Category Archives: Alaska Airlines

Seattle Kraken fans to receive early boarding on Alaska Airlines

Delivered on November 30, 2017

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural hockey season just got even sweeter for fans. Starting today through the end of the season, Kraken fans who wear the teams’ jersey can board early on all Alaska Airlines flights departing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Paine Field (PAE) this season.

GOAL! Seattle Kraken fans to receive early boarding on Alaska Airlines

It’s been over a year since the Kraken name and brand was unveiled, providing a sneak peek at the jersey’s colors and overall design. Fans clamored this week to get a jersey when they went on sale, including many Alaska Airlines employees.

Alaska is the founding partner and official airline of the Kraken. We can’t wait to welcome our hometown to games via Alaska Airlines’ Atrium, which will serve as the main entrance for all events at the new Climate Pledge Arena. Located on the south side of the arena, the Atrium spans 36,000 square-feet and feature stories and images reflecting the Pacific Northwest and the travel opportunities within our region and across the globe. Fans will see Alaska branding on the ice and on several boards around the hockey rink during games.

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 ER SSWL N282AK (msn 62473) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 955100.

Alaska Airlines (Boeing) aircraft slide show:

Alaska Airlines unveils a new 2021 Russell Wilson logo jet

Alaska Airlines has introduced a new Russell Wilson logo jet for the 2021 NFL Seattle Seahawks season on Boeing 737-900 ER SSWL N296AK.

The airline made this announcement on social media:

Now boarding: Flight #3 to victory!

We’re proud to reveal our newest special aircraft featuring Russell Wilson, which honors his nonstop spirit, hometown dedication and ability to always go above and beyond. Look for Russ touching down soon!

The airline also made this announcement:

The celebration for the return of professional football continues today at Alaska Airlines, where the Seattle-based airline unveiled its fourth Russell Wilson livery. The Boeing 737-900ER aircraft was introduced to fans waiting for a flight from Seattle (SEA) to Indianapolis (IND), where Alaska’s Chief Football Officer is set to take the field in his first game this season.

This new theme features a larger-than-life Wilson and is the fourth livery to celebrate Alaska’s Chief Football Officer. Wilson and Alaska have enjoyed a relationship that began in 2013 after his rookie year playing professional football. Football fans who wear a Russell Wilson No. 3 jersey or a limited edition Alaska’s Russell Wilson shirt (available from the Alaska Company Store) can boarding early for all Seattle (SEA) and Everett (PAE) departing flights for the duration of the football season.

The plane, tail number N296AK, will fly throughout Alaska’s network all season long. Keep an eye out for additional Russell Wilson and Alaska fun this football season by following Alaska Airlines at @AlaskaAir.

Alaska Airlines celebrates the return of NFL football – brings back early boarding for guests wearing Russell Wilson jersey

Alaska Airlines made this announcement:

Touchdown! In celebration of Chief Football Officer Russell Wilson’s upcoming season, guests can score extra points with Alaska Airlines this football season. Beginning today, guests wearing a Russell Wilson No. 3 jersey or a limited edition Alaska’s Russell Wilson shirt (available from the Alaska Company Store) will be given early boarding for all Seattle (SEA) and Everett (PAE) departing flights for the duration of the football season.

Wilson and Alaska enjoy a relationship that began in 2013 after his rookie year playing professional football. We’ve since teamed up on a number of community, youth, and education programs over the years. You can learn a lot about a person in nine years. Here are a few of our favorite memories of Russ from the archives:

  • Russell sporting the Alaska Airlines Holiday Sweater. Proceeds from the sweater sales were donated to United Way’s Ride United Last-Mile Delivery initiative.
  • The “Pledge It. Prove It. Take Flight.” student event hosted by Russ and Alaska Airlines Black Employee Resource Group.
  • A 2014 commercial where Russ and now retired Captain Mike Swanigan talk about our two championship seasons.
  • Russell going through flight attendant training in 2020.
  • Russell captained one of the teams for an Alaska Plane Pull that raised more than $30,000 for Strong Against Cancer.
  • Check out funny outtakes from Russell’s Retreat commercials.

“Going into my 10th year playing professional football, it’s still a thrill and an honor to see fans wearing my No. 3 jersey around Seattle,” said Wilson. “I’m so thankful to have the support of both the fans and Alaska Airlines. With the early boarding Alaska is offering this season, fans might even catch me with my jersey on at the airport!”

Keep an eye on the skies for additional Russell Wilson and Alaska fun this football season.

Alaska Air Group lowers its forecast for third quarter due to softening demand, A320s to be retired before the end of 2022

Alaska Air Group updated its guidance for the third quarter 2021:

The public health and economic crises resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 have dramatically impacted demand for air travel and driven significant change to our business operation and performance. From the beginning of these crises, the recovery path has been volatile and difficult to predict. If circumstances no longer support the plans we have established, our expectation for these metrics could change.
In the six weeks since we published our Q3 expectations, our bookings trends have deteriorated moderately as COVID case counts have increased. The setbacks in demand are not unique to any single geography. As a result, we have revised our guidance ranges. We now expect cash flow from operations toward the lower end of our previously disclosed range due to the above-mentioned slowing in forward bookings. While August and September performance is not expected to be as strong as that of July, we continue to expect to deliver positive pretax margins for the third quarter.
The table below provides our expectations for the third quarter.
Q3 Expectation(a)
Previous Q3 Expectation(d)
Capacity (ASMs) % change versus 2019(a)(b)
Down ~17% – 18% Down ~17% – 20%
Revenue passengers % change versus 2019(a)
Down ~21% to 23% Down ~15% to 18%
Passenger load factor ~79% to 81% ~82% to 85%
Total revenue % change versus 2019(a)
Down 19% to 21% Down 17% to 20%
Cost per ASM excluding fuel and special items % (CASMex) change versus 2019(a)
Up ~11% to 12% Up ~10% to 12%
Cash flow from operations(c)
~$0 million to $50 million ~$0 million to $100 million
Economic fuel cost per gallon ~$1.98 ~$1.95 – $2.00
Non-operating expense ~$13 to $15 million ~$15 to $20 million
Adjusted Tax Rate ~24% to 25% ~24% to 25%
(a)Due to the unusual nature of 2020, all comparisons are versus the third quarter of 2019.
(b)Capacity guidance excludes the impacts of close-in cancels that could occur as we monitor demand throughout the period.
(c)Metric represents our GAAP cash flow, exclusive of any federal income tax payments, refunds, or voluntary pension contributions.
(d)See investor update filed July 22, 2021.
Fleet Update
We continue to expect to return to 100% of 2019 capacity by summer of 2022. After that time, we expect to return to growth rates that are similar pre-pandemic levels. To accelerate the timing of that growth, we recently announced the early exercise of 12 options for Boeing 737-9 option aircraft with deliveries in 2023 and 2024. In conjunction with this transaction, Alaska also added 25 options to backfill those exercised in 2021.
The following table summarizes our anticipated fleet count by year, including the deliveries summarized above:
Actual Fleet
Anticipated Fleet Activity(a)
Aircraft June 30, 2021 2021 Additions 2021 Removals Dec 31, 2021 2022 Changes Dec 31, 2022 2023 Changes Dec 31, 2023
B737 Freighters 3 3 3 3
B737-700 11 11 11 11
B737-800 61 61 61 61
B737-900 12 12 12 12
B737-900ER 79 79 79 79
B737-9 MAX 5 7 12 31 43 32 75
21 7 (1) 27 (3) 24 (24)
A321neo 10 10 10 10
Total Mainline Fleet 202 14 (1) 215 28 243 8 251
Q400 operated by Horizon(c)
32 32 32 32
E175 operated by Horizon(c)
30 30 5 35 4 39
E175 operated by third party(c)
32 32 8 40 40
Total Regional Fleet 94 94 13 107 4 111
Total 296 14 (1) 309 41 350 12 362
(a) Anticipated fleet activity reflects intended early retirement and extensions or replacement of certain leases, not all of which have been contracted yet.
(b) Actual fleet at June 30, 2021, excluding Airbus aircraft permanently parked in response to COVID-19 capacity reductions. We have announced plans to return 12 of these to operating service, seven of which are planned for 2021 and five for 2022.
(c) Aircraft are either owned or leased by Horizon or operated under capacity purchase agreement with a third party.

All A320s to retired by the end of 2022

Above Copyright Photo: Alaska is preparing to retire the Airbus A320 fleet by December 31, 2022. Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N626VA (msn 2830) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 948142.
Capital Expenditures Forecast
The below table summarizes estimated capital expenditures, including aircraft and non-aircraft spend, for 2021 and 2022. Payments for those aircraft discussed above are not expected to impact capital expenditures in 2021 or 2022.
2021 2022
Expected Capital Expenditures $225 – $250 million $1.5 – $1.6 billion
Firm orders and option exercises beyond 2021 are expected to be financed primarily through operating cash flows and long-term debt.
Alaska Airlines (Airbus) aircraft slide show:

Alaska Airlines to reward its vaccinated employees with a $200 payment

Alaska Airlines made this announcement:

Throughout the pandemic, the safety of our employees and guests has always come first, and we are committed to protecting our fellow employees, guests and loved ones from the impacts of the COVID-19 virus.

We believe having as many people as possible vaccinated is the is best path for protection against COVID-19 and we will continue to strongly encourage our employees to be vaccinated. As of today, 75% of Alaska and Horizon employees who have shared their vaccination status are vaccinated. This is good progress, but we have more work to do. That’s why we are implementing new measures designed to increase vaccination rates and enhance our multi-layered approach to safety.

Moving forward, we will implement a testing protocol for unvaccinated employees as another layer of safety, while continuing to enforce safety protocols such as masking and distancing. We will also require all unvaccinated employees to participate in a vaccine education program and have stopped special COVID pay for unvaccinated employee absences due to exposure or infection. All new hires, effective immediately, will be required to be vaccinated before being hired at Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air. Finally, we will recognize those employees who provide proof of vaccination with a $200 payment.

And as we have throughout the pandemic, we’ll continue to adjust our safety protocols as we learn.

Alaska Airlines new San Francisco Lounge celebrates local flavor and flair

From Alaska Airlines blog:

Photos by Ingrid Barrentine.

Sip and savor your way through the iconic flavors of San Francisco at our newest Alaska Lounge, opening Aug. 31 at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Our lounge, conveniently located in Terminal 2 just past security, offers more than 9,000 square feet of relaxing space where guests can enjoy classic bites like San Francisco sourdough bread and a pint of the city’s famed Anchor Brewing Crisp Pilsner while taking in art inspired by the Bay Area. The lounge is a complete renovation of the former American Airlines Admirals Club and will be open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

SFO is the second-largest lounge in our network and has some fun features including:

  • Trained baristas who will serve Starbucks coffee.
  • A sourdough cart and candy bar with delicious bites.
  • California beers and wines for smooth sips.
  • Local art from artists in the Bay Area to brighten your day.
  • Room for kids to play, inspired by the San Francisco Giants.

“We’re thrilled to give our guests a place to work, relax, unwind and enjoy some of the best of what the Golden City has to offer when they travel through SFO on Alaska or a oneworld partner,” says Sangita Woerner, senior vice president of marketing and guest experience at Alaska Airlines.

The Sourdough Cart

Sourdough bread – a part of San Francisco’s food scene since Gold Rush days – will be the highlight of our vintage-style cart featuring local bakeries like Acme Bread Company. Acme is known for its San Francisco Ferry Building location and the Bay Area restaurants it supplies, including Berkeley’s celebrated Chez Panisse. Available at lunch and dinner meal times, the sourdough cart will also offer a variety of sweet and savory toppings, such as ricotta with figs and honey, and burrata with pesto.

The Candy Bar

Just past the Lounge reception desk, a nook beckons with jars of jewel-toned Jelly Belly jelly beans and sweet squares of Ghirardelli chocolate. Ghirardelli’s roots in San Francisco stretch back to 1849, and Jelly Belly candies have called Northern California home for more than three decades.

Guests can also seek their sweet fortunes in custom travel-themed cookies from Oakland’s Fortune Cookie Factory, a third-generation family business that has been baking fortune cookies in the Bay Area for more than 60 years.

California beers and wines

Unwind with a taste of one of Northern California’s finest brews; along with Anchor Brewing, we’ll be pouring Lagunitas IPA, Calicraft Brewing’s Tiki Time tropical wheat ale and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. We’ll also offer a rotating selection of California wines, and our bartenders will mix up a new craft cocktail each month.

Guests can also enjoy an all-day buffet featuring steel-cut oatmeal, fresh salads and hearty soups – along with our famous pancake printer.

Art with a purpose

In addition to art by local artists sourced by San Francisco’s Minted, our new Lounge will showcase a piece called “Offshore” by American painter and printmaker Anne Neely, who is inspired by Alaska’s commitment to reduce our climate impact. “The artist saw the efforts we have been making in sustainability, and she gifted the art to support those efforts and add to the conversation,” says Jordan Womack, Alaska Lounge product manager.

Fans will have a ball

Young San Francisco Giants fans can cheer for the home team in the play area featuring baseball-themed games and art celebrating mascot Lou Seal.

The Alaska Lounge value

Alaska Lounge membership costs nearly 60 percent less than other airline lounge programs. “Hands down, Alaska offers the single best value of any airport lounge membership in the country,” Woerner says. “Our eight lounges redefine the guest experience and offer a calm oasis for every type of traveler.”

And like SFO, each lounge lets guests explore its region through its unique food and drinks. For example, here are some of the local beers featured:

Anchorage (ANC): Alaskan Amber, King Street Brewing

Los Angeles (LAX): Boomtown IPA

New York (JFK): Greenport IPA, Bronx Brewery Summer Ale

Portland (PDX): Deschutes Mirror Pond

Seattle (SEA): Airways Preflight Pilsner, Georgetown Bodhizafa IPA

Alaska Airlines to support Afghan humanitarian airlift mission

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

As we see the heartbreaking images from Kabul and mourn the tragic loss of service members and civilians working to bring Americans home, we are humbled to play a small part in aiding those who have served our country.

Alaska Airlines is honored to support the critical humanitarian airlift mission and the U.S. military as it coordinates the evacuation of individuals and families from Afghanistan. Alaska will operate military charter flights to provide transportation within the U. S. and stands ready to provide additional support to the Department of Defense in their mission.

We are proud to support our military service members and grateful to all our employees who have served our country around the world, many of whom have reached out to offer their assistance during this time of need. Our values drive us to do the right thing and be kind-hearted, and we will bring this same sense of service to these operations and those we welcome on board as our guests.

Alaska has supported humanitarian efforts in the past, including the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and Operation Magic Carpet, the airlift of thousands of Yemenite Jews to Israel in 1949.

These charter operations are confidential and separate from the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program and related activations.

Alaska Airlines to add the former SunExpress Germany D-ASMA

First MAX 9 for SunExpress Germany, not taken up

SunExpress Airlines of Germany will not take delivery of the pictured Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 previously registered as D-ASMA (msn 64960) (above). This was going to be the first MAX 9 for the German carrier. The airline has elected to cancel its order for any MAX aircraft.

Meanwhile, as previously reported, Alaska Airlines is snatching up any extra MAX 9s it can find through Boeing.

The airframe has now been painted in full Alaska Airlines colors minus the telltale SunExpress rudder pending delivery to the Seattle-based airline. The airliner carries a temporary Boeing registration of N1784B (msn 64960).

Top Copyright Photo: SunExpress Airlines (Germany) Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 D-ASMA (msn 64960) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 946152.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N1784B (msn 64960) (SunExpress Germany rudder) BFI (Nick Dean). Image: 954801.

SunExpress Germany D-ASMA not delivered, going to Alaska

Samoa Airways’ cancelled MAX 9 is going to Alaska Airlines

"Toloa", will not be delivered to Samoa, now Alaska Airlines

Samoa Airways and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) previously signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Apia, for the lease placement of one new Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 aircraft.

The aircraft was scheduled for delivery in late March 2019 as DQ-TFL and was due to replace its existing 737-800.

The lease was cancelled as a result of the March 2019 worldwide Boeing 737 MAX groundings.

Copyright Photo

Above Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. The MAX 9, msn 43339, ln: 7163 will now be going to Alaska Airlines. Aircraft has a “Boeing Capital” registration of N235BE and rudder is now in partial AS colors.

Top Copyright Photo: DQ-TFL was previously painted in the full Samoa Airways livery before the lease was cancelled. Samoa Airways Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 DQ-TFL (msn 43339) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 945938.

Three Alaska Airlines employees die of COVID as leadership moves toward vaccination mandate

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER photographed in April 2016 by Chad Slattery.

From The Seattle Times:

Three Alaska Airlines employees die of COVID as leadership moves toward vaccination mandate