Alaska, Delta war for supremacy at Sea-Tac Airport enters a new phase

Staff writerMay 27, 2014 

Alaska Airlines and its brash rival at Sea-Tac Airport, Delta Air Lines,  Tuesday announced a new schedule of additional flights as they fight for market share in the Pacific Northwest.

Delta, whose schedule of flights is expected to grow from the 35 daily it flew from Sea-Tac in April to 86 flights a day from the airport by August, announced yet another round of new flights beginning next fall.

Those flights include new Sea-Tac Delta destinations Spokane, Calgary in Alberta, Maui in Hawaii, Bozeman in Montana and Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico.

All are destinations now served exclusively by Alaska non-stop.

Alaska countered Delta's announcement by announcing Sea-Tac service increases on its own.

The SeaTac-based airline announced it plans to add 27 flights daily to its Sea-Tac schedule by next spring.  That will amount to an 11 percent increase in Alaska's schedule from Sea-Tac, raising its daily flight count to 280.

Many of Alaska's new flights will be additions to its present schedules.  The airline, for instance, will add one daily roundtrip flight from Sea-Tac to Boise, Idaho, to Boston, Chicago, Denver and Fairbanks, Alaska, and Palm Springs and Sacramento in California.

Alaska says it will be adding two more daily roundtrips to Los Angeles from Seattle and three more daily flights on its shuttle to Portland.  The airline will substitute a larger Boeing 737 jet on two of the existing 16 daily roundtrips between Seattle and Spokane.

Delta will begin its Spokane service with four daily flights using 65-seat Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jets.

Alaska once fought with Southwest Airlines over business between Seattle and Spokane, but Southwest dropped out of that contest two years ago.

Alaska has added multiple new non-stop destinations from Sea-Tac since Delta began beefing up its schedule last year.

Alaska this summer will begin non-stops to New Orleans, Tampa, Baltimore, Detroit and Albuquerque from Sea-Tac.

The airline has already added to its flights between Seattle and Salt Lake City, Delta's western hub.  The airline is also adding flights to the Utah capital from several other West Coast cities.

Both airlines have introduced double miles programs from Sea-Tac as they seek to gain the business of frequent fliers.

Delta says it is beefing up its Seattle schedule to support its growing schedule of international flights from Sea-Tac.

Delta recently introduced new non-stop flights from Sea-Tac to London. Next month it will inaugurate new flights to Seoul and Hong Kong.  The airline already connects Sea-Tac non-stop with Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo's two airports, Haneda and Narita. In Europe, Delta offers non-stop flights from Paris, Amsterdam and London to Sea-Tac.

The two airlines remain code-sharing partners despite the heightened rivalry. In code-sharing, airlines sell tickets on other airlines' flights labeled on computer systems as their own.

The two carriers now rank first and second in market share at Sea-Tac. Alaska is first. Delta is second.

 

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