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Alaska Airlines Adds Pacific Northwest Routes, Leverages Horizon Air
Alaska Airlines has continued its expansion plans into 2021, announced today that it will be adding four new routes to its network, primarily in the Pacific Northwest. The region’s hometown airline is looking to increase its presence in its home territory, as well as provide more options for travelers. The four new routes will be operated by the airline’s wholly-owned regional subsidiary, Horizon Air.
Growth in Boise
Three of the four routes recently announced will increase Alaska’s presence in Idaho. The new routes will begin on June 17 and will all be operated once a day from the state capital in Boise to Chicago’s O’Hare and Austin. Both flights will be operated by an Embraer 175, offering a first-class cabin as well as a premium and economy cabin. Currently, American Airlines and United Airlines service Boise from Chicago, while Alaska will be the only airline flying to Austin.
Alaska is joining the Oneworld Alliance at the end of March, thereby allowing Alaska passengers to transfer to American Airlines flights at their Chicago hub. The expansion solidifies Alaska’s position as the largest carrier in Boise. After these routes begin, the airline will have 28 daily flights to Boise to 12 destinations. In addition to the new routes, the airline is also adding a second daily flight between Boise and Sacramento.
Boise’s airport director, Rebecca Hupp, welcomed the new Alaska flights, “Alaska Airlines’ announcement today is a testament to their commitment to grow with the Treasure Valley. The new flights open up markets and create greater connectivity for Boise’s residents and visitors. The Boise Airport looks forward to continuing our strong partnership with Alaska Airlines long into the future.”
More Outdoor Options
The other two new routes will provide more connections for the airlines Seattle hub. Also starting June 17, Alaska will be adding daily flights between Seattle and Idaho Falls, as well as between Seattle and Redding, California. The cities will be new to the Alaska route map and provide access to outdoor experiences that have become more popular during the Covid-19 pandemic. Both flights will be operated on the Bombardier Dash 8-400.
The flight from Idaho Falls will be the first flight to the west coast from the city. The airport has seen expansion recently, with American Airlines announcing flights to the city earlier in the year. Redding currently only receives flights on United to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Both flights will be operated year-round by Alaska.
Alaska has been using the downturn to slowly build up its network on the west coast. Earlier this month, the airline announced new flights between California and Montana, to capitalize on leisure travel. Almost every airline in the United States has been building up its leisure network to capture the reduced travel demand from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the addition of Chicago and Austin to Boise shows that the airline is also planning for a post-pandemic world that has the return of business travel.
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