Allegiant Travel Company is to purchase 18 MD-80 aircraft from Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS).

Allegiant Air, an airline subsidiary of Allegiant Travel will absorb 13 of the aircraft into service by the end of 2011.

The total estimated cost of placing such aircraft into service, including required maintenance, equipment upgrades and other necessary modifications, will be about $4m each.

The firm plans to use the remaining five aircraft as a source for spare engines and other spare parts.

Allegiant president and CFO Andrew Levy said that this was the fifth aircraft transaction Allegiant had entered into with SAS.

“Once this transaction is complete, we do not expect to need further aircraft purchases to fund growth currently planned through the end of 2011,” he said.

Allegiant Air currently operates 46 MD-80 aircraft to link travellers in small cities to various leisure destinations in the US.