Alaska Airlines consolidates West Coast position

06 April 2016 / by OAG

The announcement that Alaska Airlines is acquiring Virgin America surprised some industry watchers.

Alaska Airlines was not the most obvious suitor for Virgin America, perhaps, but despite both airlines having a focus on the US West Coast, there is surprisingly little by way of route overlap.

Alaska Airlines will operate 225 routes this month, compared to Virgin America’s 38 routes. However, there are only 6 routes served by both and they are San Francisco (SFO) to Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDX), Palm Springs (PSP), Puerto Vallarta (PVR) and Los Cabos (SJD), as well as Los Angeles to Seattle.

So what the merging of route networks does is strengthen the Alaska Airlines position on the West Coast and also adds cross continent operations between the major West Coast hubs at San Francisco and Los Angeles to the East Coast hubs at New York and Washington. In April, Virgin America is scheduled to operate 1,228 frequencies on these routes between San Francisco/Los Angeles and New York/Washington. That’s 41 a day, and more than 6,000 daily seats. Furthermore, it allows Alaska Airlines to take control of its revenue management without reference to the cut price fares which Virgin America has been known for. We should see Alaska Airlines yields rise.

So, domestically, this seems to work and gives Alaska Airlines a little more presence in the market. But what about internationally? Alaska Airlines has code sharing agreements with more than a dozen airlines including Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, Korean Air and Qantas. With the interline relationship with Delta winding down, there is clearly an opportunity here for Alaska Airlines to consider new or strengthened relationships with Asian carriers. Certainly if Hainan were looking for new routes to serve to America’s west coast, the link with Alaska is looking good.

To find out more about the west coast and it’s future of transpacific services, download our latest report.

Download our latest whitepaper

If you liked this post, you may also like:

Topics: North America, Airlines


Written by OAG

Subscribe to our blog

30 November 2021 Blog

Can Test & Go Reboot Thailand's Tourism?

There’s no doubt that Thailand’s tourism industry has suffered as a result of the travel restrictions in place for international travel. Now, all ...

01 December 2021 Webinar

Australia Reconnects - How strong could the recovery be?

Insight and analysis for the Southwest Pacific region John Grant, Chief Analyst OAG,  Deidre Fulton, Partner, Midas Aviation,  are joined by our ...

24 June 2021 Podcast

OAG On Air: in conversation with Gregg Brunson-Pitts, Founder & President at Advanced Aviation Team

In this latest podcast, John Grant talks to Gregg Brunson-Pitts who is Founder & President at Advanced Aviation Team - a private jet charter ...