ALPA issued this statement:
Alaska Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), said firmly today that they’re willing to strike if agreement on a new employment contract cannot be reached. With nearly 96 percent of members participating, an overwhelming 99 percent of Alaska pilots authorized union leaders to call a strike if necessary and when the parties are permitted by the National Mediation Board (NMB) to take that action.
The vote follows informational picketing last month where over 1,500 off-duty pilots, nearly half of the pilots employed by the airline, and their supporters, lined airports and streets at every Alaska Airlines base, the largest event of its kind in ALPA’s history.
“For three years, Alaska pilots have been resolved in their commitment to reach a new agreement and today, we spoke with one unified voice, just like we did with our recent informational picketing event,” said Capt. Will McQuillen, chairman of the Alaska Airlines ALPA Master Executive Council. “For years, we have been working toward a market-based contract with reasonable solutions that address work rules, scheduling flexibility, and career-security issues that pilots at other companies enjoy, not a strike. Now is the time for management to respond and engage constructively at the bargaining table.”
Before a strike can take place, the NMB must first decide that additional mediation efforts would not be productive and offer the parties an opportunity to arbitrate the contract dispute. If either side declines the arbitration, both parties enter a 30-day “cooling off” period, after which pilots and management can engage in self-help—a strike by the union or a lockout by management.
Facing a possible strike by its pilots, Alaska Airlines is stepping up its efforts to hire more pilots:
Austen Pyle was 13 when he knew he wanted to fly — it was his first brush with the sky in a glider. Today, less than 10 years after that first flight, he’s starting his pilot training with Horizon Air, Alaska’s regional airline in the Pacific Northwest. Within a few months, he’ll be a first officer – following in his mentor’s flight path.
Like many pilots, it took just one flight to inspire a career. Lawrence Pavlinovic, then a Horizon Air captain and now an Alaska captain, was the glider flight instructor that auspicious day. He saw Pyle’s passion for flight immediately and took him under his wing – inviting him to Aviation Day, an annual event hosted by Alaska and Horizon to inspire careers in aviation.
“Lawrence really pushed me to explore aviation as an option,” says Pyle. “He opened my eyes, and I’m so glad he did.”
Now’s the best time to become a pilot
The need for the next generation of pilots is greater than ever. Alaska and Horizon expect to hire more than 900 pilots by the end of 2022 to replace thousands of pilots who retired during the pandemic or are approaching the mandatory retirement age of 65. Across the industry, mainline airlines are hiring about 10,000 pilots this year alone.
But in between the moment a love of flying is sparked and a career, aspiring pilots like Pyle face a journey that requires a daunting investment of time and money. On average, it can cost around $90,000 for education, flight training and certifications, and pilots must log hundreds of flying hours before they can fly for commercial airlines. However, the opportunities for financial and other support while navigating this journey are growing.
Alaska has launched several pilot-development programs – including most recently True North, a partnership with two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and Ascend Pilot Academy, a partnership with Hillsboro Aero Academy in Oregon – to encourage aspiring pilots from diverse backgrounds to follow their dream.
Want to fly? Here are some tips and resources to get you off the ground:
Find your passion: Take a discovery flight
Flight schools and many flying clubs offer an hour with a flight instructor who includes an introduction to ground school as well as time at the controls in the air. Pilots say this is the best way to determine if a curiosity about flying will transform into a passion and commitment to do the work.
“Do one flight. That’s all it will take for you to decide if you want to become a pilot or not,” says Pyle.
Alaska’s annual Aviation Day events in Seattle and Portland also provide an opportunity for young people to explore careers across the industry. Seattle’s event was May 7, but there’s still time to attend the event in Portland, coming up Saturday, May 21. Learn more about registering.
Plan your pathway: Explore Alaska’s pilot-development programs
Pyle started out at the Evergreen Soaring Club and worked toward his pilot’s license while still in high school. “I actually got my private pilot’s license before my driver’s license,” he said.
When he started Central Washington University’s aviation program, Pyle interviewed right away for the Horizon Air Pilot Development Program, which partners with universities while providing a stipend, mentorship and a pathway to a future job at Horizon.
“That was really special for me as a freshman in college to know that I had an airline job waiting for me when I was ready,” said Pyle.
And Alaska’s newest pilot-development programs are designed to recruit students with diverse backgrounds, part of our commitment to increase the diversity of our workforce at all levels by 2025.
The True North pilot-development program was launched in fall 2021 in partnership with Delaware State University and University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). True North’s goal is to recruit and support BIPOC pilots on their journeys, and students receive guaranteed first officer positions at Horizon upon graduation, along with a confirmed path to Alaska.
Ascend Pilot Academy launched in March in partnership with Hillsboro Aero Academy in Oregon to provide resources and a career path for aspiring pilots, including those who don’t yet have flight experience. Once accepted, cadets receive a stipend and financial assistance for training, as well as a confirmed job with Horizon once qualified. “Aviation is for everyone,” says Carlos Zendejas, vice president of flight operations for Horizon Air. “Our programs help navigate the how-to of becoming a pilot, and we know that finances are a barrier, so our programs have stipends to help with that as well.”
We need to find the young pilots and we’ve got to grow them. That’s where True North came from.” – Captain Ron Limes, one of the founders of True North and Alaska’s director base chief pilot in Seattle.
Seek out support through pilot associations and flying clubs
Aerospace associations and flying clubs offer a wealth of resources – from scholarships to assistance in sorting through education options, to job opportunities. For example, Alaska Airlines Captain JP Wilson found a job at Horizon Air through a career fair sponsored by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.
Limes says associations provide vital guidance from mentors who have already navigated the journey to becoming a pilot, which is especially valuable for diverse students who are entering a field long dominated by white male pilots.
“You can find a group where somebody has already broken the barrier for you. I’m so thankful for the generations ahead of me who made the way smoother for me,” says Limes.
A few of the associations and clubs with Alaska and Horizon members:
As a young man, Pavlinovic chased his aviation dreams for years, but kept running into roadblocks – from his parents, who initially pushed him to be a doctor or lawyer instead of a pilot, to the Air Force recruiter who told him he couldn’t fly because he wore glasses (not true). He credits a naval aviator who was a flight instructor in the Civil Air Patrol for encouraging him to not give up. It took many years, along with money from the veterans’ benefits he earned through 21 years of service in the Marines and Army, to achieve his dream of becoming a commercial pilot.
Now when he meets young people like Pyle who have a passion for flying, he’s eager to help them on their way. “Because of my experience in the military and the civilian world, which is where I did all my flying, I can tailor my mentorship to a young man or woman and talk through the different ways they can pursue this,” says Pavlinovic.
Across Alaska and Horizon, pilots take mentorship to heart, and veteran pilots are matched with students in all our associated pilot-development programs.
We look for pilots who want to be mentors, who want to give back. We ask about it in interviews. A lot of our pilots love to give back.” – Captain JP Wilson
Pyle has already found ways to mentor up-and-coming pilots. While still in high school, he put together a presentation on aviation careers for a class of fifth graders – complete with metal wings donated from Alaska and Horizon. And as a flight instructor, he would tell his students: “If you’re going to do this, do it 100 percent until you are done and nothing less.”
Now that he’s achieved one goal, Pyle has his sights set on another: “I’ve told Lawrence, ‘On your retirement flight, I want to be your first officer.’”
Alaska Airlines is getting ready to unveil a special Star Wars livery.
The special scheme has been painted on Boeing 737-890 N538AS, the last AS aircraft in the old livery.
N538AS was ferried from Spokane to the Seattle/Tacoma hub in the dark late on May 3.
N538AS visited SFO on May 4 (below).
Above Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin.
Alaska Airlines made this announcement with these photos:
Alaska Airlines joined forces with Disneyland Resort today, May the Fourth, to unveil a new, one-of-its-kind Star Wars-themed aircraft that even Chewbacca would be proud of! The plane, painted space black with the iconic Millennium Falcon emblazoned on the tail chased by TIE fighters, celebrates Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newest land of adventure inside Disneyland park. The plane is now flying on routes across Alaska’s network for the universe to enjoy!
For this latest collaboration – Alaska’s seventh painted plane for the Disneyland Resort – no Jedi mind tricks were needed: the force was strong for a Star Wars livery to finally enter Alaska’s fleet. The aircraft’s official name is “Star Wars Transport to the Disneyland Resort” with a tail number of N538AS. After the big reveal and celebration at the gate in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the plane made its inaugural flight today and ultimate arrival at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
The unique design of the Star Wars-inspired plane is a collaboration among teams at Alaska, Disneyland Resort and Lucasfilm. Familiar spacecraft span each side of the plane with hand painted, detailed imagery: the Millennium Falcon and four TIE fighters. Designers at Disneyland Resort focused on the incredibly identifiable, widely recognized Millennium Falcon for the spotlight, in addition to the well-traveled spaceship being the focal point at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a 14-acre land in Disneyland park.
The Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Disneyland Resort logos are featured in the center of the fuselage. For a lighthearted touch, porgs (the cute avian creatures that lived on Luke Skywalker’s remote island) look back at passengers from both winglets, as another porg greets guests at the boarding door.
To bring the imagery to life, the plane’s exterior required 228 gallons of paint applied during 540 work hours over 27 days. For the painting, 23 base colors were used with numerous custom colors mixed onsite for the detailed airbrushing of the Millennium Falcon and the TIE fighters.
If you have a flight on Alaska Airlines on May 4, 2022, you might want to break out your vintage Luke Skywalker T-shirt, way too cool BB-8 ballcap or even that Darth Vader cape. To celebrate the Star Wars fan day of “May the Fourth (be with you),” we’re offering guests who wear their favorite Star Wars gear the chance to board early.
Everybody in the galaxy loves Star Wars, so we had to celebrate this epic day the Alaska way,” said Natalie Bowman, managing director of marketing and advertising for Alaska Airlines. “Whether you’re traveling near – or far, far away – on May 4th, we hope to see you at our gates ready to board early in your favorite Star Wars gear. It will truly be a star-studded event!”
The one-day priority boarding promotion can be enjoyed by all guests on any Alaska Airlines flight throughout our network on May 4, 2022. When a guest wears any clothing item Star Wars-related, they’ll be able to board their flight just after Group B (which could stand for, say, Boba Fett). Guests should listen closely to the announcements by gate agents.
After three years with very little movement at the bargaining table, the Alaska Airlines pilots are taking the next steps to try to move negotiations forward. The pilot union’s leaders at Alaska Airlines unanimously voted to conduct a strike-authorization ballot among their pilots. This means union leaders are officially requesting the Alaska Airlines pilot group, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association Int’l (ALPA), give them the authority to go on strike when legally permitted to do so. This would only happen if negotiations break down and the federal government authorizes a walkout after the parties exhaust the required procedures of the Railway Labor Act.
The Alaska Airlines ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC), voted 11 to 0 today to conduct a strike-authorization ballot that will open on May 9 and close on May 25. Once passed by the pilots, the vote would authorize the pilot leadership to declare a strike when the group is given permission to do so by the National Mediation Board (NMB).
“Alaska pilots are not looking to strike. We are looking for improvements to our contract in line with the market but that will also allow our company to grow and remain successful and competitive,” said Capt. Will McQuillen, chairman of the Alaska Airlines ALPA MEC. “However, we are willing to take any lawful steps necessary, including a legal strike, to achieve the contract every Alaska pilot has earned.”
This strike-authorization vote comes at the heels of the Alaska pilots’ April 1 all-base picket, where more than 1,500 Alaska pilots and their supporters showed up to picket on their time off to demonstrate their collective resolve to reach an agreement. This historic picket was the largest of its kind in ALPA’s 90-year history. Currently, there are approximately 3,100 ALPA pilots at Alaska Airlines.
“We lag behind our peers in several significant areas which has resulted in dozens of pilots leaving for better career opportunities elsewhere. If Alaska Airlines management wants to run a competitive airline with ample growth, then they need to get serious about reaching a new pilot agreement that’s competitive that provides job security, stronger work rules, and enhanced quality-of-life provisions that provide flexibility and reasonable schedules,” added McQuillen.
Before a strike could take place, the NMB would have to release the two sides from mediation. Then, after a 30-day cooling-off period, both parties could exercise self-help—including a strike by the union or a lockout by the company.
Alaska Air Group (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) today reported financial results for its first quarter ending March 31, 2022 and provided outlook for the second quarter ending June 30, 2022.
“Alaska has a proven track record and a resilient business model that delivers in good times and through challenging ones. We are on course to deliver 6% to 9% adjusted pre-tax margins in 2022, as we recently announced at our investor day,” said Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci. “March results were particularly strong, marked by our highest cash sales month in history and revenues that exceeded 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic began. Our people are working hard to get our airline back to its pre-COVID size and to return to growth from there, all while delivering the operational excellence that we’re known for. It’s an honor to have our company’s hard work recognized by Air Transport World as the 2022 Global Airline of the Year.”
Reported net loss for the first quarter of 2022 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $143 million, or $1.14 per share, compared to a net loss of $131 million, or $1.05 per share in the first quarter of 2021.
Reported net loss for the first quarter of 2022, excluding special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of $167 million, or $1.33 per share, compared to a net loss, excluding special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of $436 million or $3.51 per share, in the first quarter of 2021.
Generated $287 million in operating cash flow for the first quarter, driven by increased advance bookings as both leisure and business demand for air travel continue to recover.
Held $2.9 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of March 31, 2022.
Ended the quarter with a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 50%, within our target range of 40% to 50%.
Announced plans to accelerate the transition of Alaska’s mainline fleet to all-Boeing and introduced new plans to transition Horizon’s regional fleet to all-Embraer jets by the end of 2023. This transition is expected to drive significant economic benefits through cost savings, operational simplicity and better fuel efficiency.
Extended the co-branded Mileage Plan credit card agreement with Bank of America through 2030, providing expanded guest benefits and accelerating Alaska’s strategic growth plans in the West Coast.
Modified the Boeing aircraft order to include six firm and 41 option 737-10 aircraft and 10 firm 737-8 aircraft. The new mix of aircraft types provides an optimal fleet for our network and anticipated growth.
Announced plans to renovate and expand Alaska lounges in Seattle and Portland to provide additional capacity and enhanced amenities, with both expected to open by 2026.
Received nine Boeing 737-9 aircraft, bringing the total number of 737-9s in our fleet to 20.
Added Air Tahiti Nui as a new global Mileage Plan partner, allowing our guests to earn miles flying nonstop between Seattle or Los Angeles and French Polynesia.
Expanded codeshare agreement with Finnair, bringing total codeshare growth to more than 250 routes since Alaska’s entrance into the oneworld alliance in 2021.
Recognition and Awards:
Awarded the 2022 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World, given to an airline each year in recognition of outstanding performance, innovation and superior service.
Named to the TIME100 Most Influential Companies list, highlighting Alaska’s commitment to make meaningful changes in the climate impact of aviation.
Environmental, Social and Governance Updates:
Announced Patricia Bedient as the next chair of Alaska Air Group’s Board of Directors, replacing Brad Tilden effective May 5, 2022.
Launched the Ascend Pilot Academy in partnership with Hillsboro Aero Academy, providing aspiring pilots a simpler and more financially accessible path to become a commercial pilot at Horizon and Alaska.
Alongside other oneworld partners, signed two offtake agreements to procure sustainable aviation fuel for California operations, beginning in 2024.
The following table reconciles the company’s reported GAAP net loss per share (EPS) for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 to adjusted amounts.
Three Months Ended March 31,
(in millions, except per-share amounts)
GAAP net loss per share
Payroll Support Program grant wage offset
Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments
Special items – fleet transition and related charges(a)
Special items – restructuring charges(b)
Income tax effect of reconciling items above
Non-GAAP adjusted net loss per share
Special items – fleet transition and related charges in the three months ended March 31, 2022 are primarily comprised of impairment charges associated on the Q400 fleet that will be retired from the operating service by the end of 2023.
Special items – restructuring charges in the three months ended March 31, 2021 represent adjustments to total estimated cost for pilot incentive leaves as a result of updated recall timing from what was previously anticipated due to schedule changes, training limitations and other factors.
Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables. A glossary of financial terms can be found on the last page of this release.
A conference call regarding the first quarter results will be streamed online at 8:30 a.m. PDT on April 21, 2022. It can be accessed at www.alaskaair.com/investors. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available after the conclusion of the call.
Second Quarter and Full Year 2022 Outlook
Capacity (ASMs) % change versus 2019(a)
Down 6% to 9%
Revenue passengers % change versus 2019(a)
Down 10% to 12%
Passenger load factor
85% to 88%
Total revenue % change versus 2019(a)
Up 5% to 8%
Cost per ASM excluding fuel and special items (CASMex) % change versus 2019(a)
Up 16% to 19%
Economic fuel cost per gallon
$3.25 to $3.30
$7 million to $9 million
Adjusted tax rate
~24% to 25%
Due to the unusual nature of 2021 and 2020, all 2022 comparisons are versus the second quarter of 2019.
We recently reduced Q2 scheduled capacity in response to shortfalls in throughput from our pilot training department versus what was originally planned. For this reason, coupled with our commitment to exit the Airbus A320 fleet on an accelerated timeline, as well as persistent high oil prices, we have reduced our planned capacity growth modestly as compared to previous expectations.
For these reasons, we’ve also reduced our full year 2022 capacity expectations from up 1% to 3% versus 2019, to flat to down 3% versus 2019. As a direct result of the reduction in full year capacity expectations, we expect full year 2022 CASMex to be up 6% to 8% compared to our prior expectation of up 3% to 5%. We continue to expect full year 2022 adjusted pre-tax margins between 6% and 9%.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements subject to the safe harbor protection provided by Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual outcomes to be materially different from those indicated by our forward-looking statements, assumptions or beliefs. For a comprehensive discussion of potential risk factors, see Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021. Some of these risks include competition, labor costs, relations and availability, general economic conditions including those associated with pandemic recovery, increases in operating costs including fuel, inability to meet cost reduction, ESG and other strategic goals, seasonal fluctuations in demand and financial results, supply chain risks, events that negatively impact aviation safety and security, and changes in laws and regulations that impact our business. All of the forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the risk factors discussed in our most recent Form 10-K and in our subsequent SEC filings. We operate in a continually changing business environment, and new risk factors emerge from time to time. Management cannot predict such new risk factors, nor can it assess the impact, if any, of such new risk factors on our business or events described in any forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements made today to conform them to actual results. Over time, our actual results, performance or achievements may differ from the anticipated results, performance or achievements that are expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements, assumptions or beliefs and such differences might be significant and materially adverse.
After an exceptionally long two years, our guests are flying again – ready to go places and see people. At the newest commercial airport in the Seattle area, Alaska Airlines is making it easier to get going by adding more convenient flights as we ramp up to resuming our full schedule at Paine Field in Everett this summer.
Starting June 17, we’ll increase to 18 peak daily departures – our full allotment of departures at the airport – which will include four daily nonstops to San Francisco, one of Alaska’s key hubs that’s the center of Bay Area business travel. Service between Paine Field and San Francisco resumes on May 19.
From Everett, we fly to Boise, Las Vegas, Orange County, Palm Springs, Phoenix, San Diego, Spokane and Tucson.
Our sister carrier Horizon Air provides most of our service at Paine Field with the Embraer 175 jet. We recently added 737 service on Alaska for the afternoon flights to Las Vegas and Phoenix.
The fast satellite Wi-Fi that’s had you surfing and streaming with ease on your Alaska Airlines flights just got a price break: You can do those internet things you do so well with our new $8 flat rate for WiFi service on our mainline aircraft with satellite-enabled connectivity onboard. And starting now, we’re offering a variety of new meal selections on our flights as part of the most comprehensive food and beverage program in the industry.
First up, our upgraded, high-speed Wi-Fi – in partnership with Intelsat. The service provides a more enjoyable guest experience with better reliability, faster connections and a lower cost. Our web portal now loads 50% faster than before with a one ‘click-to-connect’ web experience, and connection speeds are 20 times faster than our previous, basic Wi-Fi system.
With the purchase of $8 flat rate satellite Wi-Fi for their entire flight, our guests can stream content on their personal devices from their favorite services such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other streaming platforms. Another bonus: On our planes enabled with satellite Wi-Fi, you can connect from the moment you board, instead of waiting for the connection to kick in after the boarding door closes – it’s seamless connectivity from gate to gate. (Another way to save: Use the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card and snag a 20% savings on inflight purchases including Wi-Fi.)
Our newest planes are equipped with satellite Wi-Fi, often flying our longest routes between the West Coast and New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Florida markets. With nearly 80% of our fleet currently equipped with high-speed satellite Wi-Fi, you can still connect on both long and short haul flights. You’ll know you’re flying an aircraft with the upgraded Wi-Fi if see you see the dome shaped antenna on top of the plane, or if you spot the satellite Wi-Fi decal just inside the entry door.
When you’re going somewhere, having good food and tasty drinks along the way just makes for a more enjoyable trip. We’ve got you covered with a new menu of options. Alaska continues to have the most comprehensive onboard food and beverage program of any U.S. carrier. We offer fresh First Class meals on flights more than 670 miles, fresh food for purchase in the main cabin on flights longer than 1,100 miles and popular snacks for purchase on all flights over 670 miles.
We know convenience matters: We’ve expanded our pre-order program so our guests can order their favorites starting two weeks before their flight and up to 20 hours prior to departure – from choosing between hot meal options in First Class to making sure a Signature Fruit and Cheese platter has their name on it.
Our new spring menu in First Class features more than 30 healthy, fresh and local dishes, such as Lemongrass Chicken with Ginger Fried Rice and Basil Chicken Sausage Breakfast Bowl. Plus anytime our First Class guests prefer the simple pleasure of our Signature Fruit & Cheese platter, we can make that happen. Among the refreshed selections in the main cabin we’re offering Evergreen’s ‘Moroccan & Rollin’ Salad,’ a Ginger Garlic Beef Wrap and the Charcuterie Protein Platter.
Alaska Airlines announced today that Air Tahiti Nui is our newest global airline partner – opening a world of adventure, fun and relaxation in the islands of Tahiti.
Beginning October 4, 2022, Air Tahiti Nui will begin new nonstop service between the hometown airport in Seattle/Tacoma and Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia located on its main island Tahiti. From there, the possibilities are endless for escapes to dozens of other nearby islands.
New Air Tahiti Nui service:
Oct. 4, 2022
Papeete – Seattle
10:25 a.m. +1 day
Oct. 5, 2022
Seattle – Papeete
Air Tahiti Nui has existing daily nonstop service between Papeete and Los Angeles, an additional key Alaska hub airport on the West Coast. There’s also another flight for our guests to get excited about: Air Tahiti Nui, with its historical connection to France, provides nonstop service between Los Angeles and Paris – an extremely popular route between two world cities.
Alaska Air Group Inc. , the parent company of Alaska Airlines Inc. and Horizon Air Industries Inc., during its Investor Day briefing, announced it will simplify its fleet in 2023 to only Boeing and Embraer aircraft.
This means all Airbus aircraft, including the A321neo aircraft, and Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft will be retired by the end of 2023.
Runway for Profitable Growth
Members of Alaska’s leadership team outlined the competitive advantages that underpin the company’s industry-leading performance and strategic growth plan:
Adding depth to our expansive network: Alaska plans to grow an average of 4-8% per year through 2025, in part by investing in the depth of its network. Alaska’s 1,200 flights per day take our guests to 120 destinations across North and Central America, including nonstop flights to transcontinental business routes and four Hawaiian Islands. Alaska’s network has consistently produced industry-leading margins throughout its history and its measured approach to bringing capacity back post-pandemic enabled a return to profitability ahead of the industry. Together with the airline’s global partners in the oneworld® Alliance, guests can reach over 1,000 destinations while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world.
Operating a single, more efficient fleet: Today, the company will share plans to accelerate the transition of its fleet of 300+ aircraft to all-Boeing 737 for its mainline operations and all-Embraer E175 jets for regional, by the end of 2023. Consistent with Alaska’s low-cost high productivity mindset, these transitions are expected to drive significant economic benefits. As the fleet grows to 400 aircraft by mid-decade, these will manifest through operational simplicity, flexibility and scalability, better fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. The company is also growing cargo business operations by converting two passenger 737-800s to freighters, bringing the total freighter fleet to five.
Delivering best-in-class care: Care is the foundation of Alaska’s culture, fueled by its people and reflected in everything they do. It has earned the airline high guest satisfaction and long-term loyalty. The company will continue to invest in developing its people through its Pathways program, which cultivates talent from regional to mainline operations. In addition, it is developing the next generation of pilots and training existing employees for new jobs through its Ascend Pilot Academy. The company is also committed to making measurable progress on initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.With care central to everything Alaska Airlines does, the company will continue to invest in end-to-end guest experiences that deliver on its brand promise. Today, the company announced infrastructure improvements for four of its main hubs – Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. These investments total $2.3 billion in infrastructure upgrades that will provide a more seamless and enjoyable travel experience for guests and provide access to more gates and state-of-the-art lounges and lobbies.
Growing Alaska’s award-winning loyalty program with a renewed co-branded partnership: Alaska and Bank of America today announced an extension of their co-branded credit card agreement through 2030. This agreement will enhance benefits for guests and drive improved profitability for the airline. Alaska’s Mileage Plan™ is the industry’s most generous loyalty rewards program, with miles earned based on flight distance rather than dollars spent and ability to earn and redeem to over 1,000 global destinations as part of oneworld Alliance. Alaska’s co-branded credit card with Bank of America currently offers cardholders Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™, free checked bag, the opportunity to earn 3x the miles on eligible Alaska purchases, 50 percent discount on day passes for Alaska Lounge access, 20 percent back on all inflight purchases and many other travel benefits.
Preserving a resilient business model for long-term value creation: Alaska’s legacy of industry outperformance is guided by strong principles for management and performance. Today, the company published the guidelines that drive its financial sustainability and performance, providing additional transparency around its financial management principles and capital allocation approach. Key components include:
Generating returns on capital that consistently exceed the industry and the company’s cost of capital
Managing the business and allocating capital with a long-term perspective and a consistent set of priorities
Placing a high value on producing free cash flow consistently and sustainably
Sustainable on all fronts: Alaska’s commitment to long-term value includes prioritized ESG commitments to increase diversity at all levels, to reduce the company’s impact on the climate, and to provide transparent accountability on key environmental, social and governance parameters. Last year, the airline set ambitious, but attainable sustainability goals, including being the most fuel-efficient U.S. airline and reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. Further embedding these commitments into its culture, Alaska has linked a portion of its annual performance-based pay plan for all employees to the carbon intensity of the operation, and a portion of executives’ compensation to achieving stronger BIPOC representation in leadership.
Full Year 2022 Outlook
“Alaska’s team is committed to outperforming the industry, even while navigating a choppy pandemic recovery and near-term economic volatility,” said Shane Tackett, executive vice president finance and Chief Financial Officer of Alaska Air Group. “As people return to travel, they are choosing Alaska. And thanks to the caring spirit of our people, when guests try us, they tend to come back. We are excited for the path ahead and confident in our ability to continue creating value for our employees, guests, communities and shareholders.”
As detailed in the company’s fourth quarter 2021 and full-year results, Alaska’s 2022 outlook includes the following metrics:
Up 1% to 3%
(Excluding fleet transition costs and lease return expense)