Expect a fare war next year when Delta Air Lines launches a flock of new flights from western destinations to Sea-Tac Airport.
The Atlanta-based airline said Tuesday it will inaugurate new service from San Francisco to Sea-Tac March 29 with six daily flights. A seventh flight will be added June 5.
The airline will add two more non-stop flights to Las Vegas Jan. 6 bringing Delta's total daily flights in that market to three. Two more flights will be added April 1 for a total of five.
Delta is also planning to augment its repertoire of Los Angeles flights by two additional flights June 5. That will bring Delta's LAX-to-SEA schedule to 7 flights.
All of those new domestic flights will compete directly with those operated by SeaTac-based Alaska Airlines, which partners with Delta on codeshare flights from Sea-Tac.
The San Francisco-Seattle market is already served by four airlines, Alaska, Virgin America and United. Alaska, Delta, Southwest and US Airways compete on the Las Vegas route. United, Alaska, Virgin America and Delta already compete on the LA route.
Delta said those new domestic flights are designed to feed Delta's international flights from Sea-Tac. Delta now flies from Sea-Tac to two destinations in Europe, Paris and Amsterdam. The airline plans to add a London flight next spring.
The airline connects Sea-Tac with five Asian airports, Shanghai, Beijing, Osaka and Tokyo's Narita and Haneda airports. The airline plans to drop the Osaka flight this fall and add flights to Seoul and Hong Kong next year.
“San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles are the three largest West Coast-to-Asia markets in the United States,” said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s vice president – Seattle. “Their addition into this local market will bolster domestic service as well as continue to help support or our growing international portfolio in Seattle.”
In addition to the new domestic and international flights, Delta, second in market share at Sea-Tac after Alaska Airlines, is also raising its profile in the Puget Sound community. The airline announced Monday it is buying naming rights to CenturyLink Field's club level.
That level will be renamed the Delta Sky360 Club.
The airline also announced major transactions with two big Western Washington businesses, Boeing and Microsoft.
Delta took delivery of its first Boeing 737-900ER Monday from Boeing. The 737-900ER, built in Renton, is the largest member of the 737 family of aircraft. In Delta's seating configuration, the plane seats 180 passengers.
Delta also announced a deal to equip its pilots with Microsoft's Surface2 tablet to digitally store maps and manuals that pilots formerly had to handcarry in a briefcase into the cockpit. Those briefcases typically weighed about 38 pounds.
The airline had experimented with Apple IPads to serve as "electronic flight bags" for its pilots. The U.S.'s second-largest airline said it picked the Surface2 because of its compatibility with the airline's pilot training systems.
Delta will also equip its flight attendants with Microsoft Nokia phones running the software company's Windows operating system.