- Alaska Airlines is growing its West Coast route network with a focus on leisure routes to sun destinations for the winter.
- Los Angeles and Palm Springs are the focus of the expansion with the airline going up against tough competition on popular routes to Cancun and Reno.
- Most flights are operated by Alaska Airlines' regional brand using Embraer E175 regional jets.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Alaska Airlines is growing its winter schedule with five new leisure routes from cities on the West Coast.
Los Angeles and Palm Springs are the main focus of the route expansion with the former just receiving 12 routes in July. The Seattle-based airline joins American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and United Airlines, among others, in growing its leisure route networks as demand shifts away from business travel and the pandemic enters its fourth season.
Though its name might suggest the airline only has Alaskan flights, Alaska Airlines has been consistently growing on the West Coast since acquiring Virgin America – the Richard Branson and Virgin Group-backed airline known for its eccentricity – and its bases in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The 2016 merger saw Alaska Airlines grow in both cities – complementing its existing route network in each – but gain market share overnight on the transcontinental market flying from multiple West Coast cities to New York and Boston, among others. Despite its expanded presence on the East Coast, the airline has shown a clear preference for the West Coast with growth across the region, especially as New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut mandate 14-day quarantine for travels from an ever-changing list of states.
Joining the route expansion was also an announcement that the airline's policy of blocking middle seats until November 30, shortly after the Thanksgiving travel rush.
Here's the full list of where Alaska Airlines is going this winter.
Between Los Angeles and Cancun, Mexico
Alaska Airlines will offer once-daily service between Los Angeles and Cancun beginning December 17 until April 12, 2021, utilizing a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, on which Business Insider flew in February shortly before the pandemic. Mexico is one of the few countries accepting American visitors with Cancun alone being the major focus of recent route expansions from the likes of JetBlue Airways and American Airlines.
Competing with Alaska Airlines on the route will be Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, and Mexico's Interjet. JetBlue just announced its Los Angeles-Cancun route earlier this month as the airline grows its West Coast presence in direct competition with Alaska Airlines as the two mid-tier airlines battle for market share.
Between Los Angeles and Reno, Nevada
Alaska Airlines will also offer once-daily service between Los Angeles and Reno, Nevada beginning December 17. The service has no current end date and will be operated by Alaska Airlines' regional brand operated by Horizon Air Embraer E175 aircraft.
Connecting the City of Angels with The Biggest Little City in the World will see Alaska Airlines go head-to-head with American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.
Between Palm Springs, California, and Boise, Idaho
Alaska Airlines will begin flying daily between Palm Springs, California, and Boise, Idaho starting December 17. The service will operate until April 12, 2021, under Alaska Airlines' regional brand with flights utilizing a SkyWest Airlines Embraer E175.
The only competitor on the route Alaska will have to face is ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Air, which does not share the same commitment to blocking seats and offers a twice-weekly service.
Between Palm Springs, California, and Reno, Nevada
Alaska Airlines will begin flying daily between Palm Springs, California, and Boise, Idaho starting December 17 until April 12, 2021. The five-times-weekly service will be offered on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Alaska Airlines' regional brand and operated with a SkyWest Airlines Embraer E175.
Between Palm Springs, California, and San Jose, California
Alaska Airlines will begin flying between Palm Springs, California, and San Jose, California beginning December 16 with no scheduled end date. The twice-daily service between the Inland Empire and the Capital of Silicon Valley will be offered under Alaska Airlines' regional brand utilizing Embraer E175 aircraft operated by SkyWest Airlines.
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