Tag Archives: Alaska Airlines

Alaska sells 10 Airbus A320s to ALC, will lease 13 new Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft (now total of 45)

Alaska Airlines announced a transaction today that continues the optimization of its mainline fleet. As part of the agreement, Alaska will sell 10 Airbus A320s to Air Lease Corporation, and subsequently lease 13 new Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft from them. The 13 737-9 MAX aircraft will be delivered from fourth quarter 2021 through 2022. Alaska will lease the A320s back from Air Lease for a short period of time after the transaction closes.

The MAX aircraft are 20 percent more fuel efficient and generate 20 percent less carbon emissions per seat than the A320s they will replace. The aircraft is also able to fly 600 miles farther than Alaska’s current A320, which opens the possibility of additional nonstop routes and new destinations.

The 13 leased aircraft are in addition to the 32 MAX Alaska currently has on order with Boeing – five of which are expected to be flying by summer 2021. Alaska will begin flying the 737-9 MAX in March 2021. 

After permanently parking all A319s and some A320s earlier this summer, this deal leaves Alaska Airlines with 39 A320s in the operating fleet along with 10 A321neos.

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Airbus):

Alaska prepares for the Boeing 737 MAX to safely join our fleet with first passenger flights expected in March

Alaska Airlines has 32 MAX 9s on order. The airline has provided this update on the Boeing 737 MAX:

This March, Alaska Airlines is scheduled to start welcoming guests on our first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. We currently don’t have a MAX in our fleet. We expect delivery of the first plane in January, followed by several more throughout 2021.

On November 18, 2020 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified the MAX, giving the approval to all airlines to begin the process of bringing the aircraft back into service. Our guests will only fly on a MAX aircraft after we’ve tested and verified all required and necessary processes to prepare the aircraft for passenger service.

We have high expectations and confidence that Boeing has made the required changes and necessary improvements to the MAX. With these enhancements and the FAA’s thorough inspection processes, this aircraft will meet the high safety standards we expect.

For us, safety is always priority number one. If an aircraft is not safe, we won’t fly it.

“As a safety professional with decades of experience, including many years with the FAA, I’ve had the opportunity to stay very close to the FAA and Boeing through the grounding and recertification of the 737 MAX,” said Max Tidwell, Alaska’s vice president of safety and security. “I’m very confident with all the steps the FAA and Boeing have taken and the steps we’re taking at Alaska to prepare us to safely bring this aircraft into our fleet.”

One of Alaska’s 737-9 MAX at Boeing Field in Seattle.

Once our first MAX is delivered, we’ll begin two months of testing and verifying all the necessary processes to prepare the aircraft for passenger service, which is scheduled to begin in March. Our teams will put the plane through its paces, which includes flying it more than 19,000 miles and over 50 flight hours all over the country, including Alaska and Hawaii.

In the coming weeks, our pilots will also begin the required eight hours of flight simulator and computer-based training that focuses on the operation of the MAX. Our pilot training program for the MAX is more extensive than what’s required by the FAA. All of our maintenance technicians undergo a minimum 40 hours of training on the variations between the MAX and our existing 737 NG fleet, with certain technicians receiving additional specialized training.

Before the MAX is added to our fleet, our team of pilots, maintenance technicians and safety experts will put the plane through its paces – flying more than 19,000 miles and over 50 flight hours to test the aircraft. We will activate our training programs and make sure our employees are ready. We’ve been closely testing, verifying and implementing all the necessary processes to ensure the MAX aircraft meets our high safety standards.

At Alaska, safety is always priority number one. If an aircraft is not safe, we won’t fly it.

There is nothing more important than the safety of everyone on board every aircraft we fly.

Safety is everything   “This indicates a link to an external site that may not follow the same accessibility or privacy policies as Alaska Airlines. By selecting a partner link you agree to share your data with these sites.”

 

When we talk about safety, we mean it. Each of our employees is empowered to stop any part of our operation if something isn’t right. We call it “Ready, SAFE, Go.” Before we do anything, we take a moment to check whether everyone is ready, we make sure we’re being safe, and only then do we go.

Alaska manages safety through our Safety Management System (SMS). We were the first major U.S. airline to receive FAA validation and acceptance of our SMS in 2016, even before it became required in 2018. It helps us focus on safety – every day. Rather than rely on a separate “safety manager” or “safety department,” our SMS empowers employees at all levels to participate in it and improve the process.

Alaska will fly the Boeing 737 MAX only after our own assessments, verifications and internal reviews determine that the aircraft is safe throughout our network for our guests and our crews. Teams from divisions all across Alaska are working on the entry into service requirements for the MAX.

“As a safety professional with decades of experience, including many years with the FAA, I’ve had the opportunity to stay very close to the FAA and Boeing through the grounding and recertification of the 737 MAX. I’m very confident with all the steps the FAA and Boeing have taken and the steps we’re taking at Alaska to prepare us to safely bring this aircraft into our fleet.”

— Max Tidwell, Alaska’s Vice President of Safety & Security


We have confidence in the certification process of the 737 MAX.

Boeing has worked closely with the FAA and international regulatory authorities to make improvements to the 737 MAX flight control system and mandatory pilot training. Our teams remained in close contact with Boeing and the FAA all along the way.

We have high expectations and confidence that Boeing has made the required changes and necessary improvements to the 737 MAX and that, with these updates, the MAX will meet the high safety standards we expect.

We will put the MAX through its paces.

We will spend a lot of time with our first MAX aircraft before it’s put into service. Our pilots will fly it more than 50 flight hours and roughly 19,000 miles on what are called “proving flights” to confirm our safety assessments and ensure a full understanding of the airplane’s capabilities in different climates and terrain:

These proving flights are part of the formal delivery process of bringing a new aircraft into the fleet. The flights will be supervised directly by the FAA with representatives on board to evaluate that we can safely operate the aircraft. It will give our pilots the opportunity to:

There will also be “gate fit” tests at designated airports to ensure the readiness of ground operations with the new plane.

Testing and more testing.
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Background

The 737 MAX was designed with larger, more efficient engines. To help pilots with the handling of the aircraft, Boeing implemented new flight control software called MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System. MCAS relied on information from a single sensor to monitor the angle of the plane. In two accidents, the sensor – an ‘angle of attack’ vane – gave incorrect data to MCAS, which caused the system to activate repeatedly.

Boeing has since made key changes to prevent the previous issues from happening again:

What happens next with our MAX?

The FAA’s airworthiness directive continues the process of outlining the required software updates along with the training requirements for flight crews, maintenance technicians and ground crews that must be completed before we bring the MAX into service.

With the lifting of the grounding order by the FAA, it’s expected to take two months until we receive our first MAX from Boeing.

Once we accept delivery of the aircraft, we’ll follow a service readiness timeline that will guide the actions we must take before we begin flying our passengers. The process could take about six weeks for our first MAX to join our fleet after rigorous rounds of test flying, verifying and preparing.

Alaska Airlines’ elite flyers will earn added benefits on American Airlines in 2021

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

Starting this spring, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines will make it a more hassle-free, rewarding experience for elite guests from one airline to travel on the other, with new benefits that will roll out during 2021.

As part of the enhancements, Alaska’s MVP Gold 75K, MVP Gold and MVP Mileage Plan members will be able to access premium seating, and MVP Gold 75Ks will be eligible for upgrades, when they book flights on American’s domestic and international routes. Travelers can take advantage of these benefits on itineraries that are solely on American or when connecting to an American flight.

Here’s some of what’s to come:

  • In the spring, all Alaska elite members will receive complimentary access to preferred seats when traveling on American Airlines, including Main Cabin Extra.
  • Alaska MVP Gold 75K members will be eligible to earn global upgrade certificates that can be used to move from the main cabin to Business Class on American. For example, one of those certificates can be redeemed to upgrade from the main cabin to Business Class on American’s new nonstop international service from Seattle to London or Seattle to Shanghai in spring 2021, based on availability.
  • Later in 2021, Alaska MVP Gold 75K members will be eligible for unlimited complimentary, space available upgrades to Business or First Class when traveling on American’s domestic flights.

These benefits will be in addition to the elite perks offered as part of Alaska’s membership in the oneworld global alliance, which takes effect on March 31, 2021. As a oneworld member, Alaska’s elite travelers will be able to take advantage of priority services, international lounge access and baggage benefits.

“Our upcoming membership in oneworld makes these added benefits with American even more rewarding for our guests,” said Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “On any American flight, our elites will have access to premium seating or a possible upgrade for a more comfortable journey, in addition to other perks.”

American’s AAdvantage program elite members will receive reciprocal benefits on Alaska.

“Alaska and American are improving our service on the West Coast so that customers can enjoy their loyalty benefits on either carrier,” said Vasu Raja, American’s chief revenue officer. “Next year will bring significant enhancements that will make the experience more seamless and rewarding for our customers traveling to, through or from the West Coast.”

The expanded relationship between Alaska and American was first announced in February 2020. In fall 2021, American will begin its inaugural service from Seattle to Bangalore, India – connecting two global technology hubs.

Video:

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-700 hits a brown bear on landing at Yakutat

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-700 (N615AS) hit and killed a female brown bear on the runway while landing at Yakutat, Alaska on Saturday (November 14).

The flight was flight AS66 from Cordova.

The left engine sustained damage.

Social media:

Alaska’s Brad Tilden to retire, Ben Minicucci will take over

Alaska Air Group’s board of directors announced today that Brad Tilden will retire as chief executive officer on March 31, 2021, and Ben Minicucci, president of Alaska Airlines and a member of the Alaska Air Group board, will succeed him. Tilden will continue to serve as Alaska’s board chair.

Alaska Airlines today announced Brad Tilden (right) will retire as chief executive officer on March 31, 2021, and Ben Minicucci (left), president of Alaska Airlines and a member of the Alaska Air Group board, will succeed him. Tilden will continue to serve as Alaska’s board chair.

“We are through the initial phases of our coronavirus response, and Alaska is on a solid trajectory,” said Tilden. “Now is the time to position Alaska for future growth, and now is the time to move forward with this long-planned transition. Ben has proven himself over a long career as a person who cares passionately about our people and our culture, as a leader who builds strong teams and produces results, and as a person who will work tirelessly to push this great company forward. He has earned this role, and I look forward to supporting him as board chair.”

“This announcement is the culmination of a multi-year succession planning process,” said Patricia Bedient, Alaska Air Group lead independent director. “The board has complete confidence in Ben’s ability to lead Alaska to great success in the years to come. We are also grateful to Brad for his outstanding leadership during his eight years as CEO. With Ben as CEO and Brad continuing as chair, Alaska’s future is bright.”

“I am honored and humbled by this incredible opportunity, and profoundly grateful for Brad’s leadership and partnership,” said Minicucci. “Our company is built on the strength of its people and our values, and I am so proud of who we are and all we have accomplished. The way in which our employees have navigated through challenges is truly inspiring – and the last nine months is no exception. I’m excited and optimistic about our future as we continue this journey together.”

During Minicucci’s 16-year career with Alaska, he has contributed in various roles of increasing responsibility. In 2016, he became president of Alaska Airlines and he was also named CEO of Virgin America upon Alaska’s acquisition of the airline. From 2009-2016, he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer where he directed the implementation of a customer service guiding framework which empowers employees to deliver personal and kind-hearted experiences to guests. He also held the role of vice president of Seattle operations (2007-2009) where he dramatically increased Alaska’s on-time performance and reliability. Minicucci joined Alaska in 2004 as staff vice president of maintenance. He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada and served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 14 years. He has two children and lives in Issaquah, Washington.

Alaska Air Group is the holding company for Alaska Airlines, the fifth largest U.S. passenger airline, and regional carrier Horizon Air.

 

Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden announces he will step down as CEO on March 31, 2021, and remain as board chair of Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. The two airlines have 21,000 employees and fly to destinations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Aviation veteran Ben Minicucci will succeed Brad Tilden as Alaska Air Group CEO next year. Minicucci has worked for Alaska Airlines for 16 years and is the current president of the 5th largest U.S. airline.

Alaska Air Group reports a third quarter net loss of $431 million

Alaska Air Group has made this announcement:

Financial Results:

  • Reported net loss for the third quarter of 2020 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $431 million, or $3.49 per diluted share, compared to net income of $322 million, or $2.60 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2019.
  • Reported net loss for the third quarter of 2020, excluding payroll support program wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of $399 million, or $3.23 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $326 million or $2.63 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2019.
  • Maintained adjusted net debt of $1.7 billion, flat from Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Reported a debt-to-capitalization ratio, including short-term borrowings related to COVID-19, of 59%.
  • Held $3.8 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Sept. 30, 2020.

Liquidity Updates:

  • Reduced cash burn to approximately $4 million per day in the third quarter from approximately $5 million per day in the second quarter.
  • Obtained nearly $1.2 billion in financing through the issuance of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates, secured by 42 Boeing and 19 Embraer aircraft.
  • Reached an agreement with the U.S. Treasury in September to participate in the CARES Act loan program, and drew $135 million in September. The U.S. Treasury advised in October 2020 that the facility will be upsized to $1.9 billion.
  • Held $3.7 billion in cash and marketable securities as of Oct. 21, 2020 and total liquidity of $5.5 billion.

Operational and Guest Safety Updates:

  • Extending blocking of middle seats on mainline aircraft through Jan. 6, 2021.
  • Announced today a partnership with Microsoft to use sustainable aviation fuel to offset the environmental impact of certain business air travel.
  • Permanently eliminated change fees and extended the flexible travel policy for all new ticket purchases through Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Launched a partnership with certain healthcare providers to offer rapid and standardized COVID-19 testing for those guests traveling to destinations which require a negative test result.
  • Expanded the company’s Next-Level Care initiative, including implementation of new technology to create a touch-free experience for guests and a partnership with essential oils brand EO to provide hand sanitizing wipes onboard.
  • Strengthened face covering policy, requiring all guests over the age of two to wear a cloth mask or face covering at all times onboard.
  • Initiated voluntary early-out and incentive leave programs to our frontline employee workgroups, which were accepted by more than 4,000 employees. As a result, furloughs were limited to approximately 400 employees.
  • Announced 15 new routes during the third quarter, aimed at connecting West Coast travelers to key leisure destinations, including Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Fort Myers, Florida.
  • Received official oneworld invitation on July 23, 2020. The company has announced it will officially join the alliance on March 31, 2021.

Alaska Air Group Inc. today reported third quarter 2020 GAAP net loss of $431 million, or $3.49 per diluted share, compared to net income of $322 million, or $2.60 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2019. Excluding the impact of payroll support program wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net loss of $399 million, or $3.23 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $326 million, or $2.63 per diluted share in 2019.

“We are gaining momentum as we climb our way out of this crisis,” said Air Group CEO Brad Tilden. “Each of the last six months has been better than the month before in terms of flights offered and passengers carried, and to date, we’ve kept our net debt unchanged. Alaska has competitive advantages that continue to serve us well in this crisis, and we are fighting this battle with the most passionate and dedicated employees in the business.”

The following table reconciles the company’s reported GAAP net income and earnings per diluted share (diluted EPS) for the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2020 and 2019 to adjusted amounts.

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Airbus):

Alaska Airlines and Microsoft sign partnership to reduce carbon emissions with flights powered by sustainable aviation fuel in key routes

 

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

Microsoft Corporation employees who fly between their global headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and California on Alaska Airlines will fly more sustainably thanks to the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to cover their business travel. The SAF, supplied by SkyNRG, is an important option for the aviation industry to reduce CO2 emissions on a life-cycle basis. This first U.S. partnership of its kind is a model for other companies and organizations committed to reducing the environmental impact of business air travel.

The agreement applies to CO2 emissions from Microsoft employee travel between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to San Francisco International Airport, San Jose International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport — the three most popular routes traveled by Microsoft employees on Alaska Airlines. Under a separate partnership agreement, Microsoft will purchase SAF credits from SkyNRG, and the SAF will be delivered to the airport fueling system used by Alaska Airlines. The companies will explore expanding the program in the future.

“After a decade advancing sustainable aviation fuel, this partnership marks a significant milestone in the work to make SAF a commercially-viable aviation fuel alternative,” said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines. “SAF enables us to fly cleaner and reduce our impact on the environment. However, we cannot do this alone — we must work together with other industries and business leaders like Microsoft and SkyNRG, among others who are thinking big, to achieve our goals and grow the marketplace for SAF.”

“We are excited to partner with Alaska Airlines to make business air travel a little greener by using sustainable aviation fuel supplied by SkyNRG to reduce the carbon impact of the flights Microsoft employees fly most,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business. “We hope this sustainable aviation fuel model will be used by other companies as a way to reduce the environmental impact of their business travel.”

Microsoft, Alaska Airlines and SkyNRG hope this partnership sets an example for other companies and organizations to purchase SAF, and support the development of the SAF industry by creating a stable demand signal, increasing supply and reducing the cost of SAF. The three companies are also supporting the development of a global environmental accounting standard for voluntary corporate SAF purchases through their participation in a pilot project of the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow initiative. The companies plan to hold supplier and corporate forums to share learnings and increase interest in using SAF to lower the carbon emissions from business travel.

Alaska Airlines is one of the most fuel-efficient airlines in the U.S. with a strong commitment to sustainability. It was among the first airlines to use SAF in passenger travel, flying nearly 80 flights over the past 10 years. With a fuel-efficient fleet and use of modern technology in the flight deck, Alaska Airlines has reduced its intensity target of greenhouse gas emissions by 16% since 2012. Learn more about the partnership at https://blog.alaskaair.com/company-news/fly-greener/alaska-microsoft-reducing-carbon-footprint/.

Microsoft has ambitious sustainability goals, including a commitment to be carbon negative by 2030 and remove from the environment more carbon than they have emitted since its founding by 2050. The purchase and use of SAF contributes to the company’s sustainability goals.

For more than a decade SkyNRG has led the development in creating a SAF market, taking a no-compromise approach to sustainability. Replacing fossil jet fuels with SAF is what SkyNRG aims for, guaranteeing social and environmental sustainability throughout the supply chain.

“The emergence of a SAF production system and market is a once-in-a-century opportunity to launch a new energy source for an entire industry, guided by strong sustainability standards from day one,” said Theye Veen, managing director, SkyNRG. “We are very pleased to be joined by leading companies Microsoft and Alaska Airlines in this next step.”

As part of Microsoft’s partnership agreement with SkyNRG, Microsoft will become the newest member of Board Now, a coalition of leading companies that aims to accelerate the transition to sustainable air travel. Organizations commit to reducing carbon emissions from flying and directly contribute to the development of new SAF production capacity.

Background on sustainable aviation fuel

Rather than being refined from petroleum, SAF is generally produced from sustainable resources, like waste oils and agricultural residues. It can even be produced from carbon captured from the air. SAF is an important solution for the aviation industry to reduce CO2 emissions and can also contribute to other positive social and environmental benefits, such as job creation and biodiversity. SAF results in a reduction in carbon emissions across its lifecycle. The SAF supplied by SkyNRG under this agreement is produced in the U.S. by World Energy using waste oils and delivers a carbon reduction of approximately 75% compared with fossil jet fuel. SkyNRG guarantees the sustainability of the fuel it supplies through its certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), the most complete and robust standard for verification of sustainable practices, and its independent Sustainability Board, which includes representatives from WWF International, the European Climate Foundation, Solidaridad Network and the University of Groningen.

More from the Alaska Airlines blog:

Alaska Airlines and Microsoft will fly more sustainably thanks to the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplied by SkyNRG to cover Microsoft employee travel on the routes they fly most. Microsoft has ambitious sustainability goals, including a commitment to be carbon negative by 2030 and remove all historical carbon emissions by 2050. We’re grateful for the opportunity to support them on this path.

SAF is produced from sustainable resources, including feedstocks and waste oils, and is an important way for the aviation industry to reduce CO2 emissions on a life cycle basis.

“As an airline, we are responsible for reducing the negative environmental impacts of air travel in our community and the communities where we operate. To do that, we’re focused on ongoing efforts to improve our operational efficiency, including growing our use and the market for SAF,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, vice president of external relations at Alaska Airlines. “We believe deeply in the transformational benefits of air travel. It’s what connects people—and helps communities worldwide grow and thrive. We know to continue to deliver these benefits, we must operate sustainably.”

We’re excited about this milestone and remain committed to a long journey of reducing carbon emissions, including creating a marketplace for SAF, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. More than a decade ago, we were one of the first airlines to demonstrate the use of SAF in passenger travel, and by managing a fuel-efficient fleet and using technology to make flight paths most efficient, we have reduced its intensity target of Greenhouse Gas emissions by 16% since 2012. But there is a lot more work to do, and many partners on this journey, from airports like our home hub SEA to California hubs and research institutions.

So today, we also announced a two-year investment with Washington State University to support additional research at the WSU-PNNL Bioproducts Institute to advance the mid- and long-term development of SAF as an economically viable option, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

What if I don’t work for Microsoft, but want to offset your carbon footprint? Good news! Travelers can invest in carbon offsets from our new partner The Good Traveler, which is then invests in carbon reduction projects that restore the climate balance. Since the inception of the program, more than 667 million miles have been flown and with the help of The Good Traveler – who also partners with airports from SEA to SFO and beyond – and 229 million pounds of CO2 has been removed from the air through funding projects like planting trees, protecting habitats, composting waste and using renewable energy.

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Alaska Airlines launches Embraer 175 jet service in the state of Alaska

Alaska Airlines added jet service on the Embraer 175 aircraft in the state of Alaska on October 18, 2020. The E175, operated by regional partner Horizon Air, now serves select markets in Alaska.

With the reduction of air service in Alaska earlier this year, the E175 jet gives Alaska Airlines the flexibility to increase daily frequency between Anchorage and Fairbanks, and to provide year-round service to King Salmon and Dillingham.

Photo: Alaska Airlines.

 

Alaska Airlines to offer rapid COVID-19 testing for Hawaii-bound guests

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

To help guests prepare for Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program, Alaska Airlines will partner with Carbon Health to offer rapid COVID-19 testing at its pop-up clinics across the West Coast, starting Oct. 12 in Seattle. Hawaii will begin to welcome back visitors on Oct. 15 by allowing out-of-state travelers to enjoy the islands without a 14-day quarantine when they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their final leg of departure to Hawaii.

Tech-enabled health care provider Carbon Health will make rapid COVID-19 testing available at its pop-up clinic located in downtown Seattle at 220 6th Avenue North. Guests will be able to make an appointment with Carbon Health starting Oct. 8, with priority testing for Alaska Airlines flyers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. PDT, starting on Oct. 12. Test results will be ready within two hours at a discounted cost of $135. More information, including how to schedule an appointment, will be available after Oct. 5 at alaskaair.com/hawaii-bound.

At this time, testing will be offered in Seattle, as the airline has focused the full return of twice-daily flights to all four major Hawaiian Islands from its largest hub starting Oct. 15. Additionally, on Nov. 1, nonstop service to Hawaii will resume from Portland, Oregon; San Jose, California; and San Diego, California. Hawaii service will begin from Anchorage, Alaska, and Los Angeles on Nov. 20. Carbon Health is planning additional pop-up and full-service clinics for rapid COVID-19 testing in those Lower 48 cities in the coming weeks.

Carbon Health utilizes the Abbott ID NOW rapid test, which meets the requirements of the State of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program. The company will work closely with the Hawaii Department of Health to meet the state’s Trusted Testing Partner requirements. Testing will be available for all Alaska guests – of any age over three months old – as well as for travelers to the state of Alaska, which also has a 72-hour testing requirement.

Alaska Airlines will continue to share available testing options with guests, including the State of Hawaii’s trusted testing partners, as the airline continues to expand its list of testing providers. In addition, Alaska has been working closely with the Port of Seattle on developing future opportunities for on-site testing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

With a continued focus on keeping our guests and employees safe, Alaska has implemented nearly 100 safety measures, as part of the airline’s commitment to Next-Level Care. The airline emphasizes a layered approach to safety, which starts with the requirement that all employees and guests wear a face mask or covering through the airport and on board, with no exceptions. Flyers must also enter into a health agreement at check-in to confirm that they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and will adhere to the mask policy. Alaska has also extended physical distancing on board by limiting the number of guests and blocking middle seats through Nov. 30, 2020 and extended its flexible travel policy for all new ticket purchases, including Saver fares, through Dec. 31, 2020.

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Boeing):

Alaska Airlines advances its ‘sun and snow’ strategy with additional wintertime routes

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

Alaska Airlines announced today five new routes that will better connect Los Angeles International Airport and Palm Springs International Airport to key West Coast markets and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. From fun in the (warm) sun to bright (cool) days in the mountains, the airline is ready to take travelers to locations near and far.

Alaska will begin daily nonstop service on December 17 between Los Angeles and Cancun, Mexico, and Reno, Nevada. Cancun is one of Mexico’s most popular getaways, and Reno is the gateway to Lake Tahoe and its endless possibilities. These additions build on Alaska’s leading intra-West and transborder route network from Los Angeles. On the same date, the airline is adding daily nonstop service between Palm Springs and Boise, Reno and San Jose, California.

Start Date City Pair Frequency Aircraft
Dec. 17 – April 12, 2021  Los Angeles – Cancun Daily 737
Dec. 17, 2020 Los Angeles – Reno Daily E175
Dec. 17 – April 12, 2021 Palm Springs – Boise Daily E175
Dec. 17 – April 12, 2021 Palm Springs – Reno Sun, Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sat E175
Dec. 17, 2020 Palm Springs – San Jose, Calif. 2x Daily E175

The daily flights between Los Angeles-Reno and Palm Springs-San Jose will be year-round. The flights between Los Angeles-Cancun, Palm Springs-Boise and Palm Springs-Reno are part of the airline’s seasonal schedule from Dec. 17 through April 12, 2021.

Alaska is also increasing the frequency of service on certain routes from Los Angeles starting December 17:

  • Guadalajara increases to two daily flights
  • Salt Lake City increases to two daily flights
  • Boise increases from one to three daily flights

The newly added service at Los Angeles builds on recent additional routes to cites across the West for a total of 14 new routes this year alone. In July, Alaska announced seven new routes from Los Angeles to further connect its guests between Southern California and key markets around the country, including the first nonstop service from the West Coast to Fort Myers/Naples, Florida, which begins Nov. 20.

Just in time for fall travel, Alaska is also extending physical distancing on board by limiting the number of guests and blocking middle seats through Nov. 30, 2020. Alaska is also extending its flexible travel policy for all new ticket purchases, including Saver fares, through Dec. 31, 2020.