Guest Editor Joel Chusid
From Buffalos to Birds
Once again, airplanes and animals have crossed paths, and not always in a good way. From large to small, here we go… A dangerous situation occurred when a fully loaded Spicejet Boeing 737 took off from the Indian city of Surat and struck a buffalo grazing on the runway. There were no serious injuries, although the buffalo didn’t make it, and the plane was damaged. Then there was the incredible story about the woman on the day before Thanksgiving who was permitted to board a US Airways flight at Hartford with her large pig, which she claimed was needed for emotional support. Passengers thought she was carrying a duffel bag on her shoulders as she proceeded down the aisle. But the animal immediately began doing its “business”, to put it nicely, causing a big stink. It got worse as the woman tried to clean up the mess, and both she and the pig became vocal. They were both ordered off, since airlines can reject emotional support animals if they believe they could be disruptive. A few weeks earlier, a shipment of crabs got loose in the cargo hold of another US Airways flight at New York’s LaGuardia Airport bound for Charlotte causing a thirty minute delay. It took five hours for crews to find a stowaway mouse in the cockpit on a Norwegian Air flight ready to depart Oslo for New York. That could have been more serious since rodents can chew through wires. As they say on TV, “on a lighter note”, a woman who was booked to travel for Christmas from Seattle to Phoenix on US Airways (sorry, US Airways again) was informed she could not travel with her lovebirds even though she’d been booked for months. The airline had changed its policy and could only offer a refund. Alaska Airlines came to the rescue after the story aired on local TV news and offered the woman and her lovebirds free tickets to Phoenix. Nice job, Alaska.
Passengers Behaving Badly, Again
The same week as the famous “Korean Air nut” incident (it got wide publicity, so I won’t go into it here), some Chinese passengers on a flight from Bangkok to Nanging were upset at not being seated together. They proceeded to throw hot water and noodles at a flight attendant, and the plane returned to Bangkok. Many passengers filmed the incident, which escalated beyond just noodles. The Chinese government was not amused, and they threatened to “severely punish” the offending Chinese nationals. Good!
Crews Behaving Badly, Sadly
It’s sad when crews can’t get along. In fact, it can be downright dangerous. In Cairo, 150 passengers were evacuated from a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight when a pilot and steward got into a fight which resulted in both being injured. The flight was delayed six hours. A Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Dubai was delayed ninety minutes when both pilots got into a heated argument. No injuries on this one. It’s good that these disagreements, sad as they are, occurred prior to the flights becoming airborne.
ANA Takeoff Mode
Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has introduced a “takeoff mode” app to calm passengers who get apprehensive on takeoff. The app features a game to keep the user involved, and it changes based on the ambient noise inside the aircraft. New US DOT regulations allowing the use of cell phones, at the airline’s discretion, during takeoff make this app possible. It’s available for i-Phones only at this time.
Airports as Gyms
As airlines squeeze more and more seats onto airplanes, personal space has shrunk. One can barely open a laptop “safely” or stretch out normally without going into contortions. Taking a stroll around the cabin to “stretch one’s legs” is limited to a trip to the lav, so you’re pretty close to remaining stationary for the duration. A good idea is to try and get some exercise before, after or during a connection, at the airport. There are certainly enough concourses to walk, some by necessity if you’re changing planes. But Phoenix, Philadelphia, DFW and Boston Logan, among others, have risen to the occasion to address the sedentary life of a passenger. Philadelphia Airport has replaced rocking chairs with 30 stationary bikes in the waiting areas of the airport. Reaction has been very positive. San Francisco has yoga facilities and Milwaukee table tennis. In Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, a two mile fitness trail, with nice views of the surrounding area, has been marked out through the concourses, complete with water bottle filling stations. (I’ve seen the latter in several airports as drinking fountains go the way of pay phones.) DFW also has a marked path, with long staircases in Terminal D in place for some step exercises as well as a yoga location. Boston’s Logan Airport has walking paths marked, along with stations where passengers can check their weight, height and even body mass index. More airports are expected to follow.
Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) flight attendants have approved a new five-year contract. Included in the new contract are quality of life enhancements and pay increases that rank Alaska’s 3,400 flight attendants among the highest paid in the industry at every pay step.
Under the Railway Labor Act, which governs collective bargaining agreements in the airline industry, contracts do not expire, they only become amendable. The previous agreement became amendable on May 1, 2012 and the new contract will become amendable again on December 17, 2019.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N459AS (msn 36352) arrives in Los Angeles with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today issued this statement:
Starting today, Alaska Airlines customers can enjoy free* entertainment directly on their personal electronic devices. The new entertainment service, available today on 50 of Alaska’s 737 planes, will be available at no extra charge through January 31, 2015. Alaska will equip nearly all of its all-Boeing fleet by April 2015.
Above logo: Did you notice the subtle change in the Alaska titles? The jagged lines have now been smoothed out a bit and the “k” no longer intrudes on the “a”. No, the Eskimo is not going away but the aircraft titles are now likely to change to this updated and cleaner look.
Alaska’s inflight entertainment launch marks the debut of Alaska BeyondTM, a new flight experience that highlights what sets Seattle’s hometown airline apart from other carriers. In addition to entertainment, Alaska Beyond is further defined by its artisan food and beverage program, and its in-cabin comforts including Recaro seats with personal power at every seat.
Alaska Beyond Entertainment lets customers catch up on their favorite television shows and watch recently released movies using their own Wi-Fi-enabled tablet, smartphone or laptop. *All content, including premium movies and TV shows, will be complimentary through Jan. 31, 2015. Starting February 1, customers can still enjoy access to a wide selection of complimentary custom curated content and purchase premium movies and TV shows starting at $1.99.
With Alaska Beyond Comfort, Alaska customers power-up with standard and USB personal power outlets at every seat. The custom-designed leather seats, made by Recaro, feature 6-way adjustable headrests, enhanced personal space and three inches of recline. Access to power outlets is conveniently located in the seatback in front of each passenger. Today, more than 95 percent of Alaska’s fleet of Boeing 737-800s, -900s, and -900ERs have power outlets at every seat. Many of Alaska’s aircraft also feature the Boeing Sky Interior which creates a lighter and more spacious cabin. Later next year, Alaska will be the launch customer of Boeing’s innovative Space Bins , which provide 48 percent more overhead bin storage.
Alaska Beyond Delicious offers travelers locally-sourced, artisan food and beverage from iconic Northwest brands, including signature entrees designed by award-winning chef Tom Douglas. The popular Signature Fruit & Cheese Platter features Beecher’s Flagship and Tillamook cheeses are available on all flights, as well as hand-poured Canoe Ridge wines, Sun Liquor hand-crafted liquors, Alaskan Amber and other local micro-brews, and in First Class, Chateau Ste. Michelle wines.
Launching Beyond Entertainment
Customers will know entertainment is available on their device by reviewing the Flight Amenities seatback card located at each seat on equipped aircraft. Programing available through Alaska’s inflight entertainment is powered by Gogo Vision, a service that wirelessly streams content from a server onboard the aircraft to customer tablets and smart phones.
Customers can begin viewing content after the aircraft reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet. To connect, customers go to the Gogo Inflight network, launch their browser and click on “Entertainment.” Further instructions and a list of supported devices is available at http://www.gogoair.com . Customers traveling without a device can rent a video player with pre-loaded content on many longer flights. Prices vary depending on the length of the flight and start at $8.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Alaska Airlines). Boeing 737-890 N560AS (msn 35179) “Spirit of the Islands” now has Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets.
Reclaimed leather from replaced airplane seats will fly again as carry-on bags, thanks to a collaboration between Alaska Airlines and an innovative design team.
Alaska’s discarded leather found new life in the hands of Mariclaro, which makes bags and accessories from sustainable materials.
Bags made from Alaska Airlines leather: The Atlas Collection
“It’s very exciting to see someone developing a grass-roots business from something that we were just going to throw away,” said Pete Roberts, a program manager in Alaska’s maintenance and engineering department and a member of the company’s Green Team, a group dedicated to driving environmental efforts.
When Alaska began refreshing its fleet of Boeing 737-800s and -900s with new Recaro seats (complete with power outlets in every seat by the end of this month), the leather appeared destined for a landfill. That’s when members of Alaska’s Green Team stepped up to find someone who could use it.
“The material is perfect for this project – the high-quality airplane leather seat covers are made to last,” said Sven Schlegel, who co-founded Mariclaro. “One of our basic missions is to show that you can turn waste materials declared for the landfill into designs that look sleek and last forever – guaranteed for another million miles!”
Take a seat – it’s in the bag
In addition to the carry-on bags, the designers have made purses and laptop bags, some with airplane seat-belt buckle closures.
recycled leather bagBag made from recycled Alaska Airlines seat leather.
The bags are available to buy through the Mariclaro website, and Alaska began selling some of the bags, purses and passport covers at the Alaska Airlines Company Store at 20833 International Boulevard in SeaTac.
“This collaboration is a fun example of how our airline is living our mission of sustainability and really making a difference in the world,” said Greg Mays, Alaska’s vice president of maintenance and engineering. “By partnering with these innovative designers, we’re not only diverting waste from local landfills, but we’re giving people a chance to own a piece of Alaska’s history. It’s not often that people can own a bag that has already traveled more miles than they have.”
In all, Alaska has given more than 6,000 reclaimed leather seat covers to 11 recipients, including a local Boy Scout troop, the Washington State Department of Corrections and the International Academy of Design and Technology in Seattle. That represents more than 18,000 pounds of leather that otherwise would have been thrown away.
Alaska is an airline-industry leader in integrating sustainable practices into its business, as part of the company’s efforts to be a greener neighbor within the communities where it flies. Alaska is the only U.S. domestic carrier to recycle “mixed recyclables” – glass, paper, plastic and aluminum – on every flight. Alaska has cut waste by more than 50 percent per passenger since 2010, saving nearly 2,900 tons of recyclables that otherwise would have gone to landfills.
Earlier this year, Alaska announced aggressive sustainability goals, pledging to decrease fuel consumption by 20 percent (gallons flying one passenger one mile) and use a sustainable aviation biofuel at one or more airports by 2020. Improvements in fuel efficiency have saved Air Group more than 10 million gallons of fuel since 2011, and Air Group has reduced its greenhouse gases by more than 30 percent per revenue mile since 2004.
Alaska installs fuel-saving winglets on aircraft, uses 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 last year.
Photos: Alaska Airlines.
Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:
Today, an airline base fare is not the total amount you will pay. Today each U.S. airline is unique with the their add-on charges. USA Today examines the extra fees and the rules for each additional charge.
USA Today compares the add-on fees for the following airlines:
Delta Air Lines
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Alaska Airlines teams up with chef Tom Douglas for new food entries for long-haul flights from SeaTac
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is teaming up with local Seattle chef Tom Douglas for new food entries for its long-haul flights:
Travelers on Alaska Airlines are invited to lift their palates this winter, as Alaska and Tom Douglas (below) announce a new partnership to take airplane food to new heights. Beginning December 1, travelers on all Seattle/Tacoma-departing flights 2.5 hours or longer will be able to purchase a savory winter entree, developed specially by Douglas for Alaska’s customers.
The partnership begins with Tom Douglas’s Cascade Brisket Chili (below), elevating a savory winter favorite with tender, smoky chunks of brisket in a mildly spicy ancho chile tomato sauce. It’s topped with melted cheese and a charred pepper, and served over a baked Yukon gold potato. A rotating menu of signature Tom Douglas entrees will begin flying in early 2015.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Alaska Airlines). Now with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets, Boeing 737-990 ER N433AS (msn 41704) arrives in Los Angeles.
Alaska Airlines to expand its relationship with SkyWest Airlines with new Embraer 175s and three new cities
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) announced today it is expanding its partnership with SkyWest Airlines (St. George, Utah) with the addition of three new destinations from Alaska’s Northwest hubs. Flying on new Embraer ERJ 175 jets (a new type in Alaska colors), Alaska will begin offering daily nonstop service starting on July 1, 2015 between Seattle/Tacoma and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Seattle/Tacoma and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Portland, Oregon and St. Louis.
The 76-seat E175 jet will feature 12 seats in first class and 64 in coach, and boasts cabin dimensions on par with a Boeing 737. Onboard amenities include Wi-Fi Internet access, streaming inflight entertainment and 110 volt power in every first class seat. Food and beverage will include hot meals and picnic packs for purchase, in addition to Northwest microbrews and wine.
SkyWest has purchased seven Embraer E175 aircraft to fly on behalf of Alaska under a capacity purchase agreement (CPA). The first three aircraft will arrive in the summer of 2015, and the remaining four will be delivered in the first quarter of 2016.
SkyWest operates for Alaska Airlines as Alaska SkyWest.
“The E175 is new for the Alaska brand and fills a specific need to serve ‘long, thin routes’ – destinations that are too distant for our regional aircraft, but currently don’t have enough customer demand to fill a mainline jet,” said Andrew Harrison, senior vice president of planning and revenue management for Alaska Airlines. “The smaller, but spacious, E175 jet will not only open up new cities, but provide feed traffic to our Northwest hubs, while giving customers a comfortable experience on these longer flights.”
Today, SkyWest flies 40 flights a day between 14 cities for Alaska Airlines and by August 2016, that will increase to 52 flights a day to 17 cities.
Alaska Airlines has been growing its Seattle/Tacoma hub, this year launching service to six new cities which include Albuquerque, Baltimore/Washington, Cancun, Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa. With the addition of these new SkyWest-operated flights, next summer Alaska will offer 298 peak-day departures to 81 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma – three times any other carrier. From Portland, starting in July Alaska Airlines will offer 125 peak-day departures to 44 destinations – more than any other carrier.
In related news, SkyWest confirmed its order for seven Embraer 175s with this announcement:
SkyWest, Inc. and Embraer have confirmed a firm order for seven E175 jets. The aircraft will be flown by SkyWest Airlines under a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) with Alaska Airlines. The value of the firm order, which will be included in Embraer’s 2014 fourth-quarter backlog, is estimated at $301 million, based on 2014 list prices.
These aircraft are part of SkyWest’s previous order for 100 (40 firm and 60 reconfirmable), E175 current generation E-Jets – with an additional 100 options – placed in May 2013, taking the firm order number to a total of 47. The E175s for Alaska Airlines will be configured with 76 seats including 12 First Class seats. Deliveries are schedule to begin in the second semester of 2015.
SkyWest Airlines operates a fleet of approximately 15 E175 and 39 EMB 120 Brasilia aircraft. ExpressJet Airlines operates 226 aircraft of the ERJ 145 family and is the largest ERJ operator in the world.
In a separate deal with Embraer, announced in June of 2013, SkyWest became the launch customer of the E175-E2, ordering 100 aircraft with 100 additional options, for deliveries beginning in 2020.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines currently operates 10 Bombardier CRJ900s (CL-600-2C10s) including the pictured N223AG (msn 10010) arriving at Long Beach.
Alaska SkyWest aircraft slide show:
Delta Air Lines (Seattle/Tacoma) as previously reported, is building up its new and growing Seattle/Tacoma hub, the home of Boeing. The build-up at SEA is at the apparent expense of its “partner” Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) which prides itself on being “all Boeing”. Delta believes the local Seattle market is much larger than one airline and continues its build-up.
According to the local newspaper, The Seattle Times, Delta is apparently now turning to Airbus for a new round of widebody aircraft over Seattle-favorite and the hometown manufacturer Boeing. According to the report, Delta has rejected Boeing’s offer of a mix of 777-300 ERs and 787-9 Dreamliners. Instead Delta will turn to rival Toulouse-based Airbus for a new order of 25 Airbus A350-900s and 25 A330-900neos. The prospective order has not yet been officially announced or confirmed by Airbus.
According to Delta, the earlier delivery slots offered by Airbus were critical in the decision. How will this play in the growing Seattle market where everyone knows someone who works for Boeing. Will this affect their booking decisions?
Delta has also delayed Northwest’s previous order for 18 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. Clearly Airbus is the winner for its widebody needs.
Delta, to their defense, is a large Boeing 737 and 777 customer and continues to take delivery of new 737s which helps the Seattle economy.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
As the competition heats up more in the “battle for Seattle”, will Alaska play up that it is very loyal to Boeing?
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The large Airbus fleet came mainly from the merger with Northwest Airlines along with a lot of its management who now manage the current Delta. Former Northwest Airbus A330-323 N801NW (msn 524) taxies to the international gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta), according to this report by Bloomberg, is seeking to expand further its new international hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). According to the report, the airline is seeking 30 additional gates in the long term from the airport at its growing Asian hub at SeaTac. Delta currently uses 11 gates at SEA. According to the airport, Delta wants to have 150 flights a day at SEA by 2017. This would appear to be a new expansion for its growing presence in the growing Seattle market.
Alaska Airlines also operates a large hub at SEA. The two appear to be on a collision course more as competitors than as partners.
Ironically Delta and Alaska Airlines are code share and interline partners. Can this continue with this new level of increased operations by Delta?
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s Boeing 757-351 N582NW (msn 32981) taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
SEA Airport Terminal Map Below: Delta is mainly located in the international South Terminal and is also using gates on Concourse B next to Southwest Airlines. “Partner” Alaska Airlines is portrayed in green mainly located in Concourses C, D and the North Satellite.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) on March 11, 2015 will begin daily nonstop service to Dulles International Airport from its SeaTac hub.
With the launch of Alaska’s Dulles flight next spring, Alaska customers will have nonstop access to all three D.C.-area airports from Seattle/Tacoma, including Reagan National Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Airport – more flights than any other carrier.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N592AS (msn 35190) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets arrives in Anchorage.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will end the Seattle/Tacoma-Long Beach route on January 6, 2015 per Airline Route. The route is operated twice-daily under contract by SkyWest Airlines with their Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets under the Alaska SkyWest banner.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N225AG (msn 10033) lands in Long Beach.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) this week will begin service from the Pacific Northwest to Mexico, just in time for winter. The airline kicks off its new nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Cancun on November 6. Flights will operate daily through April 27, 2015. The airline also is offering new nonstop flights from Portland, Oregon, to Puerto Vallarta starting November 4 through April 26, 2015 and to Los Cabos starting Nov. 20 through April 27, 2015.
All times are based on local time zones.
Alaska Airlines began flying to Mexico a quarter century ago and now 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 seven Mexico beach destinations—Cancun, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Loreto, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta—in addition to Guadalajara and Mexico City.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N590AS (msn 35887) with Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets departs from Anchorage bound for Seattle/Tacoma.
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.”
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 (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 (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 Aircraft Slide Show:
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 Horizon – Horizon Air:
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 (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 (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 (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 (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.
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
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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, 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.
Bombardier Aerospace (Montreal) announced today that Horizon Air Industries, Inc. (Horizon Air) (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma) has signed a firm purchase agreement for one Bombardier DHC-8-402 (marketed as the Q400 NextGen) turboprop airliner. The airline retains its options on another seven Q400 NextGen aircraft as announced previously. Additionally, Bombardier and Horizon Air confirmed they have signed a five-year heavy maintenance agreement whereby Bombardier will perform heavy maintenance tasks for the airline’s fleet of 52 Q400 aircraft at Bombardier’s service centre in Tucson, Arizona.
Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen aircraft, the aircraft agreement is valued at approximately $32.6 million US.
Established in 1981, Horizon Air was acquired in 1986 by Alaska Air Group, Inc., the parent company of Alaska Airlines. At its start, the airline operated two aircraft and served three destinations in Washington state. Today, Horizon flies 51 76-seat Q400 aircraft on behalf of Alaska Airlines and serves 43 cities in the western United States, Canada and Mexico.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N407QX (msn 4049) in the special University of Oregon Ducks livery prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
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 (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 (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.
Video: One summer at Alaska Airlines:
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 (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 (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 (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 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.
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 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 (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 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 (Seattle/Tacoma) has started its “I am Alaska” campaign, first with employees and later for loyal customers.
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 Air Group, Inc. (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air – Alaska 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.”
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).
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 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:
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‘ (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 (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:
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 (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 (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 (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.
Summer seasonal Denver – Anchorage service is also cancelled.
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.
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 (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.
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).