1. Business

Allegiant Air storing Hamburg Airways planes in Tampa

Published Jun. 30, 2015

TAMPA — If you see a Hamburg Airways passenger jet in Tampa Bay skies, don't dust off the lederhosen just yet.

Allegiant Air in April purchased three Airbus 320 aircraft for an undisclosed sum from Hamburg, a charter airline based in Germany that went out of business in late 2014. The aircraft have been stored at Tampa International Airport in their original Hamburg livery, an Allegiant spokeswoman said.

On Friday, one of the planes was flown to Indiana, where it will be painted in the distinctive Allegiant design. The other two remain in Tampa for the time being. All three will join the Allegiant fleet by the fall, according to the airline.

Allegiant said earlier this year it was committed to adding about 15 Airbus aircraft to its existing fleet of about 70 passenger jets.

The airline is one of the most profitable in the industry and has been growing rapidly. Just last week, the Las Vegas-based budget airline announced it would begin nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale from four U.S. cities starting in October.

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is one of Allegiant's busiest hubs, with numerous daily flights.

The airline has had a run of bad publicity, however, because of several emergency landings and canceled flights, including a number at St. Pete-Clearwater on Saturday.