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An Alaska Airlines 737, painted in the special Disneyland livery, coming in to land in Las Vegas. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Alaska Airlines Reveals Four New Routes

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted countless stay-at-home orders, forcing many businesses to have their employees work virtually from home. Fortunately,  a sense of excitement and adventure came for leisure travel during a time when it is necessary, as Alaska Airlines – an airline who continuously hopped on to the expansion of its route network to tourist destinations – recently revealed the addition of four new routes between California and Montana.

The Seattle-based carrier plans to serve Kalispell, Montana, from Los Angeles and San Diego, with two weekly flights and three weekly flights, respectively. Flights from San Diego to Bozeman, Montana will operate five weekly flights, while the airline intends to schedule one weekly flight to Bozeman from San Francisco. 

“For those ready to makes moves this summer, we’re excited to better connect California with Montana,” Brett Catlin, Alaska’s vice president of network and alliances, said. “We’ve long offered access to some of the best vacation destinations from Southern California and continue to see opportunities to grow our footprint in the region.”

The Embraer 175 regional aircraft will serve the airline’s new flights deemed as “Sun and Fun” routes, highlighting Alaska Airlines’ decision to operate the new flights from Los Angeles and San Diego between May 20 and Sept. 7 for the summer season – usually when leisure travel demand is at its peak for the year. Service from San Francisco will operate between June 17 and Sept. 7. 

The Airline’s Promising Future

Alaska Airlines’ latest route additions, which join its growing west coast network, play a prominent role as a portion of the carrier’s transformation towards the future identity as an airline. In February 2020,  the carrier – known for its onboard signature fruit and cheese platter and cultural, Alaskan-themed wall art in its aircraft cabins – expressed its intention to officially join the oneworld airline alliance, which will become effective on March 31.

“Alaska has always been proud to serve Seattle, the city that we call home. We’re thrilled to give our guests more choice, broader use of loyalty benefits, and seamless global service with American [Airlines] and oneworld,” Ben Minicucci, President of Alaska Airlines, said.

A Horizon Air Embraer E175 operating for Alaska Airlines.
(Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Bailey)

Alaska recently decided to expand its partnership with American through connecting frequent flyer benefits, providing codeshare agreements to many of American’s flights, while pumping hundreds of seats for new flights from the west coast, especially Los Angeles where the Ft. Worth, TX-based carrier has a competitive hub.

Alaska Airlines began its expansion from existing services in Los Angeles in July 2020. Since then, passengers from southern California will have more options and opportunities to reach recreational tourist destinations, thanks to the latest flight additions.

The carrier is undergoing a refreshing transformation, but there is still work to capture the remaining market demand in the form of leisure travel due to the effects of COVID-19. However, once Alaska Airlines joins oneworld and begins the new flights while adding more new routes, its pathway and future for evolving connectivity within its route network looks hopeful.

Benjamin Pham
Benjamin Pham
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