Category Archives: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines announces further schedule reductions and other changes to conserve cash

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

Alaska Airlines has announced plans to reduce its flight schedule for April and May by approximately 70% following historic and unprecedented falloff in demand related to the COVID-19 outbreak across the U.S. and beyond.

Flight schedules for June and beyond will be based on demand, but it is our expectation that reductions will be substantial for at least the next several months. As a result of the outbreak, government leaders across the country have appropriately encouraged social distancing and discouraged or restricted travel. As a result, Alaska – like other airlines – is seeing demand reductions of more than 80%.

Some of the actions being taken to reduce spending and improve liquidity are as follows:

  • We are announcing today the suspension of our cash dividend and we have previously announced the suspension of our share repurchase program.
  • We have drawn down $400 million on our line of credit and closed an additional secured loan for $425 million today.
  • We are announcing officer pay reductions through Sept. 30 as follows:
    • 100% pay reduction for both the CEO and President of Alaska Airlines;
    • 50% for the President of Horizon Air;
    • 30% for EVPs and SVPs; and
    • 20% for VPs and MDs.
  • Our Board of Directors have voted to take their own cash retainers to zero through Sept. 30.
  • We are actively soliciting employees who are interested in voluntary leaves of absence, under which Alaska would continue to pay both health and travel benefits.
  • We have suspended annual pay increases, plan to reduce hours for management employees, and will release contractors and temporary workers.
  • We are aggressively managing all spending, including all spending for aircraft, buildings, equipment, leases, services and other areas. We will of course make all necessary investments in expense items to maintain the safety and integrity of our operation.
  • We are working with all vendor partners to reduce spending in line with our reduced flight schedule.

 

Additionally, we have worked actively with the White House, The Treasury Department, and Congress on an aid package that could total $50 billion for passenger airlines if it is passed. “We appreciate that the federal government recognizes the essential nature of airline service to our economy and society, and the importance of aviation jobs,” said Tilden. “As we more fully understand the impact of these provisions, we will add to our plans to manage through this change.”

“These actions are unprecedented, but these are truly unprecedented times,” said Tilden. “Alaskahas been here for 88 years to serve our customers and communities and to provide good jobs for our people. It is imperative that we act swiftly and courageously to ensure that we’re here to continue our mission in the future.”

“We are ultimately optimistic about the future of our great airline,” said Tilden. “But it is clear that we are and will be under severe financial pressure for the foreseeable future and that is why these actions are essential.”

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Alaska):

Alaska Airlines announces daily nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Cincinnati

Alaska Airlines celebrates its continuing growth with the announcement of new service to a brand-new destination for the airline: Cincinnati. Daily nonstop service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is scheduled to begin on August 18.

Alaska Airlines announces daily nonstop service between Seattle and Cincinnati

Cincinnati becomes the 93rd nonstop destination served from Alaska’s hub in Seattle/Tacoma. The route will connect two dynamic regions, each with thriving technology and business centers. The flights also make it convenient for travelers to connect to dozens of destinations across the West Coast using Alaska’s Seattle hub.

Start Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
Aug. 18 Seattle-Cincinnati 9:20 a.m. 4:50 p.m. Daily 737
Aug. 18 Cincinnati-Seattle 5:50 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Daily 737

Flight times based on local times

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Airbus):

Alaska Airlines announces additional service from Monterey to San Diego

Alaska Airlines today announced a second nonstop flight between Monterey Regional Airport and San Diego, California beginning on September 9, 2020. The new flight will be in addition to the existing service Alaska provides between the two markets.

The new flight begins operation on September 9, 2020 and compliments the airlines existing daily flight between Monterey and San Diego. The flight will leave San Diego at 4:30 pm and will arrive Monterey at 5:58 pm. The flight to San Diego will leave Monterey at 6:40pm arriving San Diego at 8:03 pm.

The all-jet service between San Diego and Monterey will be provided by Alaska’s sister carrier, Horizon Air, flying the Embraer 175 aircraft featuring first class and premium class cabins. On the E175, every seat is either a window or an aisle seat, there are no middle seats. Guests will enjoy Wi-Fi connectivity, hundreds of free movies and TV shows that can be streamed on personal devices and free texting while onboard. It’s all part of Alaska’s award-winning service and focus on offering low fares and great value to our guests.

Alaska Horizon aircraft photo gallery:

Alaska Airlines, American Airlines announce new West Coast international Alliance: Alaska’s West Coast network to connect with American’s long-haul flying

Alaska Airlines and American Airlines today announced an alliance to create more choice for West Coast customers. The expanded relationship between the airlines will offer customers several benefits, including:

  • Alaska Airlines intends to join the oneworld® alliance, the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance, by summer 2021, which will connect Alaska guests to more than 1,200 destinations worldwide.
  • American will launch the first service from Seattle (SEA) to Bangalore, India (BLR) beginning October 2020. A new American route from SEA to the global business hub London Heathrow (LHR) will begin flying in March 2021.
  • The airlines will continue their domestic codeshare that offers customers hassle-free booking and travel between the two networks. The codeshare will expand to include international routes from Los Angeles (LAX) and SEA.
  • Alaska and American loyalty members will enjoy benefits across both airlines, including the ability to earn and use miles on both airlines’ full networks, elite status reciprocity and lounge access to nearly 50 American Admirals Club lounges worldwide and seven Alaska Lounges in the U.S.

The alliance will give West Coast travelers more choices when traveling internationally, offer seamless access across a broader network and provide strategic growth for both airlines.

Alaska seeks full oneworld membership
Alaska intends to join oneworld, the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance. Once approved, oneworld membership will allow Alaska Mileage Plan loyalty members to earn and redeem miles through oneworld’s more than 1,200 international destinations. The alliance enables reciprocal benefits on other member airlines, such as priority check-in and boarding, access to preferred seats and free checked bags.

Seattle: An international gateway 
Seattle’s first-ever direct flight to BLR will be available for purchase later this month, with daily flights beginning October 2020. Daily service between SEA and LHR will be available for purchase in May 2020 for flights starting March 2021.

Codeshare and Frequent Flier Benefits: More options for customers
Alaska and American will continue their domestic codeshare relationship, which was scheduled to shrink in March of 2020. The airlines will expand codeshare to West Coast international routes from SEA and LAX for broader international access and choice for customers. Codeshare gives customers seamless access to more destinations and reciprocal frequent flyer program benefits. Customers with lounge membership will enjoy shared access to nearly 50 American Admirals Club lounges worldwide and seven Alaska Lounges in the U.S. for same-day travel on American or Alaska flights.

The implementation of the expanded relationship and other arrangements described herein is subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive documentation and governmental review.

Alaska Airlines aircrafts photo gallery (Airbus):

Alaska to add Paine Field – Boise service

Alaska Airlines meanwhile will add new daily Everett (Paine Field) – Boise service on June 18, 2020.

The new route will be operated by Alaska Horizon.

Alaska Horizon aircraft photo gallery:

Current Alaska routes from PAE:

Alaska Airlines pilots respond to fourth quarter and full year 2019 earnings

ALPA issued this statement:

The Alaska Airlines Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement in response to Alaska Air Group’s fourth quarter and 2019 full year earnings report, which stated an adjusted pretax profit of $1.054 billion, making this the airline’s eleventh consecutive year of profits.

“On behalf of all pilots of Alaska Airlines, we congratulate all fellow employees for their professionalism and hard work that earned us a 7.05 percent performance bonus payment for 2019. The pilots’ dedication and commitment to this airline was on display all year, despite a surge in contract compliance issues and operational challenges.

“The Alaska Airlines pilots have been in contract talks with management for more than nine months, as we seek long-overdue improvements to quality of life, work rules, job security, career satisfaction, and retirement and insurance. We have seen our peers at other airlines enjoy prominent gains in these areas, while the demand for commercial airline pilots only continues to grow. With profit margins above industry average, it’s time for Alaska Airlines management to recognize that to attract and retain well qualified, professional pilots, this airline must offer a market-rate contract to pilots..

“We look forward to a timely and successful outcome that recognizes our contributions to this company’s success and are hopeful and optimistic that management will work to resolve the outstanding contract issues with us.”

Alaska Air Group reports fourth quarter 2019 and full-year results

Alaska Air Group reported its 4Q and full-year 2019 financial results:

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the fourth quarter and full year 2019 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, and $769 million, or $6.19 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2018 net income of $23 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, and full year 2018 net income of $437 million, or $3.52 per diluted share.
  • Reported adjusted net income, excluding merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments for the fourth quarter and full year 2019 of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, and $798 million, or $6.42 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2018 adjusted net income of $93 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, and full year 2018 adjusted net income of $554 million, or $4.46 per diluted share. This quarter’s adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.41 per share.
  • Paid a $0.35 per share quarterly cash dividend in the fourth quarter, bringing total dividends paid in 2019 to $173 million.
  • Repurchased a total of 1,192,820 shares of common stock for approximately $75 million in 2019.
  • Generated approximately $1.7 billion of operating cash flow, and used approximately $696 million for capital expenditures, resulting in approximately $1 billion of free cash flow in 2019, representing free cash flow conversion of 133%.
  • Grew passenger revenues by 8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, and by 6% compared to full-year 2018.
  • Generated full-year adjusted pretax margin of 12% in 2019, 3.1 points higher than the 8.9% in 2018.
  • Held $1.5 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Achieved the goal of 75% repayment on the $2 billion debt borrowed to fund the acquisition of Virgin America, driving our debt-to-capitalization ratio to 41% as of Dec. 31, 2019, from 47% as of Dec. 31, 2018 and 51% as of Dec. 31, 2016.
  • Reduced net adjusted debt to EBITDAR to 0.9x as of Dec. 31, 2019 from 1.7x as of Dec. 31, 2018.

2019 Accomplishments and Highlights:

Recognition and Awards

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers” in 2019 by J.D. Power for the 12th year in a row.
  • Named “Best U.S. Airline” by Condé Nast Traveler in their 2019 Readers Choice Awards for the second consecutive year, a continuation of the ten consecutive years that Virgin America received the recognition.
  • Mileage Plan™ ranked first in U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Travel Rewards Programs for the fifth time.
  • Ranked as top U.S. airline in Newsweek’s 2020 Best Customer Service awards.
  • Named “Best Mid-Size Airline” by TripAdvisor in their 2019 Travelers Choice awards.
  • Earned top spot for customer satisfaction on the American Customer Satisfaction Index Travel Report for 2018-2019.
  • Named “Best Airline” by Kayak in their 2019 Travel Hacker Awards.
  • Ranked the best U.S. airline in Money Magazine for the second year in a row.
  • Rated as one of only two U.S. airlines in the Top 20 safest airlines in the world for 2019 by AirlineRatings.com.
  • Ranked as the top U.S. airline in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the third consecutive year.

Our People

  • Ranked among Forbes’ 2019 global list for “World’s Best Employers” for the fifth year in a row.
  • Completed Flight Path, our leader-led program aimed at informing and engaging our employees, bringing over 95% of Air Group employees together to discuss our culture and future.
  • Awarded $163 million in incentive pay for 2019, an 11% increase over 2018.
  • Alaska technicians, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, ratified an integrated seniority list and a transition agreement, including a two-year contract extension, in July 2019. This completes a major integration milestone, in that all of our workgroups are under joint agreements, less than three years from our acquisition of Virgin America.
  • Alaska’s clerical, office, and passenger service, and Alaska’s ramp and stores employees, both represented by the International Association of Machinists, each ratified new five-year agreements in August 2019.

Our Guests and Product

  • Launched commercial service from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, to 10 West Coast destinations.
  • Finished painting the Alaska Airlines livery on all Airbus aircraft.
  • Completed cabin interior renovations on the 42nd Airbus aircraft, or approximately 60% of the Airbus fleet.
  • Installed high-speed satellite Wi-Fi on the 104th mainline aircraft, or approximately 45% of the mainline fleet.
  • Opened a new 15,000+ square foot flagship lounge in the North Satellite at Sea-Tac International Airport and announced plans to build a new lounge in Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport.
  • Added EL AL Israel Airlines as a new global Mileage Plan partner.
  • Added four Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and two Airbus A321neo aircraft in 2019.
  • Added four Embraer 175 (E175) aircraft to the Regional operating fleet in 2019.

Our Communities

  • Launched LIFT, Alaska’s newly renamed social and environmental impact program, complete with a week of employee volunteer events in eight cities across our network.
  • Donated over $15 million and contributed more than 41,000 volunteer hours to support nonprofits in our local communities, focusing on youth and education, medical (research/transportation) and community outreach.

Alaska Air Group Inc. today reported fourth quarter 2019 GAAP net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, compared to $23 million, or $0.19 per diluted share in 2018. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported fourth quarter adjusted net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $93 million, or $0.75 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The company reported full-year 2019 GAAP net income of $769 million, compared to $437 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $798 million, or $6.42 per diluted share for 2019, compared to adjusted net income of $554 million, or $4.46 per diluted share in 2018.

“When we announced our intention to purchase Virgin America in the spring of 2016, we launched a body of work that was designed to make Alaska the ‘Go To’ airline for people living up and down the West Coast,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska’s CEO. “2019 was a fantastic year as we completed the majority of that work and began to see significant returns from our investment. We’re grateful to our people for pulling together to produce this strong financial performance, and proud that they are sharing in this financial success through our incentive pay program.”