Allegiant seeks permission to fly to Mexico

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Allegiant Air, the low-cost airline that caters to leisure travelers in small cities, is asking the U.S. government for approval to operate flights to Mexico.

Allegiant filed an application with the Department of Transportation on Tuesday to fly twice a week between Las Vegas and the Mexican cities of Hermosillo and San Jose del Cabo.

The company said in the filing that the flights would begin around June 1, 2014 and use 166-seat McDonnell Douglas MD-80-series jets from its current fleet.

The flights would run year-round, not just seasonally, and Allegiant asked for authority to operate them for at least two years.

The airline and parent Allegiant Travel Co. have carved out a profitable niche by flying between smaller cities and resort locations including its hometown of Las Vegas.

On many of its routes, there are no competitors flying nonstop. An Allegiant spokeswoman said there is no nonstop competition on either of the routes that the airline requested Tuesday. The airline doesn't list any foreign destinations on its website.

Allegiant offers low fares but charges extra fees for many services including using a credit card and booking flights online. It tries to persuade customers to order hotel rooms, car rentals and entertainment tickets through the company.

Allegiant Travel shares fell 15 cents to close at $107.30. They have gained 46 percent this year.