Tag Archives: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines to fly the only nonstop flight from Seattle/Tacoma to Pittsburgh

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 ER WL N265AK (msn 62682) (Honoring Those Who Serve) BWI (Brian McDonough). Image: 937282.

Alaska Airlines on November 15, 2017 announced it will add nonstop, daily service between Seattle/Tacoma and Pittsburgh next fall. This new service is currently the only nonstop flight offered from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Pittsburgh International Airport. The new route provides a link from the West Coast to the thriving business community in Pittsburgh, which is continuing to grow as more technology companies look to establish a presence in the city.

Alaska Airlines to fly nonstop to Pittsburgh from Seattle

 

Summary of new service:
Start Date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
Sept. 6 Seattle-Pittsburgh 8:25 a.m. 4:10 p.m. Daily B737
Sept. 6 Pittsburgh-Seattle 5:20 p.m. 7:50 p.m. Daily B737
Flight times based on local time zones.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 ER WL N265AK (msn 62682) (Honoring Those Who Serve) BWI (Brian McDonough). Image: 937282.

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Alaska Airlines will discontinue flying to Havana, Cuba

Alaska Airlines has announced it will end a daily flight between Los Angeles and Havana, Cuba. The last flight is planned for January 22, 2018. The airline will redeploy aircraft used to serve Havana to markets with higher demand.

Alaska Airlines will discontinue flying to Havana, Cuba

 

About 80 percent of Alaska’s flyers to Havana visited under a U.S. allowance for individual “people-to-people” educational travel. Changes to U.S. policy last week eliminated that allowance. Given the changes in Cuba travel policies, the airline will redeploy these resources to other markets the airline serves where demand continues to be strong.

Alaska started the Los Angeles-Havana flight on January 5, 2017.

Alaska has launched 44 routes this year, which continue to develop according to forecasts. The company anticipates it will grow about 7.2 percent this year. As the airline looks ahead to 2018, its planning for nearly 8 percent network growth by adding capacity in primarily existing markets. Redeploying aircraft and crews will help the airline support the growth.

Alaska guests who have travel booked to Havana after Jan. 22 will be rebooked on another airline at no additional cost or offered a full refund.

Photo: Alaska Airlines.

CEOs of Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines fly 1929 plane that has historical ties to both companies

From the Alaska Airlines Blog:

Two aviation geeks met up last week to fly an old plane.

That usually wouldn’t be noteworthy, except the pilots just happened to be Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden (left) and Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley (right).

brad tilden 1 CEOs of Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines fly 1929 plane that has historical ties to both companiesAnd this exact aircraft – a 1929 Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker, tail number NC251M – has historical ties to both airlines.

Nearly 90 years ago, this was the first aircraft in Hawaiian’s fleet. A few years after that, the plane was brought to state of Alaska and served in the fleet that would become Alaska Airlines.

It’s a special connection between two pioneering airlines named for states that are uniquely reliant on air travel. And it made for a fun flight for a couple of guys who are crazy about airplanes.

“This was the first airplane that Hawaiian carried customers in, and one of the first airplanes that Alaska carried customers in,” Tilden said. “I could not have been more honored to fly the airplane alongside Mark.”

From the Islands to the Arctic

bellanca inter islands CEOs of Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines fly 1929 plane that has historical ties to both companies

Tilden and Dunkerley are both general aviation pilots. Tilden was visiting Honolulu to celebrate Alaska Airlines’ 10 years of service to Hawaii, and Dunkerley invited him to take a spin.

bt 5 CEOs of Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines fly 1929 plane that has historical ties to both companies“It’s amazing that this machine is still airworthy 88 years later,” Tilden said. “It’s also surprising to me that there are pictures of it in both our livery and Hawaiian’s with the same FAA registration number that it has today – NC251M.”

Retired Captain Rick Rogers, an archivist at Hawaiian Airlines, knows the plane’s history better than anyone. He’s collected documents over the years that tell the plane’s story.

Back in 1929, the Bellanca was the first aircraft owned by Inter-Island Airways, the company that would become Hawaiian Airlines. The Bellanca was used for Honolulu sightseeing tours to help promote air travel, carrying more than 12,000 people at a cost of $3 per person.

The plane was never used for inter-island travel, and was eventually sold.

Wearing the Alaska livery

bellanca 251 CEOs of Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines fly 1929 plane that has historical ties to both companies

By 1935, the plane was shipped to the state of Alaska, where it began flying for McGee Airways and Star Air Lines, two of the airlines that eventually became Alaska Airlines.

bellanca nc251cm 2 CEOs of Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines fly 1929 plane that has historical ties to both companies

At the time, Alaska Airlines was known for delivering people and supplies to remote villages and camps. The landing gear was interchangeable – wheels, skids or floats – depending on whether the “runway” was dirt, snow or water.

An Alaska Airlines log book from 1946 gives this description: “Typical bush airplane. Carries very large payload and is well adapted to freighting. Can operate out almost any field which has more than 1,200 feet or more runway clear of obstacles and with no more than 50-foot obstruction at either end. Passenger accommodations are out of date but adequate for bush operation. An excellent charter plane for hunting, fishing, and mining parties.”

Alaska Airlines eventually sold the plane in 1949.

A restoration, and a return

restored bellanca CEOs of Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines fly 1929 plane that has historical ties to both companies

Fast forward to 2009, and Hawaiian Airlines re-acquired the Bellanca (which had been grounded since 2000) from an aviation enthusiast in Oregon. Hawaiian initiated an ambitious restoration project at Port Townsend Aero Museum in Washington state to return the plane to flying condition for the company’s 80th anniversary. Support for the restoration was provided by many volunteers both from within and outside the company.

The airplane now holds the distinction of being one of only two remaining Bellanca Pacemakers in the world that still fly.

As Dunkerley often says, “We don’t just celebrate history – we fly it.”

Information from Hawaiian Airlines archives included in this story. 

Horizon Air to discontinue operations in Alaska in March

Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N443QX (msn 4353) (UAA Seawolves - University of Alaska Anchorage) ANC (Ken Petersen). Image: 928190.

Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) has announced it will end its operations in Alaska on March 10, 2017. The company operates three Q400s in support of Alaska Airlines in Alaska. Crews will be offered positions in the Lower 48.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N443QX (msn 4353) (UAA Seawolves – University of Alaska Anchorage) ANC (Ken Petersen). Image: 928190.

Alaska Air Group reports Third Quarter 2017 results

"Chace Plane"

Alaska Air Group, Inc., on October 25, 2017 reported third quarter 2017 GAAP net income of $266 million, or $2.14 per diluted share, compared to $256 million, or $2.07 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2016. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $278 million, or $2.24 per diluted share, compared to $272 million, or $2.20 per diluted share, in 2016.

“Our people delivered very strong results again this quarter,” said CEO Brad Tilden. “At roughly the halfway point in our integration with Virgin America, and despite some unrelated challenges in our regional operation, our business is performing well, and we are very happy with the response we’ve seen in California and throughout the West to our expanding network, our focus on hospitality, and to our industry-leading mileage plan. I want to thank our talented people for their commitment and dedication.”

Copyright Photo: Virgin America aircraft will shortly be taking on the Alaska brand. Virgin America Airbus A320-214 WL N283VA (msn 6787) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 935544.

Virgin America:

The End of an Era: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400 Combis will retire on October 18

From the Alaska Airlines Blog:

After a weeklong fishing trip in Yakutat, Alaska, retired Captain David Olson found himself on one of the last flights of the 737-400 combis – a plane he piloted for two years straight when he first started flying for Alaska Airlines nearly 36 years ago.

The unique cargo-passenger aircraft will officially retire Oct. 18.

“It’s truly nostalgic,” he said aboard Flight 66. “They’ve been around a long time and brought me some great memories, especially fishing holes.”

Cargo in the front, passengers in the back

reindeer 400 The end of an era: Alaska retires unique cargo passenger ‘combi’ planesA combi is the mullet of airplanes — it’s half cargo in the front and 72 passengers in the back. For decades, it’s served as a lifeline for communities in Alaska that aren’t well connected to the outside world.

Eventually, our five combis will be replaced by a fleet of three dedicated 737-700 freighters, one of which is already in service.

Each combi flight holds four cargo containers called “igloos” — weighing anywhere from 12,000 to 14,000 pounds. The combi can carry just about anything, including boxes of groceries, bouquets of flowers, brand-new cars or even reindeer.

Wayne Coleman, Alaska Airlines lead ramp service agent in Juneau, said “If it fits, it can fly.”

wayne The end of an era: Alaska retires unique cargo passenger ‘combi’ planes

The combi is also used as a way for people get from point A to point B in the nation’s largest state.

“Here, you can’t just hop in a car and drive to where you need to go like you can in the Lower 48,” Coleman said. “If you want to get somewhere, you have to hop on a boat or a plane.”

Getting goods from one city to another in Alaska can be challenging due to its sheer size and rugged terrain.

Recently, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska spoke on the U.S. Senate floor about the important role the combi has played for those who live in her home state.

“It’s really the end of an era,” she said. “They were specifically designed for the special challenges of a very large state, and over their lifespan they have delivered every imaginable thing via airplane in Alaska.”

201 The end of an era: Alaska retires unique cargo passenger ‘combi’ planes

The Milk Run

milk run poster1 The end of an era: Alaska retires unique cargo passenger ‘combi’ planesOn a special route coined “The Milk Run” (it’s literally how people get their milk), Flight 66 flew from Anchorage to Cordova to Yakutat to Juneau earlier this month.

Olson’s coolers of freshly caught silver salmon were stored in the front of the plane, and arrived to Seattle in time for them to still have that straight-off-the-boat taste, like they have every time, he said.

“The best part about these combis is they get sensitive cargo like fish to where it needs to go in plenty of time,” he said. “It’s how a lot of communities in Alaska thrive and how the Lower 48 gets most of its seafood.”

The Milk Run is a daily circuit of Alaska Airlines flights that leave Anchorage and stop about every 45 minutes to deliver goods to towns in Southeast Alaska. From those locations, smaller airplanes usually deliver the cargo and passengers to dozens of nearby villages.

Alaska Airlines is the only major airline in the U.S. to have combi planes, so any flight crews that have had the opportunity to work on this plane are now a part of aviation history.

Out with the old, in with the new

freighter The end of an era: Alaska retires unique cargo passenger ‘combi’ planesAfter a decade of demanding treks, the five 737-400 combis will be replaced by three dedicated 737-700 freighters. One freighter is already actively in service up in Anchorage and two additional cargo planes are still undergoing the conversion process.

All the new freighters are expected to be in service by the end of the year. The combis will likely live out their remaining years as converted freighters with outside parties.

“It’s bittersweet to see their run come to an end, but they were due to retire,” said Jason Berry, Alaska Air Cargo managing director. “As we modernize our fleet we have to make those tough decisions and knew it was time to find new solutions.”

The new 737-700 freighters are the first ever to be converted from passenger jet to cargo plane. They will have 20 percent more cargo capacity, and passengers will now fly separately in new Boeing 737s.

“Although we are sad to see them go we are excited to bring these new freighters to the state of Alaska,” Berry said. “We will be able to continue to serve all of the communities we have served previously and we will be able to offer more lift, more capacity and run on a schedule that is ideal for our cargo customers.”

The evolution of the combi

Before Boeing combis joined our fleet in 1966, Alaska had a long history of carrying a mix of people and cargo – from cows to cars, and anything else they could fit through the doors of our aircraft.

In 1981, Alaska Airlines acquired the first of what would eventually become a fleet of nine Boeing 737-200QC combis – the QC stands for “quick change” because it featured a movable partition, which allowed it to add or remove seats based on how much cargo and how many passengers were onboard.

Pilots said they were especially fond of the -200 combi for its sports car-like handling, powerful engines and ability to get in and out of airports with short runways.

In the all-freight configuration, the 737-200 combis carried up to six cargo containers. The palletized floor allowed for passenger seating to range from 26 with five cargo pallets to 111 in the all-passenger configuration.

Eventually high fuel prices, and increasing maintenance costs and its declining reliability led to its phase-out between 2005 and 2007. The last retired 737-200QC is now at the Alaska Aviation Museum in Anchorage.

Alaska replaced its fleet of nine -200 combis with five 737-400 combis and one -400 freighter. After a lengthy retrofitting and certification process, the first -400 combi began service in 2007.

Even as the aircraft have changed over the years, Alaska remains dedicated to carrying people and cargo throughout the state of Alaska and beyond.

Photos : 2017 Milk Run

SkyWest to acquire 20 additional aircraft, will expand its relationship with Delta and Alaska

Delta Connection-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N252SY (msn 17000612) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936861.

SkyWest, Inc. has announced additional order of 20 new aircraft and new flying agreements

  • Order includes 15 70-seat Embraer E175 SC aircraft expected to be delivered and placed into service with Delta Air Lines in 2018
  • Order includes five 76-seat Embraer E175 aircraft expected to be delivered and placed into service with Alaska Airlines in late 2017 and early 2018`
  • Terms and economics similar to prior contracts with each partner

    SkyWest, Inc. has reported that it has entered into aircraft purchase agreements and capacity purchase agreements to acquire and fly 15 additional new aircraft with Delta Air Lines and five additional new aircraft with Alaska Airlines. Expected delivery dates for the 20 aircraft run from September 2017 through the end of 2018. These aircraft will be operated by SkyWest Airlines, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest.

    Of the 20 aircraft, 15 Embraer E175 SC aircraft will fly under an agreement with Delta in a 70-seat configuration. The E175 SC aircraft has an E175 airframe and can be retrofitted to 76 seats in the future. The agreement with Alaska includes five Embraer E175s, with a 76-seat configuration, similar to aircraft SkyWest has previously placed into service with Alaska.

    Combined with last month’s announcement for 25 new aircraft, this announcement results in a cumulative order of 45 new aircraft. Similar structurally to SkyWest’s acquisition of 104 E175s, SkyWest expects to invest approximately $161 million in cash to acquire these 45 aircraft, and to finance the balance of the purchase price with debt. The expected delivery dates for the 45 aircraft run from September 2017 through the end of 2018, with the majority of the deliveries scheduled for mid-2018.

 

Top Copyright Photo: Delta Connection-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N252SY (msn 17000612) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936861.

Delta Connection:

Alaska SkyWest:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Alaska SkyWest (SkyWest Airlines) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N186SY (msn 17000606) ONT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 938865.

Alaska SkyWest (SkyWest Airlines) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N186SY (msn 17000606) ONT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 938865.