receive a complimentary drink. Extra passengers also receive priority boarding, designated overhead bin space, and a free drink.
SVP Revenue and Planning Drew Wells shared, “both the [financial] results and customer feedback on the product have been compelling throughout the test,” but uncertainty related to the pandemic “put a bit of a pause on the decision process.” With the company confident in its path to recovery, it will now move forward with the new layout.
Wells points out that the Extra configuration does not require structural changes on board. That keeps both the conversion cost and the opportunity cost of reduced seat count on board very low.
The Extra layout also gives up just one row relative to the current 186-seat cabin configuration. Allegiant expects the move to be revenue positive, though Wells notes “the layout primarily involves the removal and re-pitching of rows, and nothing structural, enabling a relatively easy return to maximum seat count, should that be desired.”
Moreover, the key revenue benefits will accrue towards Allegiant’s already strong ancillary revenue model (~$68/passenger in Q1 ’22). Among other benefits to the company, that Extra revenue will not be subject to the 7.5% federal airfare excise tax.
Allegiant plans for all A320 new induction aircraft from Q4 of this year to have the 180 seat Extra layout. The 737 MAX fleet will also come from the factory with that layout. The total seat count on the MAX with the Extra layout was not initially disclosed, nor were plans for retrofit of existing aircraft during the call.
PaxEx.Aero can now confirm that all 186-seat A320s will be retrofit to the 180-seat configuration. The 64 planes in that layout will convert during regular maintenance cycles. The 177-seat A320s will not convert, nor will the 156-seat A319s.
Allegiant’s Boeing 737 MAX-8-200 will feature 190 seats, including the Allegiant Extra section instead of the design maximum of 200. By comparison, Ryanair’s MAX-8-200 seats 197. On its MAX-7 fleet Allegiant will offer 162 seats instead of the 173 maximum.
Initial MAX deliveries remain on track for late 2023. The company continues to evaluate the split between –8200 and –7 models, with a leaning toward more of the larger –8200 coming sooner.
And while the company is “hearing some chatter” around other airlines taking delays in deliveries from Boeing, its deliveries remain more than a year away, so it has not heard anything from the aircraft manufacturer yet.
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