Alaska heads South-West with new Routes

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines has announced two new routes from Los Angeles and one new route from Boise, Idaho. The airline will commence a new daily roundtrip service between Los Angeles and Monterey, California, as well as a service between Boise in Idaho and Reno in Nevada from November 5, 2015.

A new seasonal flight between Los Angeles and Gunnison/Crested Butte will also commence in December, and will shuttle skiers and snowboarders from California to Colorado. The route will operate once weekly until January 6, 2016, where it will increase to twice weekly until March 26, 2016.

"We continue to invest in our Los Angeles focus city and in expanding our regional route network," said John Kirby, Alaska's vice president of capacity planning. "These new flights will connect key cities in California, Idaho and Nevada, not to mention offer a thrilling new ski destination for our customers in Southern California."

The services will be operated by Alaska’s sister carrier, Horizon Air, using a 76-seat Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 turboprop. The new regional routes highlight the airline’s emergence into a market previously flown by Southwest Airlines.

Alaska’s new routes come after John Kirby, the airline’s vice president of capacity planning joined the airline in January this year, from Southwest, where he served as senior director of international business management. Since his arrival at Alaska, the airline has entered a number of new international markets which have also become recent additions to the Southwest network.

Alaska has added an expert in John Kirby, who has come in knowing Southwest’s abilities as well as markets to the south that Alaska may not have investigated previously. He is obviously having an impact and improving Alaska’s competitive depth.

The airline began operating from Tampa in 2014, and now offers a total of 61,397 seats from the airport where Southwest is currently the largest airline. Alaska is picking up a number of destinations served by Southwest including San Antonio International in Texas, Albuquerque and Nashville in Tennessee. Alaska has also picked up a number of routes at Baltimore/Washington, where Southwest currently provides over eight million seats to over fifty direct destinations.

Alaska has also announced that it will up-gauge its flights from Los Angeles to Loreto in Mexico from November 1, 2015. Currently operated daily using a 76-seat Bombardier Q400, the route will be operated Thursday – Sunday using Boeing 737 jets, adding approximately 70 additional seats per week.

Many of Alaska’s new routes come as a competitive response to Delta, with Alaska going after Delta’s Salt Lake profitability, now offering a total of 534,036 seats, up from only 215 in 2011.

Our Analysis of OAG Schedules Analyser data highlights Alaska Airlines' top five markets by departure capacity between 2010 and 2015. The Seattle-based airline's top market is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as expected, with nearly three-times the number of available departure seats as the airline's second market, Portland International Airport. The Airlines San Diego capacity has rapidly increased over the past five years, having more than doubled since 2010.

Poppy Marello

Poppy joined the Routesonline team after successfully completing a degree in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University. Poppy has a passion for…