Allegiant Air intends to buy nine A320s

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Las Vegas-based low-cost carrier Allegiant Air has announced plans to buy up to nine Airbus A320s that were previously operated by Spanish carrier Iberia.

Allegiant president Andrew Levy says the A320s, which are configured in a 177-seat, all-economy layout, are "perfect" complements to the 19 A319s it is adding to its fleet from the second quarter of 2013 and will allow the company to grow in a cost-effective manner.

"These transactions represent a tremendous opportunity to purchase a sizeable fleet of sister ships with CFM-powered engines, the same engine type as our A319s, at very attractive prices," he adds.

The first of the A320s are expected to enter service in the third quarter of 2013, with all nine of the type in service by the end of 2014.

Allegiant says it intends to finance the purchases with debt, and as a result, its 2013 capital expenditure will increase from a planned $150-$160 million to $270-$280 million.

The airline announced in July that it would buy nine A319s from Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific and lease a further 10 of the type from GE Capital Aviation Services, with the aircraft to enter service from the second quarter of 2013 to 2015.

At that time, Allegiant said it was also interested in adding A320s to its fleet to replace its Boeing MD-80s, provided it could acquire them at the right price.

Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows that Allegiant operates 56 MD-80s and four Boeing 757-200s.