Allegiant Air, which is expanding its schedule of flights from secondary airports to vacation destinations, said Monday that traffic soared 16.4 percent in March.
The airline said paying passengers flew 545.6 million miles last
month, up from 468.6 million miles in March 2009.
The rapid gain in traffic barely outstripped an increase in
capacity, which rose 15.7 percent, to 587.4 million available seat miles, a
measure of one seat flying one mile. Airlines boost capacity by adding flights
or using larger planes.
Average occupancy, or load factor, rose to 92.9 percent from
92.3 percent a year ago.
Allegiant joined discount carrier AirTran and traditional
carrier Continental in reporting strong gains in March traffic, adding to
evidence that travel demand is recovering after the recession.
For the first quarter, Allegiant said traffic rose 18.6 percent, capacity increased 17.4 percent, and occupancy rose to 91.7 percent from 90.8 percent.