Allegiant Air: Aircraft(s) That Can Replace MD-80 Series


Allegiant Air is one of many operators of the MD-80 series aircraft, and also the third largest. They are known for buying used aircrafts from various airlines. Allegiant will eventually begin phasing out MD-80s. The Airbus A319s from easyJet and A320 from Iberia apparently are not replacing the MD-80 aircrafts. The addition of those planes is for expansion to new cities. What aircraft(s) can Allegiant Air purchase to replace the MD-80? Below is a list of carriers that are retiring/replacing their aircraft and something Allegiant Air can see as a good replacement in my opinion. These are based off replacements/retirements that I’m aware of…

Ryanair - Replacing older Boeing 737-800s with newer -800s.
Southwest - Replacing Boeing 737-300s and 500s with -700s, -800s, and MAX 8
Delta Air Lines - Replacing older Airbus A320 with Boeing 737-900ERs
United Airlines - Replacing Boeing 737-500s with -900ERs, and MAX 9
US Airways - Replacing Boeing 737-400s with Airbus A320 family aircrafts
Lufthansa - Replacing Boeing 737-300s and -500s with Airbus A320 family aircrafts

If they wanted to buy more 757-200s for flights to Hawaii, they could buy them from American, United, US Airways, or Delta. Or if they wanted to buy more A320s, I can see them either buying or leasing some from AirAsia considering they have over 300 more on order.

What do you guys think?


Your thread is a bit out of date - they have already stated that they will be replacing the MD80’s with used A319’s and A320’s. The first A319’s are already on property and in operation. … r-livery/# … /KFAR/KIWA


What are you talking about? He is correct. From the Allegiant press:
When they purchased the A319s, they CLEARLY wrote on Page 13, “No firm plans at this time to retire more MD-80s”. … 202012.pdf
When they purchased the A320s, they CLEARLY wrote, “We do not expect a material change to our 2013 capacity as we will vary MD-80 utilization appropriately.” … 0516,d.cGE

So I do not know where you got your info. It would be nice for you to double check your research before posting. They’ll ONLY be retiring the 2 MD-87s.

To answer your question, I think it would be nice to see Allegiant Air buy Ryanair’s 737-800s.


The LONG TERM plan is for airbus aircraft to replace the MD-80’s. You are talking about capacity for the upcoming year. Obviously, they aren’t getting enough A319’s this year to cover any significant MD-80 retirement and growth.

Allegiant switching plans and going to 737’s would be a significant change of course. The current plan is for the A319 and A320 to be the core of the fleet within 5-10 years.


The overall thread does pose a good question: What would replace the MD80s that they currently fly?

Obviously the A320 series would be a good replacement, especially given the range that they fly. An A320 would be able to make the PHNL run, should they keep it (IIRC, they are dropping that service down to seasonal?).

As for everything else, it all depends on capacity. How many seats do they fill on their routes? What are the frequencies of the routes in question? Fuel costs per flight? Most importantly, distance?

Outside of the Hawaii runs, most of their flights seem to be less than 2000nm (Longest I’ve seen was KMCO-KBGR(1130nm) and KLAS-KGRR(1425nm). With that, they could lose 12 seats at the most, and go E195s and save a ton on fuel efficiency. Right now, they would lose nothing except those seats if they went EJet and still be able to fit into those smaller airports. I’m not sure on the efficiency between the A320 series and the MD80s they have, but at least with the A320s they could run transcontinental flights (they would have the range).

But at least comparing to Embraer, they’d burn 50% more fuel at the most with what they have. But they could drop down to smaller jets and still save more in the onger run.



If American Airlines is switching from the Boeing 737-800s and MAX 8s to the A320 family ceos/neos to replace the MD-80s, Im sure Allegiant can too. I did not expect that. Remember, Allegiant would have been getting more A319s from Cebu Pacfic. I don’t remember the reason behind why they cancelled the orders. I can see them buying old A321s from Iberia or British Airways… What do you think?


Yes. Most of Allegiant’s service to Hawaii will become seasonal. Destinations like Las Vegas and Bellingham will remain daily. I agree that the A320 family aircraft will be a good replacement. I am not trying to be bias or anything, but, I think the 737 Next Generation series would be a good replacement too considering I am a Boeing fan. They don’t range and seat as much as the A320s though. I haven’t thought about them ordering any Embraer E-Jets. If they were too buy some, the E190s would be a good fit considering the range and fuel efficiency.


Allegiant dropped the deal with Cebu because the original arrangement/expectation was that Cebu would reconfigure and repaint the aircraft prior to delivery. This turned out not to be the case and Allegiant backed out.

AA is not “switching” aircraft to replace the MD-80. They are using a multiple-aircraft solution that includes both Boeings and Airbuses.

An A319 or A320 cannot reliably make flights to Hawaii with an economically useful payload, especially not in a high density low fare configuration.

The A319’s that are coming seat about the same as their MD-80’s. The A320’s will seat more. They’re looking at aircraft that seat the same or more than what they have and are also not looking at ordering new aircraft, that would leave the E195 out.

A321’s are a possibility, but they haven’t worked very well for ULCC’s in the US as in a high density configuration they have a bit too many seats and don’t have Hawaii range. Spirit’s have the lowest CASM of any aircraft flown in the US, but they have trouble reliably filling the seats on all but a few of their routes so they’re dumping them.

They will slowly purchase second (or third) hand A319’s and A320’s as they come available for attractive prices. Whenever they order more aircraft than their current capacity needs require, MD-80’s will be parked and retired. Note that since they’re owned free and clear, when Allegiant decides to retire an aircraft they typically park it at one of their bases and have it parted out there and keep the parts to keep the rest of the fleet flying, rather than fly it to the desert and look for a buyer like other airlines or leasing companies might.


Aircraft is both singular and plural.