Allegiant Air’s widespread flight cancellations in June frustrated more than just its passengers. Executives of the airline’s parent company, Allegiant Travel Company, cited the fiasco as their biggest headache for the year’s first half, though it didn’t stop the carrier from recording its 62nd consecutive profitable quarter.
"(We had) a very difficult fleet transition," John Redmond, president of Allegiant’s Travel, said on a call with investors Wednesday. "Thank God we’re on the back end of that."
Allegiant reported a net income of $50 million for the second quarter of 2018, up from $49 million in the same quarter last year. Its revenue was $436.8 million, up about 9 percent from the same period last year.
Shareholders earned $3.10 per share for the quarter.
Allegiant is the predominant carrier at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.
The company, executives said, had eight planes that weren’t delivered to the company on time in late May, causing dozens of flights to be rescheduled or canceled.
Passenger traffic for the airline rose 12 percent from the year-ago quarter from 3.3 million to 3.7 million.
The company’s stock closed at $139.30 per share Wednesday, down less than one percent.
Executives on Wednesday’s call said that personnel issues — namely dissatisfied pilots — hadn’t influenced the company’s financial picture.
The Las Vegas-based airline’s pilots voted earlier this month to authorize a strike if necessary should the airline not follow through on negotiations to bring pilots’ schedules in line with industry standards. The pilots union has criticized what it calls unfair scheduling for nearly two years.
Allegiant sought to stop a potential strike Tuesday when it asked the U.S. District Court of Nevada, Allegiant to rule that striking because of dissatisfaction with the negotiations’ timetable is illegal.
"It’s unfortunate the union would utilize an unlawful strike threat during the peak summer travel season for what is ultimately considered a ‘minor dispute’ under the (Railway Labor Act)," Scott Sheldon, Allegiant’s chief operating officer, said in a release.
"For two years, we have seen management delay progress and renege on agreements it previously made. We are disappointed, but not surprised, to learn that management has chosen to continue this approach by hiding behind a frivolous lawsuit," said Captain Andrew Robles, Allegiant pilot and executive chairman at the pilots’ union, in a statement.
Earlier Wednesday, an Allegiant Air flight made an emergency landing after being struck by a bird shortly after taking off.
The flight was scheduled to leave from Punta Gorda Airport and arrive in Milwaukee, but diverted to Orlando Sanford International Airport, Krysta Levy, Allegiant spokesperson, said in an email. The passengers were put on another airplane, and the aircraft struck by a bird is being inspected.
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