Friday, May 1, 2015

Alaska Airlines announces new flights to eastern US, Central America

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines will add non-stop service to four destinations in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and the south, as well as two in Central America in the fall of 2015.

New domestic service

Alaska (NYSE:ALK) will begin daily non-stop service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Baltimore (BWI) on Sept. 9, new daily service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Nashville (BNA) on Sept. 23, new daily service to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (RDU) on Oct. 1 and new four times weekly service weekly to Charleston, South Carolina (CHS) on Nov. 16.

Alaska 737 departing SEA
"Our loyal customers tell us they want new and exciting non-stop destinations, and we are listening … [by] adding new non-stop service to three highly-requested business and leisure destinations not currently served nonstop from Seattle,” John Kirby, the airline's vice president of capacity planning, said in a statement. "Nonstop flights equate to shorter travel times and more convenience for our customers."

Daily flights to BWI will leave LAX at 10:10 p.m. and arrive at BWI at 6:15 a.m. Return flights will leave Baltimore at 7:30 a.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 10:40 a.m. The new service will complement the airline’s existing daily non-stop to Reagan National Airport (DCA), providing passengers greater access to the nation’s capital, the airline noted.

Flights to Nashville will leave SEA every day at 9:30 a.m., arriving at BNA at 4:05 p.m. Return flights will leave Music City at 5:05 p.m., arriving at SEA at 8:20 p.m.

Daily flights to RDU will depart SEA at 8:40 a.m., and arrive in North Carolina at 4:50 p.m., with return flights leaving at 5:50 p.m., for arrival at SEA at 9:00 p.m.

Service to Charleston will depart at 8:30 a.m., arriving at 4:50 p.m., on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Return flights leave at 5:50 and arrive in Seattle at 9:10 p.m.

Nashville, the music capital of the south, is the largest market from Seattle not currently served by Alaska. Service between Seattle and Raleigh-Durham, home to Research Triangle Park, will connect two of the country's top biotechnology hubs, while flights to Charleston will connect Boeing employees with one of their largest manufacturing plants outside the Pacific Northwest.

New Central America service

The airline will also introduce new service between LAX and Costa Rica's two major international airports. The carrier will offer four flights weekly between LAX and San Jose (SJO), and between LAX and Liberia/Guanacaste (LIR).

"As the most popular Central American tourist destination for U.S. travelers, Costa Rica is a mecca for eco-tourism, surfing and sport fishing," Kirby said, noting that the destination has been a top request from customers who enjoy outdoor adventure.

Service to SJO will depart LAX at 8:40 a.m., arriving at 4:35 p.m., on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Return flights leave at 5:35 and arrive in Seattle at 10:05 p.m. Flights to LIR will depart at 8:50 a.m., arriving at 4:25 p.m., on Tuedays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Return flights leave at 5:25 and arrive in L.A. at 9:35 p.m.

Passengers on all the new routes will ride fuel-efficient Boeing (NYSE:BA) Next Generation 737 aircraft and will have access to free exclusive programming streamed to their own devices, Pacific Northwest-inspired food and beverages and power outlets at every seat. According to SeatGuru.com, first class seats are 21 inches wide with 36 inches of pitch, while economy seats are 17 inches wide with 31 to 32 inches of pitch, depending on the aircraft’s configuration.

To promote the new routes, Alaska is offering introductory one-way fares of $149 between Baltimore and Los Angeles. Customers must purchase their tickets by May 6 and travel by Nov.18. It is also offering introductory fares starting at $139 from Seattle to Charleston and Nashville and $159 to Raleigh-Durham. Tickets for the Seattle routes must be purchased by May 4 and travel completed by Nov. 18 for Nashville and Raleigh-Durham, and by Dec. 19 for Charleston.

Flights for the new Costa Rica routes will be available for purchase starting May 21, pending approval by Costa Rican civil aviation authorities.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photo by Carl Dombek
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