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Category Archives: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Air Group reports a third quarter GAAP net profit of $198 million

Alaska Air Group, Inc., (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported third quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $198 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to $289 million, or $2.04 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments and a one-time special revenue item in the prior year, the company reported record adjusted net income of $200 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $157 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, in 2013.

“This was our best quarterly result ever” said CEO Brad Tilden. “I want to thank our 13,000 employees who are keeping a focus on playing our game, and working hard every day to run a great operation, keep fares low, and deliver award winning service to our customers. All of us at Alaska would like to thank our customers for their continued loyalty.”

Financial Highlights:

Reported record third quarter net income, excluding special items, of $200 million – a 27% increase over the third quarter of 2013.
Reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.47 per diluted share, a 32% increase over the third quarter of 2013 and ahead of First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.42 per share.
Earned net income for the third quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $198 million or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to net income of $289 million, or $2.04 per diluted share in 2013.
Recorded $84 million of incentive pay through the first nine months of 2014. This includes each Air Group employee earning at least $800 by meeting or exceeding monthly customer satisfaction and operational performance goals and tracking to earn above-target payouts for full-year goals.
Increased fuel efficiency (as measured by seat-miles per gallon) by 2.8% as part of our effort to be the airline leader in environmental stewardship.
Grew passenger revenues by 7%, compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Generated record adjusted pretax margin in the third quarter of 21.8% compared to 18.4% in 2013.
Generated 15.9% pretax margin for the trailing 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2014, compared to 11.7% for the same period in the prior year.
Achieved trailing 12-month after-tax return on invested capital of 17.2% compared to 13.0% in the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2013.
Repurchased 3.4 million shares of common stock for $159 million in the third quarter of 2014, and 5.3 million shares for $242 million in the first nine months of 2014, representing 3.8% of the total shares outstanding at the beginning of the year.
Paid a $0.125 per-share quarterly cash dividend on September 4, bringing total dividend payments so far this year to $51 million.
Generated $1 billion in operating cash flows for the 12-months ended Sept. 30, 2014, generating $321 million of free cash flows.
Lowered adjusted debt-to-total-capitalization ratio to 31%.
Held $1.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Sept. 30, 2014.
Became one of only two U.S. airlines with investment grade credit ratings.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N579AS (msn 35187) arrives in Las Vegas.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon-Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

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Alaska Airlines to launch San Diego-Kona flights on March 5, 2015

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is bringing more Hawaii to its customers in San Diego with new nonstop flights between San Diego and Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Starting March 5, 2015, the new flights will operate three times weekly.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N593AS (msn 35107) completes the river approach into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines renews its jersey sponsorship with the Portland Timbers

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will continue to sponsor the professional soccer team Portland Timbers. The airline issued this statement:

The Portland Timbers has announced the club has renewed its jersey sponsorship with Alaska Airlines. As part of the multiyear partnership, the iconic Northwest airline’s wordmark will continue to be prominently featured on Timbers’ game kits and club apparel.

In addition to being featured on Timbers jerseys, Alaska Airlines will continue to serve as the team’s official airline. Alaska Airlines, a Founding Partner of the Timbers, has been the club’s jersey partner since its inaugural 2011 MLS season.

As part of the partnership, Alaska Airlines will continue to support the Portland Timbers Community Fund, partnering with the team on several youth-based fitness and educational initiatives. Additionally, Alaska Airlines will donate 25 game-day tickets for home games to underprivileged Portland-area youth as part of the Timbers “Tickets for Kids” program. Alaska Airlines also will be a presenting sponsor for all MLS Timbers youth soccer camps.

Among the many fan-friendly components of the uniquely interactive partnership, Alaska Airlines will continue its popular program to allow year-round early boarding privileges on its flights originating from Portland International Airport to fans wearing Timbers jerseys. The airline will continue to fly the popular Timbers Jet throughout its route network. The club-themed plane was unveiled in 2011 with a design inspired by two Timbers fans through a paint-the-plane contest.

Alaska Airlines offers more nonstop flights (serving 43 different destinations), more daily flights (110 a day) and more California service (36 flights daily to 13 California destinations) from Portland International Airport than any other carrier.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The sponsorship also includes a Portland Timbers logo jet. Boeing 737-790 N607AS (msn 29751) taxies at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Alaska Airlines:

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Alaska Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:

Alaska Airlines and its flight attendants tentatively agree on a five-year contract

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and the Association of Flight Attendants have announced they have reached tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 3,300 flight attendants.

Once the tentative agreement is approved by the union’s leadership, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants will conduct a ratification vote that is expected to be completed in December.

Under the Railway Labor Act, which governs collective bargaining agreements in the airline industry, contracts do not expire. Instead they become amendable. The prior contract was effective in 2010 and became amendable in May 2012.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N303AS (msn 30017) departs from Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines orders 10 additional Boeing 737-900 ERs, launches a “Test Drive a 737″ contest, will retire its last Boeing 737-400 by the end of 2017

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has announced the purchase of 10 additional Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft. The company is celebrating the significance of this order by launching a contest to ‘test-drive’ one of Alaska’s 737 flight simulators at its Seattle flight operations center.

Today’s purchase, which brings Alaska’s total Boeing jets on order to 74, means customers will enjoy expanded service from Alaska’s Seattle hub and a commitment to a locally-manufactured fleet.

These new planes will not only allow for network growth, but also further enhance the company’s already industry-leading fuel efficiency by replacing less efficient 737-400 aircraft with new 737-900ER, capable of carrying 25 percent more passengers while using the same amount of fuel.

Alaska Airlines is the most fuel efficient U.S. carrier for the last three years, according to The International Council on Clean Transportation. The 737-900 ERs, along with other efficiency measures, will help Alaska further its lead by improving mileage from 66 seat MPG in 2006 to 84 seat MPG in 2017.

Plane facts:

Alaska is in the process of transitioning out of its 737-400s, which will be finished by the end of 2017.

Alaska was the first airline in the world to order both the MAX-8 and MAX-9 and will take delivery of the aircraft starting in 2017.

By 2017 Alaska’s fleet will be nearly 30 percent larger than it was in 2010.

Alaska offers 273 peak-day departures to 79 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma, more than three times that of any other airline.

Alaska Keys to the Sky logo

Alaska launches Seattle-area scavenger hunt

Beginning at 6 a.m. this Friday, October 10, Washington state residents will have the chance to find one of five sets of keys to test drive a Boeing 737. Follow Alaska Airlines’ “Keys to the Sky” scavenger hunt on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for clues leading to five Seattle-area locations. The first person to arrive at each location and reference the hashtag #SeattlesAirline will win a grand prize, which includes two round-trip tickets anywhere Alaska flies from Seattle/Tacoma and keys to one of the company’s flight simulators, good for a ride with an Alaska instructor pilot. The runner up at each location will be invited to take a ride on a delivery flight aboard one of Alaska’s new Boeing 737-900 ERs next year.

For more information: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N419AS (msn 41734) taxies to the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: Alaska orders 10 more Boeing 737s:

Despite increased competition from Delta, Alaska Airlines’ traffic and passenger numbers increase but the load factor drops

Alaska Air Group Inc. (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) despite increased competition, especially from Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) at its Seattle/Tacoma hub, has managed to increase its traffic and passenger numbers for the first nine months of 2014, mostly through its vigorous expansion. However the number of passengers has not kept up with the expansion and this has lead to a lower load factor.

The Group reported September and year-to-date operational results for its subsidiaries, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, and on a combined basis. Detailed information is provided below.

Alaska logo

Air Group:

On a combined basis, Air Group reported a 9.0 percent increase in traffic on a 9.9 percent increase in capacity compared to September 2013. This resulted in a 0.7 point decrease in load factor to 81.9 percent. These statistics include flights operated by Alaska and those under capacity purchase agreements, including Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir.

The following table shows the operational results for September and year-to-date 2014, compared to the prior-year periods:

The Group and Alaska Airlines:

Alaska 9 mo traffic 9.2014

Alaska Horizon – Horizon Air:

Alaska Horizon 9 mo traffic 9.2014

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-890 N569AS (msn 35184) in the 75th Anniversary retrojet scheme arrives in Las Vegas.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines sponsors environmental entrepreneurship competition at the University of Washington

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is sponsoring the University of Washington Foster School of Business’ Environmental Innovation Challenge. The airline issued this statement today:

Today, the University of Washington Foster School of Business announced Alaska Airlines as the naming sponsor of its annual Environmental Innovation Challenge.

In the Environmental Innovation Challenge, approaching its seventh year, student teams must define an environmental problem, develop a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates the commercial viability of their product, process or service. Teams are judged on their prototypes, the market opportunity, and their pitch to an audience of nearly 200 industry experts from the Seattle environmental and entrepreneurship communities.

“We’re thrilled that Alaska Airlines has chosen to sponsor the Environmental Innovation Challenge. With their history of innovation, Northwest roots and steadfast support of education, Alaska Airlines is a perfect sponsor for one of the region’s most elite student challenges,” said Connie Bourassa-Shaw, director of the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. “Their commitment to environmental responsibility aligns perfectly with the spirit of the competition.”

Alaska’s 10-year sponsorship commitment includes a reduced travel rate for out-of-state teams to Seattle to participate in the April competition and flying guest faculty instructors from other universities in the Pacific Northwest to observe or judge the challenge. The airline will also host the challenge at the Seattle Center House next April. More information about the 2015 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge can be found at http://www.foster.washington.edu .

“As a proud supporter of the University of Washington and industry leader in environmental stewardship, we’re thrilled to support the next generation of innovators whose ideas and concepts will no doubt improve our communities for years to come,” said Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations for Alaska Airlines.

To date, the chance to compete in the Environmental Innovation Challenge has attracted hundreds of student teams from Washington and Oregon. Prize money is one draw; so are the opportunities to hone an idea through interaction with peers, prototype development and conversations with industry experts.

A number of teams have gone on to launch their companies. One such example is HydroSense. The team won the inaugural Environmental Innovation Challenge with a water-usage monitoring technology that screws onto a single valve in a home and can detect water use down to each specific toilet, shower and faucet. HydroSense was acquired by Belkin in 2010.

Alaska Airlines has supported the state’s largest university in various ways for more than five decades. The UW’s on-campus basketball arena, the “Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion,” is named after the carrier and is part of a multi-year agreement to sponsor the UW Athletics program. Last year Alaska Airlines donated nearly $1.4 million in cash and in-kind contributions to almost 100 youth and educational programs and schools in the greater Puget Sound area and throughout Washington.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N435QX (msn 4232) is painted in the special University of Washington Huskies college livery. N435QX taxies to the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub. Today N435QX wears Alaska Horizon titles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon-Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines today starts nonstop Seattle/Tacoma-Albuquerque flights

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today (September 18) started daily nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Albuquerque, the multi-cultural metropolis of New Mexico.

Upcoming, the carrier will start nonstop Seattle/Tacoma-Cancun flights on November 6.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N583AS (msn 35681) with the new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets departs from Washington’ Reagan National Airport (DCA).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines starts Seattle/Tacoma-Detroit service

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) yesterday (September 4) launched nonstop service from its Seattle/Tacoma hub to Detroit. Detroit becomes Alaska Airlines’ 77th nonstop destination out of Seattle/Tacoma.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska is proud to be all Boeing, a close partnership for the crosstown companies. Boeing 737-890 N512AS (msn 39043) in the special Boeing Dreamliner scheme arrives in Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Wear Russell Wilson’s Number 3 jersey, get early boarding on Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) are battling for the hearts and minds of potential customers in the Seattle area. Delta has been adding billboards and ads around town and even ads on the deck floors of the Puget Sound ferries telling everyone it is now Seattle’s hometown “international” airline.

Alaska is fighting back with Russell Wilson, the third year champion quarterback for the hometown Seattle Seahawks. Seattle is football crazy town. The Seahawks defend their Superbowl championship starting tomorrow night as the National Football League kicks off the 2014 season in (where else?) Seattle.

Russell Wilson Seahawks jersey (NFL Shop)

Copyright Photo: NFL Shop. The authentic Number 3 Seattle Seahawks jersey will set you back $149.95.

Starting today any passenger wearing Russell’s Number 3 Seattle Seahawks jersey (above) will get early boarding.  Don’t try this with Delta in Seattle, as Russell has signed a promotional deal with Alaska Airlines as Alaska’s “Chief Football Officer”.

Fans back the team by also wearing the “12” jersey as the “12th man”. No word from Alaska on whether wearing the 12 jersey will get you early boarding.

Alaska Airlines has issued this statement:

Customers wearing star NFL quarterback Russell Wilson’s Number 3 jersey will be able to board early on Seattle-departing Alaska Airlines flights starting on September 3. The promotion, which began during the team’s playoff run last year, is good through the duration of the Seahawks’ 2014 NFL football season.

“We’re thrilled to kick off the 2014 football season by bringing back priority boarding for fans wearing the jersey of our ‘Chief Football Officer’ Russell Wilson,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ senior vice president of communications and external relations. “This year Alaska Airlines is hoping to bring even more blue and green to the skies. In addition to early boarding, we’re making travel to away games a little more affordable for 12s who wish to join us in supporting our hometown team wherever they play.”

Starting today football fans can follow Wilson and the Seahawks on the road this season and receive 10 percent off airfare to select away games.

Select away games include:

Sept. 14 game in San Diego
Oct. 6 game in Washington, D.C.
Oct. 19 game in Saint Louis
Nov. 16 game in Kansas City
Dec. 7 game in Philadelphia

Alaska Russell Wilson (Alaska)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines. Russell Wilson addressing the employees of Alaska Airlines.

These promotions are part of an exclusive multi-year partnership between Alaska Airlines and the Seahawk’s star quarterback. Since being named Alaska’s “Chief Football Officer” last December, Wilson has appeared at several exclusive events in Seattle, has been featured in four television commercials and had a plane dedicated in his honor . In addition, Alaska has supported a number of youth and education programs including the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, which provides inner-city and underprivileged youths an opportunity to attend football camp with the star quarterback.

Alaska WL 3 Wilson (Alaska)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Wilson and Alaska Airlines enjoy a relationship that began in 2013 after his rookie year in the National Football League. Wilson and Alaska have since teamed up to inspire youths to finish school and accomplish their goals. An event last summer— dubbed “Pledge It. Prove It. Take Flight “— attracted more than 600 students from 21 high schools in Western Washington, who heard from Wilson and employees of Alaska Airlines and its regional carrier, Horizon Air, about careers in aviation.

Copyright Photos: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Video: Alaska Airlines: We’ve enlisted the support of our Chief Football Officer Russell Wilson to design a training camp that only he could imagine. Wilson, the starting quarterback for the champion Seattle Seahawks, led Alaska employees through a high-stepping obstacle course, a lost teddy bear running drill, snack delivery accuracy training – #snackuracy – and more.

Alaska launches Seattle/Tacoma-Baltimore/Washington flights today

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) launched daily round-trip service today (September 2) between Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) and Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

With the new BWI flight, coupled with the airline’s Detroit service starting on September 4 and Albuquerque service starting on September 18, Alaska Airlines will offer 273 peak-day departures to 78 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma (SeaTac), more than three times that of any other airline.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N586AS (msn 35189) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air to operate seasonal flights from Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes, California

Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma) will operate seasonal service between Las Vegas and Mammoth Lakes, California.

Horizon Air’s nonstop flight from Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes will operate on Mondays and Thursdays between January 15 and April 6, 2015.

Horizon Air will operate the flights with the Bombardier DHC-8-402 (marketed as the Q400) turboprop aircraft on the new route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air now spreads its wings from Alaska to the U.S. Southwest. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N443QX (man 4353) in the University of Alaska Seawolves college motif departs from Anchorage.

Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air): AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines’ new TV commercial with Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has introduced this new TV commercial, mostly for showing in the Pacific Northwest hometown market featuring Seattle Seahawks and Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson.

In addition, Boeing 737-990 ER N453AS (msn 36354) is now wearing special “Go Russell!” markings.

Alaska 737-900ER WL N453AS (90-Go Russell)(Close-Up)(Alaska)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

The airline issued this short statement with the video above:

Champions never rest. We’ve enlisted the support of our Chief Football Officer quarterback Russell Wilson to put our employees through the paces at a specially designed training camp.

The NFL teams have started their pre-season schedule.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Now repainted, Boeing supported the hometown Seahawks during the previous Super Bowl with this Boeing 747-87UF N770BA (msn 37564) which was painted in the colors of the National Football League (NFL) team.

Alaska Air Group reports a net profit of $165 million for the second quarter

Alaska Air Group, Inc., (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported second quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $165 million, or $1.19 per diluted share, compared to $104 million, or $0.74 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $13 million ($8 million after tax, or $0.06 per diluted share), the company reported record adjusted net income of $157 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $105 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, in 2013.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines has already added Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets to 12 Boeing 737 aircraft. Boeing 737-890 N588AS (msn 35685) with SS Winglets taxies at San Francisco.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines to be the first airline to use Boeing’s new “Space Bins”

737 Space Bins at 737 Configuration Studio

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has announced it will be the first airline to get Boeing’s new “Space Bins”. The airline issued this statement through its Alaska Air Blog:

Aiming to improve onboard storage and make flying easier for customers, Alaska Airlines will be the first carrier to get Boeing’s innovative Space Bins. The larger overhead bins have a similar look and feel to Alaska’s current Boeing Sky Interior pivot bins yet hold more bags.

Space Bins on an Alaska Airlines 737-900 ER will hold as many as 174 standard carry-on bags, a 48 percent increase compared to current bins that hold up to 117 bags. Space Bins are deep enough to store nonstandard items, such as a guitar. Space Bins will arrive on all Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAX airplanes delivered to Alaska Airlines starting in late 2015.

Listening to customers:

“Boeing listened to Alaska when developing its innovative new 737 Space Bins,” said Mark Thompson, Boeing sales director. “Flight attendants, customer service agents and others visited Boeing’s design center, tested prototypes and gave Boeing’s designers insightful feedback. In addition, Boeing engineers who regularly fly Alaska observed first-hand how customers load bags into bins. Boeing truly appreciates its special partnership with Alaska Airlines.”

The new bins are one way that Alaska is listening to customers to improve service.

“Alaska is committed to making flying a hassle-free and comfortable experience,” said Mark Eliasen, Alaska Airlines treasurer and vice president of finance. “The additional storage space will allow our customers to keep their personal items with them in the cabin, which we think they will enjoy.”
Faster and easier boarding

When open, the bin’s bottom edge hangs about 2 inches lower, which means people don’t have to lift their bags as high to load them. The deeper bins allow more bags to be stowed, and let customers load overstuffed bags with less struggle.

That should cut boarding times, improve on-time performance and require less intervention from flight attendants.

Flight attendant representatives who tried the Space Bins preferred them over traditional Boeing Sky Interior bins.

“We are appreciative that flight attendant feedback had an impact on this decision,” said Matthew Coder, manager of inflight experience at Alaska Airlines. “The Space Bins will let customers easily toss their bags in, which means flight attendants can spend less time and effort reorganizing things, and more time engaged with our customers.”

Continuously improving the 737

Although the 737 is the world’s best-selling single-aisle airplane, Boeing is committed to continuous improvements that make it even better for Alaska Airlines employees and customers.

“We’re taking the Boeing Sky Interior, which is hugely popular with our airline customers and passengers, and building on that success by adding even more room for bags,” said Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of the 737 program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “One of the reasons the 737 is the world’s best-selling airplane is because we work with our customers to continuously improve the airplane with features such as Space Bins.”

Alaska Airlines flies an all-Boeing fleet of 737 airplanes, including 20 737-900 ERs. The carrier has 66 firm orders for 737-900 ERs and 737 MAX aircraft to be delivered through 2022, including an order of four 737-900 ERs finalized this month.

Boeing also released this statement:

Boeing announced the launch of its new Space Bins today (July 10), which provide more room for carry-on bags. Space Bins are now available as an optional feature on new Next-Generation 737s and 737 MAX airplanes.

Each of the larger Space Bins will stow six bags, two more than the current pivot bins installed on Next-Generation 737s with the Boeing Sky Interior. That’s based on a standard size carry-on bag measuring 9-in x 14-in x 22-in (23 cm x 36 cm x 56 cm).

“We’re taking the Boeing Sky Interior, which is hugely popular with our airline customers and passengers, and building on that success by adding even more room for bags,” said Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager, 737 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “One of the reasons the 737 is the world’s best selling airplane is because we work with our customers to continuously improve the airplane with features such as Space Bins.”

With a lower bin lip height, Space Bins provide increased visibility into the back of the bins and make bag loading even easier. They’re also as easy to close as the current pivot bins, but require no bin assist mechanism.

Launch customer and hometown partner Alaska Airlines will begin installing Space Bins on all new deliveries as soon as the larger bins become available in late 2015.

Boeing’s Space Bins will also be available for retrofit on in-service Next-Generation 737s.

Copyright Image: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines today launches nonstop Seattle/Tacoma-Tampa flights

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today (June 20) launched daily round-trip service between its Seattle/Tacoma hub (SEA) and Tampa, Florida (TPA).

Alaska Airlines is the only carrier offering nonstop service between Seattle and Tampa.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The new route also increases the transit time from Tampa to the state of Alaska, especially during the peak summer travel market. Boeing 737-890 N588AS (msn 35685) departs from Anchorage International Airport (ANC) with the new Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines starts Seattle/Tacoma-New Orleans flights

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) yesterday (June 12) inaugurated round-trip service between Seattle/Tacoma and New Orleans.

The New Orleans service contributes to a plan to increase Alaska Airlines departures out of Seattle/Tacoma 11 percent by next spring. Alaska’s daily flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will increase from 253 to 280, giving travelers more options to the places they want to fly most.

Other previously announced new service includes Albuquerque, New Mexico, Baltimore, Detroit, Tampa, Florida, and Cancún, Mexico.

Summary of other new daily Seattle/Tacoma service:

• Seattle – Tampa: starting June 20
• Seattle – Baltimore/Washington: starting September 2
• Seattle – Detroit: starting September 4
• Seattle – Albuquerque: starting September 18
• Seattle – Cancún: starting November 6 pending governmental approval

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N560AS (msn 35179) in the special “Spirit of the Islands” motif taxies to the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: One summer at Alaska Airlines:

Horizon Air starts seasonal Portland-Kalispell, Montana flights

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) yesterday (June 9) launched seasonal daily service between Portland, Oregon, and Kalispell, Montana.

The flights will operate seasonally between Portland and Kalispell through August 23, connecting Portland-area residents to the natural beauty of northwest Montana, and Flathead Valley residents to the Rose City.

Kalispell is located in northwest Montana’s Flathead Valley, which encompasses the gateway to Glacier National Park, Whitefish Mountain Resort and Flathead Lake — the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Alaska Airlines also operates daily year-round service between Kalispell and Seattle/Tacoma.

Alaska Airlines’ sister carrier, Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma), will operate the flights with the Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N414QX (msn 4061) taxies at Los Angeles International Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines starts seven new routes this week from Salt Lake City

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) begins daily nonstop flights this week to seven new destinations from Salt Lake City (Delta’s hub) while also expanding existing service between Utah’s capital and Seattle/Tacoma.

The new flying begins today (June 9) with service to Portland, Oregon. Over the next 10 days, additional flights will commence from Salt Lake City to Boise, Idaho; Los Angeles; Las Vegas; San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, California. Alaska is also adding a third daily flight between Seattle/Tacoma and Salt Lake starting today.

The carrier will operate the flights with Alaska Airlines Boeing 737s, Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop aircraft operated by Horizon Air (Seattle/Tacoma) and 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets flown by SkyWest Airlines (St. George, Utah).

Alaska Airlines began serving Salt Lake City in April 2013 with two daily flights from Seattle/Tacoma.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490 N792AS (msn 28887) was formerly painted in the special “Wild Alaska Seafood” livery.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines fights back to hold its Seattle/Tacoma market share

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is fighting back trying to hold on to its market share in its home Seattle/Tacoma market. The airline issued this statement today:

Alaska Airlines, which provides travelers with more nonstop flights from Seattle/Tacoma than any other carrier, will increase its departures for its hometown customers by 11 percent next spring. Alaska’s daily departures out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will increase from 253 to 280, giving travelers more options to the places they want to fly most.

“Alaska Airlines has been flying out of Seattle for more than half a century and we’re proud to offer our customers nearly four times the departures to more destinations than any other airline,” said Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations. “With convenient nonstop service to 79 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma, our customers can fly to 80 percent of the places they want to go and this increases to 99 percent when combining Alaska’s flights and those of our partner airlines.”

Alaska Airlines will add 27 new roundtrips, including one daily between Seattle/Tacoma and Boise, Idaho, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fairbanks, Alaska, and Palm Springs and Sacramento, California. The airline will also add two more daily roundtrips between Seattle/Tacoma and Los Angeles, and three more roundtrip shuttle flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Portland, Oregon. A Boeing 737 will replace a Bombardier Q400 on two of the 16 daily roundtrip flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Spokane, Washington, increasing the number of seats on Alaska between the state’s largest two cities from 3,200 to 3,350 a day.

The 11 percent increase in Seattle/Tacoma departures also includes previously announced service to six new destinations, including Albuquerque, New Mexico, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, Tampa, Florida, and Cancún, Mexico.

Summary of new daily Seattle/Tacoma service:

Seattle – New Orleans: starting June 12

Seattle – Tampa: starting June 20

Seattle – Baltimore: starting September 2

Seattle – Detroit: starting September 4

Seattle – Albuquerque: starting September 18

Seattle – Cancún: starting November 6 pending governmental approval
Alaska Airlines expects the new flying will add approximately 100 jobs to the region, in addition to the 6,300 Alaska and Horizon Air employees who currently work in the Puget Sound area.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. The all-Boeing relationship at Alaska Airlines should not be overlooked as the Alaska-Delta “battle of Seattle” escalates for market share in the home of Boeing. The pictured brand new Boeing 737-990 ER N467AS (msn 36362) was handed over to hometown Alaska Airlines on May 22, 2014.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines files to fly from Portland, Oregon to both Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has submitted its application to begin two new nonstop flights from Portland, Oregon, to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The flights are pending approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Mexico Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC).

The planned seasonal service will operate between Portland and Los Cabos from November 3 through April 27, 2015, and between Portland and Puerto Vallarta from November 4 through April 26, 2015.

Alaska Airlines began flying to Mexico a quarter century ago and operates 240 flights a week during the winter between the West Coast and Mexico—more than any other carrier. Alaska flies an average of 1.5 million passengers a year to six Mexico beach destinations—Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Loreto, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta—in addition to Guadalajara and Mexico City. Alaska is seeking government approval to begin flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Cancun starting on November 6.

The new flights between Portland and Mexico will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft, which offer passengers dual 110-volt and USB power outlets at every seat. The flights will also offer Alaska’s inflight entertainment system, a handheld video-on-demand device featuring more than 70 hit movies, along with television programs and other entertainment. The inflight entertainment players are complimentary in first class and available for $8 in the main cabin. Customers can also enjoy onboard meal service, including a hot meal or the airline’s Signature Fruit and Cheese Platter.

Copyright Photo: Steve Bailey/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N568AS (msn 35183) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the special “Employee powered” livery.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines brings the first seasonal Copper River salmon shipment to the “Lower 48″

Alaska Air Cargo (Alaska Airlines) (Seattle/Tacoma) today (May 16) delivered 24,100 pounds of the season’s first shipment of Alaska Copper River salmon to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The arrival of the fish-filled Boeing 737 marks the start of the summer salmon season and is an annual rite of passage anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest.

At least five more Alaska Airlines flights today will transport salmon from Cordova, Alaska, to Anchorage, Seattle and throughout the United States. The flights will have fresh fish from three Alaska seafood processors: Copper River Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Trident Seafoods.

Alaska Airlines plays a significant role in supporting the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized worldwide for its sustainable fishing practices. Last year, the carrier flew more than 24.5 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood to the Lower 48 states and beyond, including 1 million pounds of Copper River salmon.

“No other airline delivers more Copper River salmon to the Lower 48 than Alaska Airlines, and making that happen within 24 hours after the fish is pulled from the water is no small feat,” said Betsy Bacon, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo. “Hundreds of employees from across the state of Alaska, Seattle and beyond spend months getting ready for the busy summer fish season.”

5th annual Copper Chef Cook-off

Following the arrival of the first fish, three Seattle-area top chefs — John Howie, owner of Seastar, Jason Franey of Canlis and Ethan Stowell, owner of Tavolata — will compete for the best salmon recipe in Alaska Air Cargo’s fifth annual Copper Chef Cook-off. The chefs will have 30 minutes to prepare and serve the first catch of the season to a panel of judges, which include Seahawks place kicker Steven Hauschka; Jay Buhner, Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer; and Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines’ chief operating officer. The airline will announce the winner of the cook-off on Twitter @AlaskaAir. Fish lovers can follow the competition and share their favorite salmon recipes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SalmonChef.

Among the onlookers awaiting the arrival of the first fish were 10 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold members, and representatives from USO Northwest, the U.S. Marines and U.S. Coast Guard, who were invited to sample the season’s first Copper River salmon.

Anchorage hosts First Fish parade

Farther north, Copper River Seafoods and local Anchorage-area restaurants are also welcoming the arrival of Copper River salmon with festivities planned at Alaska Air Cargo at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Later this afternoon, the seafood company will deliver a ceremonial first fish to seven downtown Anchorage restaurants.

Enhanced seafood quality training program

Copper River salmon shipped on Alaska Air Cargo arrives as fresh as possible to grocery stores and restaurants across the nation, thanks in part to a cool chain training program required of all airline employees who handle perishables. Alaska Air Cargo employees are required to adhere to strict seafood quality standards and pass an annual food quality course.

Seafood processors and shippers follow these cool-chain standards to provide a temperature-controlled environment for proper food handling. The goal is to keep seafood moving rapidly throughout its journey on Alaska Airlines and maintain a consistent temperature range from the time it leaves the water to when it arrives at stores and restaurants.

The first Copper River salmon was brought to SEA with their Boeing 737-400 Combi N765AS.

In other news, Alaska Airlines was awarded its seventh J. D. Power award as the best traditional network carrier.

Top Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Beautifully displayed, Boeing 737-890 N559AS (msn 35178) is the second Alaska 737 to wear the special “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon” livery in support of the Alaska fisheries industry.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: the ceremonial fish head “kick-off”:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Dedicated as a freighter, Boeing 737-490 (F) N709AS (msn 28896) climbs away from the runway at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

Alaska Air Group’s board approves a $650 million buy back

Alaska Air Group’s board of directors (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) has approved a share repurchase program authorizing the company to buy back up to $650 million of its common stock. This share repurchase program represents approximately 10 percent of the market capitalization of the company.

The board also approved a quarterly cash dividend of 25 cents per share as part of Air Group’s program to be a leader in returning capital to investors. The dividend to all shareholders of record as of May 20 will be paid on June 4.

The $650 million repurchase program will begin immediately after the existing $250 million buyback is completed.

AAG intends to finance the dividend and stock repurchases with cash on hand and cash flow from operations.

The program allows the company to repurchase its common stock using open market stock purchases, negotiated transactions or through other means, including accelerated share repurchases and 10b5-1 trading plans.

This will be Alaska’s eighth repurchase program since 2007. The company has spent $519 million buying back more than 21 million shares of its stock.

Alaska Air Group began paying a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share in August 2013, the first time since 1992 that the company had paid a dividend. It was increased to 25 cents per share this past February.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-490 N791AS (msn 28886) taxies at Los Angeles International Airport in the special “Follow Me to Disneyland” color scheme.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines to start Seattle/Tacoma-Cancun service on November 6

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will commence daily seasonal service between Seattle/Tacoma and Cancun, Mexico on November 6 pending the approval by the Mexico Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC).

With the new flights, Alaska Airlines will offer 279 peak-day departures nonstop to 79 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma, more than any other carrier. This fall, Alaska will operate nearly four times as many flights out of Seattle/Tacoma than any other airline.

When approved, the Seattle/Tacoma-Cancun route will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft.

In other news, Alaska Airlines will hold the sixth annual Aviation Day at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) on May. The company issued this statement:

Nearly 600 high school students will gather at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on May 10 to kick the tires and stand inside the wheel well of a 737 jet while learning about careers in aviation during the sixth annual Alaska Airlines Aviation Day. Employees from Alaska Airlines, The Boeing Company, Port of Seattle and Federal Aviation Administration will be on hand to inspire the next generation of aviators, engineers, air traffic controllers and aircraft mechanics, among other disciplines.

Students from as far away as Arizona will join youths from more than a dozen organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Raisbeck Aviation High School, The Ninety Nines, Women in Aviation International, the Museum of Flight and the Black Pilots of America (BPA).

“Our goal is to nurture the wonder and enthusiasm of these kids and show them the path toward a rewarding career is within reach,” said Allen Cassino, an Alaska Airlines first officer and Aviation Day project manager. “We’ll introduce students to professionals who will help them understand that, no matter where they come from, there are opportunities for them in this industry. Be it a pilot or an engineer or an aircraft mechanic, the possibilities are endless.”

Attendees will have an opportunity to sit in a Cessna 182, build a glider with a Boeing engineer, simulate an emergency evacuation with Alaska Airlines flight attendants, and construct a robot with the Museum of Flight and the Raisbeck Aviation High School robotics team. All students will also get to fly in an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 simulator.

“With Aviation Day, we’re hoping to inspire young people in our local communities to realize their dreams and pursue careers in the aviation and aerospace industries,” Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said. “We have the ability to accomplish this by providing a forum where the dream of flight meets the reality of the world. Aviation Day would not be possible without the hard work of Air Group employees and others who work tirelessly to make it a success.”

“The Boeing team is again glad to be part of this great event. It is a wonderful opportunity where we’ve come to share our experiences and passion of aviation,” said Edward Zielinski, Boeing 787 propulsion integration team lead. “The best part of Aviation Day is, while sharing our experiences with the participants, when you make a key connection with a student, and you instantly see that a flame has been kindled; you see in their eyes that they have the same passion I have and they want to be part of the aviation industry.”

Students will also have an opportunity to network with Alaska Airlines pilots, flight attendants and aircraft technicians along with FAA air traffic controllers, federal air marshals and Port of Seattle airport managers, who will provide career advice. Representatives from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Central Washington University, Purdue University and Green River Community College, among others, will be on hand to answer questions about education opportunities.

“All of us at the Port of Seattle are thrilled to connect kids with aviation,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant. “We’ve done it through our support of Raisbeck Aviation High School and we’re happy to be able to participate with Alaska Airlines on Saturday.”

Alaska regularly supports education programs throughout the local communities where the airline flies. Most recently, Alaska announced a $1.5 million grant in collaboration with the Port of Seattle to help support job training for workers at Sea-Tac Airport. The Port Jobs donation comes on the heels of the airline’s donation of $2.5 million to Seattle’s Museum of Flight to help create the Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center to guide students toward a future in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The airline will host a second Aviation Day on Saturday, May 17, at Horizon Air’s hangar located at Portland International Airport.

Copyright Photo: The “Spirit of the Islands” in the form of Boeing 737-890 WL N560AS (msn 35179) taxies to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines is pledging a $1.5 million grant to support job training at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is pledging a $1.5 million grant to support job training at its hometown Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. This local investment will be made over the next four years in collaboration with the Port of Seattle with an initial contribution to Port Jobs, a nonprofit committed to preparing workers for the Port of Seattle economy.

In the first year, Alaska’s grant will help Port Jobs expand access to college courses through Airport University, effectively doubling the number of courses, college credits and students. The grant will also enable Port Jobs to add more advanced courses than currently offered.

Alaska Airlines has been involved with Port Jobs since its inception in 1993, with several key executives serving on its board of directors.

The Port of Seattle supports more than 200,000 jobs and generates $6.8 billion in payroll. Alaska Airlines employs more than 7,000 workers at the company and partner vendors in the Seattle area—more than any other air carrier. Over the duration of the jobs training grant, Alaska expects to fill 2,000 family-wage jobs in the Seattle market, and will work closely with the Port of Seattle and Port Jobs to prioritize hiring graduates of the program.

Port Jobs has served more than 78,400 community residents and helped more than 12,300 people find jobs since its creation in 1993. It is funded by the Port of Seattle, city of Seattle, King County, the state of Washington, United Ways of King and Snohomish counties, and many local and national foundations.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Q8 N771AS (msn 25104) taxies at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines starts its “I am Alaska” campaign

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has started its “I am Alaska” campaign, first with employees and later for loyal customers.

Alaska logo

The airline offered this brief statement and video:

“I am Alaska” celebrates the great people of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. Their hard work and perseverance has kept the airlines safe and on time. Their award-winning customer service and innovation has earned their customers’ loyalty. Throughout the company, employees everywhere are proud to say, “I am Alaska.”

Video: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Air Group reports GAAP net income of $94 million for the first quarter

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (Alaska Airlines and Horizon AirAlaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported first quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $94 million, or $1.35 per diluted share, compared to $37 million, or $0.51 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $8 million ($5 million after tax, or $0.07 per diluted share), the company reported record adjusted net income of $89 million, or $1.28 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $44 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, in 2013.

“Our record first quarter results reflect strong demand for our service and the efforts we’ve taken to improve the value we bring to our customers,” CEO Brad Tilden said. “Our solid foundation of award-winning service, excellent operational performance, low costs and low fares, and the best employees in the business will help us sustain our success in the face of increasing competition.”

Financial Highlights:

Reported record first quarter net income, excluding special items, of $89 million, or $1.28 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $44 million, or $0.62 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter. This quarter’s results compare to a First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.24 per share.

Recorded net income for the first quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $94 million or $1.35 per diluted share, compared to net income of $37 million, or $0.51 per diluted share in 2013.

Reported record adjusted pretax margin for the first quarter of 11.8%.

Achieved trailing 12-month return on invested capital of 14.8% compared to 13.4% in the 12 months ended March 31, 2013.

Paid a $0.25 per-share quarterly cash dividend on March 11 totaling $17 million. This is a 25% increase from the previous cash dividend payment of $0.20 per-share.

Repurchased 352,851 shares of common stock for $30 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Lowered adjusted debt-to-total-capitalization ratio by 3%, to 32%, from December 31, 2013.

Held $1.4 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of March 31, 2014.

 

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Dedicated freighter operations at Alaska Air Cargo becomes very active in Alaska this time of the year. Boeing 737-490 (F) N709AS (msn 28896) touches down at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s (Alaska Horizon) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (marketed as the “Q400″) N440QX (msn 4347) in the special Oregon State University-OSU Beavers color scheme taxies to the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) hub.

Alaska Airlines announces a $2.5 million gift to build the Aerospace Education Center at the Museum of Flight

Alaska logo

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has announced it is making a $2.5 million gift to The Museum of Flight to create the Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center.

The Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center, to be located in the Museum’s T.A. Wilson Great Gallery, will be a resource center where teachers, parents, and students will be able to explore the many K-12 education programs offered at the Museum. Designed to create pathways to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers among young people, the Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center will feature state-of-the-art technology resources such as online career planning software, 3-D printers and flight simulators, as well as specially trained staff to serve as “education concierges” to help visitors register for programs, apply for financial assistance, and discover mentorship opportunities.

Construction on the Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center will begin in September, with completion expected in early 2015.

About The Museum of Flight:

Museum of Flight logo

The independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, attracting more than 500,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s collection includes more than 160 historically significant air- and spacecraft, the original manufacturing facility of The Boeing Co., and the world’s only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The Museum’s aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast. More than 100,000 individuals are served annually by the Museum’s on-site and outreach educational programs. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors 65 and older, $15 for active military, $10 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. McCormick & Schmick’s Wings Cafe is on site.

Visit the Museum of Flight website: CLICK HERE

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines’ IAM employees ratify a new 5-year contract

Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) 2,500 clerical, office and passenger service employees, who are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), have ratified a new five-year contract. The contract was approved by 62 percent of those who voted.

The contract includes pay raises and job security provisions, among other improvements.

The previous three-year contract became amendable on January 1, 2014 and a tentative agreement was reached on February 3, 2014. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire. Once they become amendable, the current contract remains in effect until a new agreement is ratified.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Q8 N754AS (msn 25095) arrives at Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines protects its most important Seattle/Tacoma markets with double miles

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is stepping up to protect its top markets from the Seattle/Tacoma hub with a double miles offer through 2014. The company just issued this statement:

Alaska Airlines is making it easier for travelers flying to and from Seattle/Tacoma to fly more with double frequent flier miles* on eight of its most popular routes to and from the Emerald City.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members who enroll in the program before their first qualifying flights will earn double miles on flights through December 31, 2014, between Seattle/Tacoma and the following cities:

Anchorage, Alaska
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Oakland, California
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose, California
Vancouver, British Columbia

The carrier will also offer double miles** from June 1 to Sept. 1, 2014, on flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Fairbanks, Alaska, and Seattle/Tacoma and Juneau, Alaska.

Alaska Airlines operates 279 peak-day departures nonstop to 73 destinations from Seattle. It also operates more daily flights (170 during peak season) to more destinations (28) within the state of Alaska and from Alaska to the Lower 48 states and Hawaii than any other major carrier.

* Double miles promotion terms: Registration is required prior to your first qualifying flight, and must be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2014. Double miles offer is valid only on qualifying paid nonstop flights between Seattle and Anchorage; Seattle and Los Angeles; Seattle and Oakland; Seattle and San Diego; Seattle and San Francisco; Seattle and San Jose; Seattle and Vancouver; and Seattle and Las Vegas from June 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2014. Flights must be marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines. Flight miles must be credited to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ account in order to earn double miles. All travel must be completed by Dec. 31, 2014. Not valid on free or award travel. Double miles do not count toward Mileage Plan elite status. Please allow four to six weeks for miles to be credited to your Mileage Plan account. All terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan program apply. Offer subject to change without notice.

** Double miles offer terms: Registration is required for non-Club 49 members prior to your first qualifying flight, and must be completed no later than Sept. 1, 2014. Club 49 members will automatically be registered for this promotion. Double miles offer is valid only on qualifying paid nonstop flights between Seattle and Fairbanks and between Seattle and Juneau from June 1, 2014, through Sept. 1, 2014. Flights must be marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines. Flight miles must be credited to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account in order to earn double miles. All travel must be completed by Sept. 1, 2014. Not valid on free or award travel. Double miles do not count towards Mileage Plan Elite Status. Please allow four to six weeks for miles to be credited to your Mileage Plan account. All terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan program apply. Offer subject to change without notice.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N552AS (msn 34595) departs from Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines files an application to fly from Seattle/Tacoma to Cancun

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has submitted its application today to begin seasonal nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Cancun, Mexico. Pending approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Mexico Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC), the airline plans to begin its daily service to Cancun on November 6.

Alaska Airlines introduced service to Mexico in 1988 and operates more nonstop flights between the West Coast and Mexico than any other carrier, flying an average of 1.5 million passengers a year. Alaska already serves six Mexico beach destinations — Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Loreto, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta — in addition to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

With the new flights, Alaska Airlines will now offer 279 peak-day departures nonstop to 79 destinations from Seattle, more than any other carrier.

Summary of new daily Seattle/Tacoma service:

Seattle/Tacoma – New Orleans: starting June 12
Seattle/Tacoma – Tampa: starting June 20
Seattle/Tacoma – Baltimore/Washington (BWI): starting September 2
Seattle/Tacoma – Detroit: starting September 4
Seattle/Tacoma – Albuquerque: starting September 18
Seattle/Tacoma – Cancun: starting November 6 pending governmental approval

When approved, the Seattle/Tacoma-Cancun route will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N534AS (msn 35202) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines to bring movies and TV shows to its passenger’s personal electronic devices

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will offer a new, customizable inflight entertainment option, bringing movies, TV and other content directly to customers’ personal electronic devices onboard its flights by the end of the year.

The enhancement is part of a $100 million investment that Alaska Airlines is making to upgrade the cabins of its 737-800, -900 and -900ER aircraft with seats that feature both a personal space-enhancing design and 110-volt and USB power outlets. By this summer, about half of Alaska’s fleet will have the new seats and 36 airplanes will be equipped with power outlets. The carrier expects to finish upgrades to its fleet and offer the new inflight entertainment system on flights starting this fall.

The new system, called Gogo Vision, will allow customers to use their own laptop, tablet or smart phone to access more than 100 movies, 50 television shows and unique content, personalizing their onboard entertainment experience on Alaska Airlines. Since the movies are installed on stand-alone servers on each aircraft, broadband access to Gogo’s inflight Wi-Fi will not be compromised.

Prices for Gogo Vision will range from under $6 for movies and under $3 for television content.

Alaska Airlines also announced this week that Gogo has completed its Canadian air-to-ground Wi-Fi network, allowing uninterrupted inflight Internet coverage for the carrier’s numerous routes between the Lower 48 and the state of Alaska. Previously, Gogo Internet was unavailable for select periods when Alaska Airlines’ aircraft were flying over Canada.

With Gogo Internet, Alaska Airlines passengers can browse the Web, interact on social media, send and receive e-mail, and connect to virtual private networks while flying. The easy-to-use service provides passengers with full Internet access on any Wi-Fi-equipped laptop or personal electronic device at speeds similar to wireless mobile broadband services on the ground.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 WL N319AS (msn 33679) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air announce aggressive sustainability goals

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and Horizon Air (Seattle/Tacoma) have announced aggressive 2020 sustainability goals, pledging to decrease fuel consumption by 20 percent, use a sustainable aviation biofuel at one or more airports and increase its recruitment of military veterans.

These are among a series of goals and accomplishments highlighted in Alaska Air Group’s newly released 2013 Sustainability Report, which summarizes the company’s progress on environmental, social and economic goals.

Among the most significant accomplishments made since the airlines’ last Sustainability Report are improvements in fuel efficiency, which saved Alaska Air Group more than 10 million gallons of fuel since 2011. The airlines also cut waste by 50 percent per passenger, saving nearly 2,900 tons of recyclables that otherwise would have gone to landfills. In all, the airlines have reduced their greenhouse gases by more than 30 percent per revenue mile since 2004 as part of the company’s efforts to be a greener neighbor within the communities where it flies.

Air Group’s Sustainability Report analyzes the airlines’ efforts from Jan.1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2013. It is the company’s second comprehensive report in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative G4 Core Guidelines, an international standard for sustainability reporting on people the planet and performance.

Key highlights of the last two years include:

Flight attendants collected for recycling nearly 2,900 tons of paper, plastic, aluminum and glass waste onboard Alaska and Horizon flights in the last two years, cutting in half the amount of waste sent to landfills since 2010. That amount weighs the same as more than 1,600 cars. Alaska and Horizon are the only airlines that recycle on every domestic flight.

Air Group signed an off-take agreement with Hawaii BioEnergy to buy sustainable aviation biofuels from the Hawaiian Islands beginning in 2018. The airline has set a goal of using sustainable biofuels at one or more of its airports by 2020.

Alaska and Horizon cut emissions another 2.8 percent over the last reporting period (2011), for a total 30.4 percent reduction in carbon emissions since 2004 (measured by flying one passenger one mile).

Alaska Air Group contributed $15.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions to more than 1,300 charitable organizations since 2011.
All Horizon Air flights and three-quarters of Alaska Airlines flights arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are using a new method of airport approaches, which allow aircraft to fly shorter, continuous descents. Estimates are that Greener Skies approaches will save more than 2 million gallons of fuel annually for all properly equipped airlines and reduced emissions by 22,400 metric tons of CO2—equal to the emissions contained in 96 rail cars of coal. Noise exposure for an estimated 750,000 people in the Puget Sound region has also been reduced.

Alaska and Horizon reduced fuel use by 10 million gallons since 2011 (as measured per revenue passenger mile) by flying the Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400 — the most fuel-efficient aircraft in their classes. The airlines installed winglets on aircraft, used cutting-edge satellite navigation procedures and switched to electric vehicles for airport operations at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, among other measures. The International Council on Clean Transportation ranked Alaska Airlines No. 1 in fuel efficiency among U.S. domestic airlines in 2013.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air increased their employee engagement scores by 20 percent over 2011. Engagement measures employee satisfaction and involvement with their jobs.

In other news, Alaska Airlines will drop the following unprofitable routes according to Airline Route:

Los Angeles-San Jose, CA (April 5)

Portland, OR-Long Beach (August 23)

Portland, OR-Atlanta (September 1)

Denver-Anchorage (summer seasonal)

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N323AS (msn 30021) gracefully climbs away from the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub and home.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air): AG Slide Show

Summer seasonal Denver – Anchorage service is also cancelled.

Alaska Airlines becomes the first U.S. airline to allow self-tagging of bags on select routes

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will be the first U.S. airline to allow self-tagging of bags from home on select introductory routes. The airline issued this statement:

Self-tag online debuts on April 21 for passengers traveling nonstop between Seattle/Tacoma and San Diego, Anchorage or Juneau, Alaska, with plans to expand the option for customers traveling from other airports later this summer. This launch follows the completion of a successful pilot program, which was offered to customers traveling between Seattle/Tacoma and Hawaii in 2013.

Starting on April 21, travelers flying to or from any of the four debut cities will receive a pre-trip email with a link to request a free reusable bag tag holder by mail. Tag holders will also be available to pick up at each of the four airports. Passengers who elect to self-tag will enjoy a designated Self-Tag Express™ lane when they arrive at the airport.

Alaska Self-Tag Express logo

How self-tag online works:

Book a trip at http://www.alaskaair.com.
Follow instructions in your pre-trip email to request a bag tag holder by mail or pick up a holder in person at one of the four participating airports.
Check in online up to 24 hours before your flight and follow the instructions to print a bag tag at home.
Insert printed bag tag into the tag holder.
At the airport, follow signs for Self-Tag Express™ lanes.
Show the agent your boarding pass, identification and drop off your bags.

Alaska Airlines is the first U.S. carrier to launch self-bag tagging from home, another chapter in the carrier’s long history of pioneering technologies and innovations to make flying easier. Alaska was the first airline in North America to sell tickets over the Internet, and the first in the world to allow customers to check in and print boarding passes online. Last year, the carrier installed kiosks with self-tagging printers at 10 airport locations including Seattle/Tacoma, Anchorage and Portland, Oregon.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490 N703AS (msn 28893) departs from Anchorage International Airport (ANC), one of the introductory cities for self-tagging.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines will start Seattle/Tacoma-Baltimore/Washington nonstop flights on September 2

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has announced new nonstop service today from its Seattle/Tacoma hub to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) starting on September 2.

This will be followed by Seattle/Tacoma-Albuquerque, New Mexico nonstop flights starting on September 18.

Alaska Airlines issued this statement and also deleted routes:

Alaska Airlines is growing its Seattle/Tacoma hub again with the addition of new daily nonstop service to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Baltimore. The cities are in addition to previously announced service to Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa, Florida, scheduled to begin this June and September.

With the new flights, Alaska Airlines will now offer 279 peak-day departures nonstop to 78 destinations from Seattle.

Summary of new daily service:

Seattle – New Orleans: starting June 12
Seattle – Tampa: starting June 20
Seattle – Baltimore: starting September 2
Seattle – Detroit: starting September 4
Seattle – Albuquerque: starting September 18

Other Schedule Changes

As part of its overall network strategy, Alaska Airlines is discontinuing service between four city pairs: Los Angeles and San Jose, California, on April 5; Portland, Oregon, and Long Beach, California, on August 23; Atlanta and Portland on September 1; and previously announced summer Anchorage-Denver flights.

Introducing Albuquerque and Baltimore

The new routes will be flown with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska already serves the area through Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA). BWI is the stronghold of rival Southwest Airlines. Boeing 737-890 N528AS (msn 35696) completes the river approach into DCA.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Delta Air Lines reduces its code-share agreement with Alaska Airlines at Seattle/Tacoma

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is reducing its code-share agreement with Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport per Airline Route. The move is not a surprise as Delta has been adding its own feeder flights at SEA to support its long-range routes.

Effective June 5, 2014 Delta will remove its DL code on Alaska Airlines flights from Seattle/Tacoma to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.

This will be followed on July 1 when Delta removes its DL code on Alaska flights to Anchorage and Houston (Bush Intercontinental).

Finally the Seattle/Tacoma-Phoenix route will be dropped on December 20, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 N333NW (msn 329) of Delta Air Lines taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines is again the official airline of the Iditarod Dog Race

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will again serve as the official airline sponsor of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, marking the 36th year the carrier has supported the event.

As the official airline of the Iditarod, Alaska continues its tradition of presenting the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award, which recognizes one musher for providing exemplary dog care and is considered the highest honor a competitor can receive. Voted on by trail veterinarians, the Leonhard Seppala award is named after one of Alaska’s most-celebrated mushers, whose 1925 sled-dog team traveled the longest distance to transport diphtheria serum to Nome.

As part of its sponsorship, Alaska Airlines also will help provide air transportation and dog-care supplies for 45 Iditarod veterinarians who come to Alaska from across the United States to care for the race dogs’ health and safety.

In addition, many Alaska Airlines employees contribute their time at the event. Among them are several pilots who lead the Iditarod Air Force, flying veterinarians, supplies and volunteers to remote checkpoints along the trail.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490 N705AS (msn 29318) in the “Spirit of Alaska Statehood” special color scheme departs from Anchorage, Alaska.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Employees of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air receive the highest profit-sharing bonuses today

Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) and Horizon Air‘s (Seattle/Tacoma) employees are receiving annual bonuses today of more than 9 percent of their annual pay, or more than five weeks’ pay for most workers. The bonus is in addition to $1,150 in 2013 monthly bonuses that most employees earned for achieving on-time and customer satisfaction goals.

The combined monthly and annual bonuses amounted to nearly $105 million, the highest in Alaska’s history, and are part of the company’s incentive-based pay program.

“Our company’s success wouldn’t be possible without the award-winning customer service, industry-leading on-time performance and solid execution by our outstanding employees,” Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said. “On behalf of the leadership teams at Alaska and Horizon Air, I want to thank and congratulate our people for their terrific efforts.”

Nearly $51.3 million in annual bonuses — 62 percent of the total — is being paid to about 6,400 Alaska and Horizon employees in the Puget Sound area. Another $11 million is being paid to 2,026 employees in thePortland, Ore., area, while $8.2 million is going to workers throughout the state of Alaska.

“It’s really great to work for a company that recognizes all of their employees who contribute to the success of their business,” said JoAnne Ryan, an Alaska Airlines customer service agent based in Seattle. “The fact thatAlaska includes all workgroups in the incentive-based pay program just reinforces to me that I work for a company that values me as an employee, and the work I do makes a difference in our success.”

Ryan said she plans to use her bonus to pay off bills and take a two-week vacation to Australia.

Bonuses in Alaska Air Group’s Performance Based Pay Plan are determined by meeting specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control and profit that are approved annually by the board of directors. Since the inception of the program in 2003, Alaska has paid employees $538 million in combined incentive-based pay and monthly bonuses, which is about 5.75 percent on average each year.

As part of its philosophy to provide employees with rewarding careers and good retirement benefits, Alaska Air Group has contributed $620 million over the past 5 years to its defined benefit pension plans, which were fully funded in 2013.

In addition to the financial benefit the employee bonuses provide to the Puget Sound area, the 22,000 jobs at Alaska Air Group and in related industries in Washington state generate $5.6 billion in annual economic activity.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N306AS 9msn 30014) arrives in Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon): AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants reject the tentative agreement, demand improvements

Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have voted down a tentative agreement with management.

According to the union, “negotiations began two years ago and, in May 2013, AFA filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board. During negotiations, Alaska Airlines earned record-breaking profits and continued to earn top awards and accolades for customer satisfaction with the assistance of the Flight Attendants. Next, AFA will re-survey the over 3,100 Flight Attendants to determine their top priorities.  The National Mediation Board retains oversight of future negotiations.”

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N323AS (msn 30021) taxies to the active runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport base and hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air to offer free local beers in Alaska

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) issued this announcement about the upcoming Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma) service in the state of Alaska starting on March 3:

Travelers on Alaska Airlines flights between Anchorage and Fairbanks and Anchorage and Kodiak will soon enjoy an extra infusion of local flavor in the form of Silver Gulch Brewing & Bottling Co.’s Old 55 Pale Ale.

Passengers will have the opportunity to sample the moderately hopped, American-style pale ale free of charge beginning March 3, when Alaska Airlines introduces the Bombardier Q400 to the state of Alaska. The flights will be operated for Alaska Airlines by its sister carrier, Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon). These flights will feature complimentary soft drinks, Starbucks coffee, Northwest wine and microbrews (for passengers 21 and older), and A la Cart planeside baggage service.

Silver Gulch Beer (Alaska)(LRW)

The brewery, which has locations in Anchorage and north of Fairbanks, will bottle the beer in stainless steel “Kleen Kanteens,” (above) which are lighter, stronger and more environmentally friendly than traditional glass bottles.

Samples are about 6.5 ounces and will be offered to customers on flights operating after 11 a.m.

Travelers can pick up their very own Kleen Kanteens (or traditional glass growlers) filled with their favorite Silver Gulch beers at the brewery’s restaurant in the C Concourse at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport or at the brewery and restaurant in Fox, Alaska.

Horizon Air is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group and flies to 39 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling was founded in Fox, Alaska, in 1998 by two lifelong Alaskans. Silver Gulch is America’s most northern brewery, located at the start of the “haul road” to Prudhoe Bay about 11 miles north of Fairbanks. Silver Gulch opened its first restaurant adjacent to the brewery in 2007, later opening a restaurant at Anchorage International Airport in 2012. Silver Gulch maintains a selection of 12 or more freshly brewed ales and lagers year-round, many of which are available at fine dining and drinking establishments throughout Alaska.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Alaska Airlines): James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N452QX (man 4459) arrives in San Diego in the special Employee Signatures color scheme.

Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon): AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines to add new routes to Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is adding nonstop daily service from Seattle/Tacoma to New Orleans and Tampa, Florida, starting on June 12 and June 20, respectively, and to Detroit starting on September 4.

Summary of new service:
Seattle-New Orleans
Start Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 12 Seattle-New Orleans 10:15 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Daily
June 12 New Orleans-Seattle 5:55 p.m. 8:50 p.m. Daily
Seattle-Tampa, Fla.
Start Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 20 Seattle-Tampa 8:50 a.m. 5:30 p.m. Daily
June 20 Tampa-Seattle 6:30 p.m. 9:25 p.m. Daily
  Seattle-Detroit
Start Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Sept. 4 Seattle-Detroit 9:05 a.m. 4:14 p.m. Daily
Sept. 4 Detroit-Seattle 5:20 p.m. 6:55 p.m. Daily

All times based on local time zones.

The routes will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft. Alaska Airlines flies to more destinations from Seattle/Tacoma than any other carrier, including 21 cities east of the Rocky Mountains.

In other news, Alaska Airlines is launching new service between Portland, Oregon, and Kalispell, Montana, this summer. The flights will operate seasonally between Portland and Kalispell from June 9 to August 23, connecting Portland-area residents to the natural beauty of northwest Montana.

Summary of new service:

Service dates City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 9 – Aug. 23 Portland-Kalispell 3:55 p.m. 6:20 p.m. Daily
June 9 – Aug. 23 Kalispell-Portland 6:50 p.m. 7:25 p.m. Daily
All times based on local time zones

The new route will be operated with Horizon Air’s (Alaska Horizon) Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s) (see above).

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s new DHC-8-402 (Q400) N441QX (msn 4348) in the Alaska Nanooks special livery arrives in Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air): AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines and the IAM tentatively agree on a new five-year contract

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 2,500 clerical, office and passenger service employees.

The proposed contract includes pay raises and job security provisions, among other improvements.

The current three-year contract became amendable on January 1. Results of a ratification vote on the new contract are expected in early April. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire. Once they become amendable, the current contract remains in effect until a new agreement is ratified.

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N570AS (msn 35185) decorated in the “Follow Us to Disneyland Resort – Disney Cars” motif arrives in Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Is Alaska Airlines moving closer to American Airlines?

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma), as we have previously reported, has been trading “I will match you” route additions with Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) at their respective hubs at Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) and Salt Lake City (SLC). These moves come even though Alaska Airlines has an extensive feeder and code-share relationship with Delta. Delta even named a new Boeing 737 after the city of Seattle! Simply put, each carrier feeds each other at both SEA and SLC. However that close relationship began to unravel when Delta started adding feeder routes of its own at SEA, basically inferring to Alaska the relationship could be on the rocks. The aggressive move at SEA by Delta may have spurred Alaska to look to the new American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) (soon to become the largest airline in the world) for help and possibly a closer relationship. The two carriers already have a code-share relationship. A merger is probably out of the question since AA is becoming the largest carrier already and already had to overcome DOJ merger objections. The question will be in 2014 and beyond, will both carriers expand their relationship to fight off the advances of Delta at SEA?

Ted Reed of The Street (of Jim Cramer fame) looks at this intriguing question: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N586AS (msn 35189), despite the Hawaiian Lei on the tail, arrives at a frigid Washington Reagan National Airport on January 18, 2014. The famous Eskimo tail emblem is expected to survive the next livery for Alaska Airlines that has been promised for this year.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Air Group reports 4Q net income of $78 million and $508 net income for 2013, a new record

Alaska Air Group Inc. (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported fourth quarter 2013 GAAP net income of $78 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $44 million, or $0.61 per diluted share in 2012. Excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge gains of $2 million ($1 million after tax, or $0.01 per diluted share), the company reported record fourth quarter 2013 net income of $77 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, compared to net income excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge losses of $50 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, in 2012.

The company reported full-year 2013 GAAP net income of $508 million, compared to $316 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of the items noted in the table below, the company reported record net income of $383 million, or $5.40 per diluted share for 2013, compared to net income of $339 million, or $4.73 per diluted share in 2012. This marks the fourth  year in a row the company has exceeded its goal of a 10 percent return on invested capital.

The following table reconciles the company’s adjusted net income and earnings per diluted share (EPS) during the full year and fourth quarters of 2013 and 2012 to amounts as reported in accordance with GAAP:

Three Months Ended Dec. 31,
2013 2012
(in millions, except per share amounts) Dollars Diluted EPS Dollars Diluted EPS
Reported GAAP net income $ 78 $ 1.11 $ 44 $ 0.61
Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, net of tax (1) (0.01) 6 0.09
Non-GAAP adjusted income and per share amounts $ 77 $ 1.10 $ 50 $ 0.70
12 Months Ended Dec. 31,
2013 2012
(in millions, except per share amounts) Dollars Diluted EPS Dollars Diluted EPS
Reported GAAP net income $ 508 $ 7.16 $ 316 $ 4.40
Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, net of tax (5) (0.06) 23 0.33
Special mileage plan revenue, net of tax $ (120) $ (1.70) $ $
Non-GAAP adjusted income and per share amounts $ 383 $ 5.40 $ 339 $ 4.73

Financial Highlights:

  • Record fourth quarter net income, excluding special items, of $77 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, compared to $50 million, or $0.70 per diluted share in 2012. This quarter’s results compare to a First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.07 per share.
  • Record full-year net income, excluding special items, of $383 million, or $5.40 per diluted share, compared to$339 million, or $4.73 per diluted share in 2012.
  • Net income for the fourth quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $78 million, or$1.11 per diluted share, compared to net income of $44 million, or $0.61 per diluted share in 2012. Full-year GAAP net income of $508 million, or $7.16 per diluted share, compared to net income of $316 million, or $4.40per diluted share in 2012.
  • Air Group employees earned $105 million in incentive pay in 2013, or nearly five weeks of pay for most employees. Over the last four years, employees have earned more than $357 million in incentive pay, averaging 8.8% of annual pay for most employees.
  • Achieved return on invested capital of 13.6% in 2013, compared to 13% in 2012.
  • Lowered adjusted debt-to-total capitalization ratio to 35% as of Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Fully funded the company’s defined benefit pension plans in 2013.
  • Held $1.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Repurchased 2,492,093 shares of common stock for approximately $159 million in 2013. Since 2007, Air Group has used $478 million to repurchase 21 million shares.
  • Modified  affinity card agreement with Bank of America and extended through 2017, estimated to generate $55 million in additional cash flows annually.
  • Received a credit rating upgrade from Standard and Poor’s to “BB+” with a stable outlook.

Other Highlights and Achievements:

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers” by J.D. Power for the sixth year in a row.
  • Ranked as the best U.S. major airline by The Wall Street Journal’s “Middle Seat” scorecard.
  • Named Airline Industry Leader in the 2013 Temkin Customer Service Rankings.
  • Held the top spot in U.S. Department of Transportation on-time performance among major U.S. airlines for the 12 months ended November 2013.
  • Alaska Airlines received the FAA’s “Diamond Certificate of Excellence” award for the 12th consecutive year; and Horizon Air received the certificate for the 12th time in the last 14 years.
  • Improved employee productivity in 2013 by 4.0% compared to 2012.
  • Signed five-year collective bargaining agreements with Alaska pilots and Horizon flight attendants.
  • Named most fuel-efficient airline in the U.S. in a report released by the International Council on Clean Transportation.
  • Donated $7.6 million to more than 1,300 charitable organizations, including support for the grand opening of Aviation High School in Seattle and other educational efforts. Our employees also volunteered more than 10,500 hours of community service.
  • Signed an exclusive multi-year partnership with Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, and named him our “Chief Football Officer.”

New routes:

  • New routes launched and announced in the fourth quarter are as follows:
New Nonstop Routes Launched in Q4 New Nonstop Routes (Launch Date)
Seattle – Colorado Springs Portland – Salt Lake City (6/9/14)
Portland – Tucson San Diego – Salt Lake City (6/10/14)
Portland – Boise Los Angeles – Salt Lake City (6/11/14)
San Diego – Boise San Jose – Salt Lake City (6/12/14)
Seattle – Omaha Boise – Salt Lake City (6/16/14)
Portland – Reno Las Vegas – Salt Lake City (6/16/14)
Seattle – Steamboat Springs San Francisco – Salt Lake City (6/18/14)
Anchorage – Phoenix
Anchorage – Las Vegas
San Diego – Mammoth Lakes

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N318AS (msn 30018) in the “We’re Going to Disneyland Resort” special livery arrives in Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines orders two additional Boeing 737-900 ERs

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has ordered two additional 737-900 ER (Extended Range) airplanes.  The agreement, worth $192 million at current list prices, coincides with the direct delivery of the 100th Next-Generation 737 airplane (Boeing 737-990 ER N453AS, msn 36354) to Alaska Airlines.

The aircraft order and delivery of Alaska’s 100th Next-Generation 737 (N453AS) was marked by a special celebration and delivery flight attended by 50 frontline employees from the airline and 50 Boeing employees.

The largest and newest model in the Next-Generation 737 family, the 737-900 ER can carry up to 26 more passengers or fly about 500 nautical miles (926 km) farther than the 737-900. Alaska Airlines operates the 737-900 ER in a two-class configuration with 181 seats and features the Boeing Sky Interior.

The longer range of the 737-900 ER can connect distant city pairs across continents, such as Seattle/Tacoma andOrlando, Florida, in a generous two-class configuration. It has substantial economic advantages over competing models, including 6 percent lower operating costs per trip and 4 percent lower operating costs per seat mile.

The Boeing Sky Interior is the latest in a series of enhancements for both airlines and passengers that introduces new lighting and a curving architecture to create a distinctive entry way. Passengers enjoy a more open cabin feel and newly improved and expanded pivot bins. In addition, all of Alaska’s seats feature outlets providing dual 110-volt and USB power.

Alaska flies 131 Boeing 737 aircraft, including 14 737-900 ERs. The carrier has 68 firm orders for 737-900 ERs and 737 MAX aircraft to be delivered through 2022. Alaska took delivery of its first 737-900 ER in October 2012 and began adding Next-Generation 737s to their fleet in July 1999 with the first delivery of a 737-700.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N408AS (msn 41732) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Will Delta Air Lines make a bid to take over and merge Alaska Airlines?

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) have been adding competitive routes at their rival’s hubs in Seattle/Tacoma and Salt Lake City. Something is going with these partners as each carrier is doing a tit for tat with new routes.

The bigger question now being raised is will Delta make a hostile bid to acquire and merge Alaska? Assuming it would be approved, it would allow Delta to leap again back to being the largest carrier in thew world again.

Alaska is a profitable airline and has always preferred to stay independent.

Will a bidding war develop for Alaska? If not, will Delta continue adding routes to and from Seattle/Tacoma?

Can Alaska remain independent?

Bloomberg explores these possibilities.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s Airbus A320-212 N365NW (msn 964) taxies to the runway at SeaTac.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska’s Boeing 737-890 N590AS (msn 35687) also taxies at the SeaTac hub.

Alaska Airlines responds, more routes from Salt Lake City

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is adding more flights at Delta’s Salt Lake City hub while Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has been adding more routes from Alaska’s Seattle/Tacoma hub. Is the Alaska-Delta partnership dissolving or is each carrier feeding the other at their hubs with additional flights?

Alaska Airlines is adding daily flights to three more cities from Salt Lake City next summer, marking the latest in a series of route expansions. The carrier will begin flying nonstop from Salt Lake City to Boise, Idaho, and Las Vegas on June 16 and between Salt Lake City and San Francisco on June 18.

The airline will fly one daily roundtrip each between Salt Lake City and Boise and San Francisco, and two daily roundtrips between Salt Lake and Las Vegas. Flights from Salt Lake City to San Francisco allow travelers same-day connections to the airline’s nonstop service to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Summary of new service:

Boise-Salt Lake City
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
June 16 Boise-Salt Lake City 7:10 a.m. 8:22 a.m. Daily Q400
June 16 Salt Lake City-Boise 5:55 p.m. 7:12 p.m. Daily Q400

Las Vegas-Salt Lake City
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
June 16

Salt Lake City-Las Vegas

9:45 a.m. 10:15 a.m. Daily Q400
June 16 Las Vegas-Salt Lake City 10:50 a.m. 1:18 p.m. Daily Q400
June 16 Salt Lake City-Las Vegas 1:50 p.m. 2:20 p.m. Daily Q400
June 16

Las Vegas-Salt Lake City

2:55 p.m. 5:23 p.m. Daily Q400

 

San Francisco-Salt Lake City

Start date

City pair

Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
June 18

San Francisco-Salt Lake City

8:35 p.m. 11:20 p.m. Daily 737
June 19

Salt Lake City-San Francisco

8 a.m. 8:50 a.m. Daily 737

All times based on local time zones.

The routes will be operated with Alaska Airlines Boeing 737s and Horizon Air Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop aircraft.

Alaska Airlines continues to expand in the Lower 48. However the name “Alaska” no longer properly describes its expanding operating area. Most of its flying is along the West Coast and from/to the Seattle/Tacoma hub in Washington State. The Eskimo tail logo no longer properly defines the operating area of the airline. The company has outgrown its original name when it was a niche airline flying from Portland and Seattle/Tacoma up to Alaska. A new more appropriate name and livery is probably in the works for 2014.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490AS (msn 27082) departs from Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines adds new power outlets at each seat

ALASKA AIRLINES ELECTRONICS

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) starting today will offer its passengers  new aircraft seats that feature a personal space-enhancing design and are equipped with power outlets. The improvements are part of a $100 million investment the carrier has made to upgrade the cabins in all 737-800, -900 and -900ER aircraft. The carrier expects to finish the upgrades by the end of 2014.

Alaska Airlines is the only U.S. carrier to provide both 110-volt and USB power for tablets and smart phones at every seat on its equipped aircraft, which will include nearly three-quarters of its fleet. Access to the outlets is conveniently located in the seatback in front of each passenger and power is available at no additional charge.

“We’ve heard the request for seat power loud and clear and we’re pleased to deliver ‘juice’ to our customers,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. “Providing easy to reach 110-volt power for laptops and USB power for smart phones and tablets is just another way Alaska Airlines is making travel easier.”

Alaska Airlines is the North America launch customer for the space-saving seat, designed by innovative seat maker Recaro. The seat’s slimmer design and location of the literature pocket at the top of the seatback maintain the same passenger comfort standards and personal space that are on Alaska’s aircraft today. The upgraded aircraft will provide passengers with the current fleet standard seat pitch of 31 to 32 inches and 3 inches of recline.

Facts about Alaska Airlines’ “powered” plane:

  • Power outlets are conveniently located on the back of every seat, where they are easy to find. Of those airlines that have power outlets, they are normally under the seats and difficult to find.
  • Each row of seats can supply enough power to run and charge three devices at the same time.
  • Gate displays and seatback cards will let customers know if their plane has the new upgrades.
  • The new configuration, when combined with the slimmer Recaro seats, maintains the standard pitch of 31 to 32 inches and 3 inches of recline.
  • The first retrofitted plane, tail number 548, will fly throughout most of Alaska Airlines’ route network. Alaska expects to have half of its fleet upgraded by summer 2014.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: A cockpit view of the approach into challenging Juneau, Alaska (4x the real speed):

Alaska Airlines welcomes Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson to the team

ALASKA AIRLINES RUSSELL WILSON

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has a new quarterback onboard — Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson. Seattle’s hometown airline and Wilson are teaming up in a partnership to engage with our customers and support youths in the community.

As part of the exclusive multi-year partnership, Wilson will appear at events, take part in marketing activities for Alaska Airlines, and work with the carrier to support youth and education programs. Among them is the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, which provides inner-city and underprivileged youths an opportunity to attend football camp for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Another activity is Seattle Children’s Hospital, where Wilson regularly visits young fans receiving care. In honor of Wilson’s commitment to connecting with these children in such a meaningful way, Alaska Airlines will donate 100,000 miles to Children’s Hospital for each touchdown pass Wilson throws or touchdown he scores through the rest of this season.

Wilson and Alaska Airlines enjoy a relationship that began last spring after his rookie year in the National Football League, when he surprised customers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by welcoming them at the carrier’s lobby check-in and gate areas. Wilson and Alaska then teamed up to inspire youths to finish school and accomplish their goals. An event on a sunny day in July — dubbed “Pledge It. Prove It. Take Flight.” — attracted more than 600 students from 21 high schools in Western Washington, who heard from Wilson and employees of Alaska Airlines and its regional carrier, Horizon Air, about careers in aviation.

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

 

Alaska Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants reach a tentative agreement

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and the Association of Flight Attendants announced they have reached tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 3,300 flight attendants.

Once the tentative agreement is approved by the union’s leadership, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants will conduct a ratification vote that is expected to be completed in mid-February 2014.

The current contract became amendable on May 1, 2012. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire. Once they become amendable, the current contract remains in effect until a new agreement is ratified.

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N568AS (msn 35183) in the special “Employee powered” livery arrives in Las Vegas.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

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