LAS VEGAS, Dec. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Allegiant Travel Company (Nasdaq:ALGT) today announced its intention to purchase up to nine used A320 aircraft. The average age of these aircraft at delivery is expected to be 12 years with a configuration of 177 seats. The aircraft have been most recently operated by Iberia.
"The A320 aircraft type is a perfect complement to the smaller A319 and will enable us to continue cost effective growth for years to come," said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant President. "These transactions represent a tremendous opportunity to purchase a sizeable fleet of sister-ships with CFM powered engines, the same engine type as our A319s, at very attractive prices. Finding up to nine aircraft of this pedigree available for purchase is unusual in our experience. Historically it has been difficult to find owners willing to sell quality assets at this point in their life cycle. Our cash reserves and strong balance sheet continue to provide us a unique ability in the used aircraft space to move on these attractive opportunities."
"We do not expect a material change to our 2013 capacity as we will vary MD-80 utilization appropriately. As with the earlier acquisition of A319s, we are committed to only acquire aircraft at values that support our existing business model of relatively low fleet utilization," concluded Levy.Seven aircraft are expected to be purchased in 2013 and two in 2014. With the addition of this transaction, Allegiant is now expecting 2013 total CAPEX to be between $270 and $280 million versus the previous guidance of $150 to $160 million. The company expects to finance the purchase of these aircraft with debt. Allegiant expects to place the first A320 into service late in the third quarter of 2013 and all nine aircraft are expected to be in service by the end of 2014. No additional MD-80 retirements are planned as a result of this transaction.