Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air plans to say a final “aloha” to Hawaii as it makes plans to end its nonstop service between the U.S. mainland and the Hawaiian islands.
The company made the announced plans to end service to their to employees Monday and Tuesday that it would retire its Boeing 757 fleet rather than tackling the expensive “D check” maintenance, one of the most thorough overhauls that the aircraft undergo, it’s a process that happens about every 5 years or so depending on how much the aircraft is flown.
Allegiant’s senior vice president of planning, Jude Bricker, was in Hawaii to tell the Honolulu-based Allegiant employees about the plans in person on Monday. Those employees are going to be offered positions elsewhere in the Allegiant system.
Allegiant started flying to Hawaii in 2012, by linking resort communities with smaller cities. It’s first routes to the islands were to Honolulu from Fresno and Stockton, Calif., Eugene, Ore.; and Boise, Idaho, in addition to Las Vegas. Eventually adding Hawaii flights from Mesa, Ariz., and Bellingham, Wash., where it eventually started offering Maui service too. Sadly, Allegiant ended its Bellingham flights in September 2014 and discontinued Mesa-Honolulu service in December that year. Now, Allegiant only flies to Honolulu from Las Vegas and Los Angeles International Airport.
An Allegiant executive said the decision to retire the company’s five twin-engine Boeing 757 jets was a hard choice but will take place when each aircraft accumulates enough hours to require a D check. Instead of taking on the expense of the heavy maintenance, the company has made the decision to retire the planes since there’s virtually no aftermarket for the used 757s except with various cargo operators. While a number of 757s will come up on their check next year, two remaining 757s will fly routes from Las Vegas until they reach the end of their flying cycles further into the future.
While there was bad news in regards to Hawaii, there was a silver lining to be found in their paychecks. At the meeting, employees were told that the board of directors voted to pay a one-time bonus to them as a result of the company’s profitable year to date. Eligible employees will receive 5 percent of the amount they have been paid through the first three quarters of 2015. Bonuses will only go to non-executives below the vice presidential level.
That means an employee who makes $40,000 a year would receive a bonus of about $1,500.
Bonus checks will be delivered in mid-December.
There are 470 Allegiant employees at McCarran International Airport and 724 at the company’s corporate headquarters in Las Vegas. Systemwide, there are 2,944 employees. Of them, there are 19 that are vice presidents or higher that won’t be eligible for bonuses.