Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Alaska Airlines initiates two new nonstop routes; plans 11% increase in daily flights

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines initiated two new nonstop routes in June as part of its plan to increase its daily departures from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) 11% by the spring of 2015.

On June 20, Alaska (NYSE:ALK) began daily nonstop service between SEA and Tampa International Airport (TPA), and on June 12 initiated daily nonstop service between The Emerald City and Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans (MSY).

Jackson Square and
St. Louis Cathedral
The airline is heavily promoting the new route to the city known variously as The Crescent City, The Big Easy, and NOLA. It features native son and celebrity chef John Besh on the cover of its June in-flight magazine and notes that it is the only air carrier offering nonstop service connecting the two cities.

"We're pleased to make it extra easy to get to The Big Easy, especially for travelers in the Seattle area and the Pacific Northwest," Alaska spokesperson Joe Sprague said in a news release announcing the New Orleans service. "New Orleans' rich cultural heritage, fascinating history, food, festivals, arts and accessible nature make it an appealing destination for anyone with a sense of adventure."

Beignets and coffee
at Cafe Du Monde
Flights depart SEA at 10:15 a.m. and arrive at MSY at 5 p.m. Return flights leave MSY at 5:55 p.m., arriving at SEA at 8:50.

Daily flights from SEA to TPA depart at 8:50 a.m., arriving at 5:30 p.m. Return flights leave TPA at 6:30 p.m., and arrive at SEA at 9:25 p.m.

The new routes are the most recent steps in the airline’s greater plan to increase its daily departures from 253 to 280 and providing more options to air travelers in the growing Seattle market.

Additional new flights are also on the horizon. In September, the airline will begin daily service to Baltimore (BWI, starting Sept. 2), Detroit (DTW, starting Sept. 4) and Albuquerque (ABQ, starting Sept. 18). Alaska is also planning to initiate new service to CancĂșn, Mexico on Nov. 6, pending governmental approval.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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