Alaska Airlines announced new flights from Salt Lake City to LA, San Diego, Portland, and Seattle, clearly in retaliation for Delta’s recent announced growth in Seattle (Delta has announced new flights from Seattle to Anchorage, Fairbanks, Vancouver, LA, Portland, San Diego and San Francisco).
Delta’s incursion into Seattle is puzzling: They have a codeshare relationship with Alaska already, I’m not sure why they would add new flights — if their growth there is meant to help feed their international long-haul flights (Amsterdam, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai and soon to London), surely that could have been accomplished with an Alaska codeshare. Instead, they chose to go after Alaska, adding routes already served by them.
The SLC news is clearly a response to that – it’s only a handful of flights, so it’s more about them making a point. The interesting question is, as a reader wrote me this morning, whether American Airlines looks to boost its relationship with Alaska now that Delta has made it clear that they’re not interested in continuing the tie-up. Seems like it would be a smart move for the new AA, growing out their business in the Northwest and further into Mexico. And while Alaska isn’t looking to be sold right now, in 18-24 months do they become the final piece of the US-AA puzzle? Perhaps…
Still, I have no idea why Delta would have chosen to pick on Alaska up in Seattle…love to hear what people think is going on.