1. Business

Allegiant Airlines replaces aging fleet at St. Pete-Clearwater airport

Allegiant Air has replaced all of its planes at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport with Airbus planes. Pictured is an MD-80 plane. | [Times file photo]
Published Sep. 7, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG — So long, MD-80s. Budget airline Allegiant Air has replaced all of their aging planes at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport with Airbus models as of August, scrapping its current local fleet.

Allegiant is the predominant carrier at the airport, flying 382 routes across the country.

"Moving to a single fleet-type will create operating efficiencies across our entire operation, from crew training to scheduling," Hilarie Grey, spokesperson for Allegiant, said in an email.

Grey said passengers are likely to see "other aircraft types" throughout the transition, however.

The move is part of a larger plan to replace the company's MD-80 planes by 2019, which are inefficient in terms of gas mileage and prone to mechanical problems. The average age of the planes is about 26 years.

A Tampa Bay Times investigation in October 2016 found that mechanical issues made Allegiant four times more likely to have unscheduled landings than other airlines in 2015.

Airbus 320s average about $98 million each, though Allegiant may have negotiated a bulk price. The airline committed in late 2016 to buying 12 Airbus planes. It did not disclose the final price.

Allegiant's Las Vegas-basedparent company, Allegiant Travel Co., posted $400 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2017, a 16 percent increase from the same quarter last year.

Contact Malena Carollo at or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter.


  1. The Southernmost Point marker in Key West. CAROL TEDESCO  |  AP
    The travel website put the Florida Keys on its list of places not to visit.
  2. Philanthropist David Straz Jr. and his wife Catherine celebrate in March after he advanced into the Tampa mayoral run-off election. Mr. Straz has died at the age of 77. TAILYR IRVINE  |  Times
    The former mayoral candidate who lost to Tampa Mayor Jane Castor earlier this year, died Monday while on a fishing trip in Homosassa. His name, and legacy, are integral to Tampa.
  3. The Chick-fil-A on Dale Mabry in South Tampa. The company announced Monday it will no longer donate to The Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
    The groups have faced criticism for their opposition to same-sex marriage.
  4. Candice Anderson, left, and Alsace Walentine, co-owners of Tombolo Books, rearrange books as attendees of the Times Festival of Reading leave the University Student Center behind them. [Jack Evans | Times]
    The shop plans to open next to Black Crow on First Ave. S before the new year.
  5. An opened capsule containing Kratom. The Clearwater City Council was confronted by dozens of concerned citizens at a recent meeting who urged them not to ban the herbal supplement. Times
    “Our recommendation right now is, we don’t think there’s a need to regulate it.”
  6. BayCare Health Systems now plans to build a $200 million, 60-bed hospital along Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. The company previously planned to build on 111 acres further north adjacent to Interstate 75 and an interchange to built at Overpass Road. Shown his the main entrance to BayCare's St. Joseph's Hospital North on Van Dyke Road in Lutz. Times
    BayCare plans a $200 million, 60-bed hospital on land it owns along Bruce B. Downs Boulevard
  7. Damian J. Fernandez, center, is introduced Monday as the new president of Eckerd College. He will succeed longtime president Donald R. Eastman III on July 1. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Damian Fernandez, 62, will succeed president Donald R. Eastman III, who steps down June 30 after leading the school for 19 years.
  8. [Getty Images] FLUXFACTORY  |  Getty Images
    Under the circumstances spelled out here, the advice columnist says Mom has few desirable options.
  9. Dusty Hill (left) and Billy Gibbons (right) from ZZ Top perform prior to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at the St. Pete Times Forum in 2010. A ZZ Top concert in 2018 was the subject of a scathing Clearwater city audit of the Parks and Recreation Special Events division. KEVIN HOWE  |  Times archives
    The Parks and Recreation Department failed to keep sales receipts, invoices and other records of a 2018 concert.
  10. Dade City wants to put its planned bicycle hub in a city park near Church and Eighth streets adjoining the trailhead of the Roy Hardy Trail. The land already has been designated as the future home of a splash pad. Dade City
    A planned welcome center for cycling enthusiasts originally had been slated for a historic train depot