Alaska Airlines has been expanding pretty rapidly lately, though their growth strategy has kind of surprised me, especially given the number of airlines they partner with. Rather than adding additional frequencies on otherwise underserved routes, Alaska Airlines is adding four new nonstop transcontinental (or nearly transcon) routes.
The new routes are as follows:
Seattle to Nashville as of September 23, 2015
The new daily Boeing 737-800 service between Seattle and Nashville will operate with the following schedule:
AS736 Seattle to Nashville departing 9:30AM arriving 4:05PM
AS735 Nashville to Seattle departing 5:05PM arriving 8:20PM
Seattle to Raleigh as of October 1, 2015
The new daily Boeing 737-800 service between Seattle and Raleigh will operate with the following schedule:
AS754 Seattle to Raleigh departing 8:40AM arriving 4:50PM
AS753 Raleigh to Seattle departing 5:50PM arriving 9:00PM
Seattle to Charleston as of November 16, 2015
The new 4x weekly Boeing 737-800 service between Seattle and Charleston will operate with the following schedule:
AS756 Seattle to Charleston departing 8:30AM arriving 4:50PM
AS757 Charleston to Seattle departing 5:50PM arriving 9:10PM
Los Angeles to Baltimore as of September 9, 2015
The new daily Boeing 737-800 service between Los Angeles and Baltimore will operate with the following schedule:
AS740 Los Angeles to Baltimore departing 10:10PM arriving 6:15AM (+1 day)
AS739 Baltimore to Los Angeles departing 7:30AM arriving 10:40AM
Second Seattle to Atlanta frequency as of August 23, 2015
The new second daily Boeing 737-800 service between Seattle and Atlanta will operate with the following schedule:
AS750 Seattle to Atlanta departing 4:10PM arriving 11:54PM
AS749 Atlanta to Seattle departing 7:00AM arriving 9:15AM
This complements the existing daily frequency:
AS746 Seattle to Atlanta departing 9:55AM arriving 5:40PM
AS745 Atlanta to Seattle departing 6:40PM arriving 8:55PM
Alaska’s reasoning behind the new routes
I could immediately rationalize the new Nashville route, which makes perfect sense. The Raleigh and Charleston routes caught me off guard, though (especially the Charleston route, with just 4x weekly service). However, it actually makes much more sense after Alaska explained it:
Charleston has been named the top U.S. city by Condé Nast four years in a row. Flights to Charleston will connect Boeing employees with one of their largest manufacturing plants outside the Pacific Northwest. Nashville, the music capital of the south, is the largest market from Seattle not currently served by Alaska, and Raleigh/Durham service will connect two of the country’s top biotechnology hubs.
The additional frequency to Atlanta is logical as well, given the “battle in Seattle” going on between Alaska and Delta. The only one which I’m stumped by is Los Angeles to Baltimore. Is Alaska trying to take on Southwest now as well?
It’s nice to see the rate at which Alaska is expanding into new markets. I’d expect to see some bonus miles promotions for the above new routes published shortly, as it’s something Alaska almost always offers.
What do you make of these new Alaska Airlines routes?