No strike as Allegiant Air, pilots return to court next week

FILE - In this Thursday, May 9, 2013, file photo, an Allegiant Air jetliner flies by the Luxor Resort & Casino after taking off from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS (AP/WOOD) — Allegiant Air’s pilots have agreed not to strike while a federal judge in Las Vegas weighs arguments from their union and the airline’s management.

During an all-day hearing Friday, the company had sought to make permanent a temporary order that halted a planned strike on April 1, but a resolution of the matter will have to wait until next week.

The company and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224 will return to U.S. District Court on Wednesday and Thursday to present more evidence and testimony.

Allegiant has argued the union hasn’t met all the steps that federal law requires before airline employees can strike. The union, though, has argued it was allowed to strike because the company had not obeyed a court order to restore work rules in its pilot-labor contract.

With the union’s assurance, the company said it has no reason to expect any disruption to the airline’s flights in the meantime.

About 53 percent of Allegiant’s employees are represented by unions, which is less than United, American and Southwest but more than Delta.

Allegiant specializes in flying travelers from smaller cities to vacation destinations such as Las Vegas and Phoenix. It touts low base fares but charges for many extras including seat assignments and carry-on bags. It also provides hotel rooms and car rentals.

Allegiant Air has four nonstop flights from out of Gerald R. Ford International Airport: Las Vegas, Orlando-Sanford, Phoenix-Mesa and Tampa / St. Petersburg-Clearwater International.

The airline is tiny compared with industry leaders such as American, Delta and United, but it is profitable. Last year, parent Allegiant Travel Co. earned $86.3 million.

The shares fell 41 cents to close at $168.22 on Friday. They have gained 12 percent in 2015, but are down 16 percent from their March 18 peak, with most of the decline occurring with the possibility of a strike.

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