The concept of an “airline” is a familiar one: a single company operates specific aircraft to specific places, either regularly…
Alaska Airlines Expands Further East in the Battle for Seattle
Alaska Airlines has just announced another new set of routes to its map as it will begin to fly to Raleigh/Durham, Nashville and Charleston this Fall from its home in Seattle.
John Kirby, the airline’s Vice President of Capacity Planning stated, “Our loyal customers tell us they want new and exciting non-stop destinations, and we are listening. We’re pleased to be adding new non-stop service to three highly-requested business and leisure destinations not currently served nonstop from Seattle. Nonstop flights equate to shorter travel times and more convenience for our customers.”
Alaska has been recently undergoing rapid growth, fueled by continued financial success. The company has beat investor expectations the last four quarters, with the most recent quarter ending with earnings of $149 million. Much of this can be attributed to low fuel costs, but also by continued loyalty from its strong base in Seattle.
While the airline has continued to grow, it hasn’t done so without facing stiff competition. Eager to create its new west coast hub, Delta has been slowly adding more and more routes, enabling them to directly serve 35 destinations from Seattle that are both domestic and international. Alaska itself does serve some international locations in Canada and Mexico, but it is more concerned with Delta encroaching on its domestic business.
When the new routes begin this Fall, Alaska will be operating to 83 destinations with 230 peak flights from Seattle, further solidifying their hold on the Seattle market. The airline explains its three newest destinations as being a way to connect biotechnology hubs in Raleigh/Durham with Seattle, while also allowing locals to explore the music capital of the south in Nashville and an easy connection for Boeing employees aiming to get to production facilities in Charleston. The new flights will be operated by Alaska’s next generation 737 aircraft.
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