Former Allegiant Air CEO Maurice Gallagher is returning to the top job at the budget airline following the sudden departure of CEO John Redmond.

Gallagher, who was Las Vegas-based Allegiant’s CEO from 2003 through 2022, takes the reins immediately. He is currently the airline’s chairman. Redmond, Allegiant said, resigned effective immediately.

Allegiant did not say why Redmond left.

“I am grateful to the board for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this incredible organization,” Redmond said in a statement.

Maurice Gallagher, Allegiant’s chairman, has returned as its CEO. (Allegiant Air)

Allegiant, which includes both its namesake airline plus the new Sunseeker Resort in Florida, and a travel business, has emerged from the pandemic stronger than many of its budget peers in the U.S. In the second quarter, it generated a $122 million operating profit excluding special items and an 18.6% operating margin. Spirit Airlines, the largest U.S. discounter, turned a 3.3% operating margin and Frontier Airlines an 8.2% margin.

And the outlook for Allegiant looks good. In the second half of the year — the airline does not provide third quarter guidance — it forecasts a solid profit on flat to 3% capacity growth.

Frontier and Spirit, which are growing capacity by double digits, forecast losses in the third quarter.

“We have built a management team headed by Greg Anderson, president, and many other talented and dedicated executives that is among the best in the industry,” Gallagher said in a statement. “This team is well-positioned to lead the company as we continue to set the standard for the U.S. leisure travel sector.”

Tags: airlines, allegiant air