Tag Archives: Alaska Airlines

Expect air travel delays today in the USA – 150 million Americans under winter storm warnings

If you are traveling today by air in the United States, expect delays in many parts.

For airline managers attempting to maintain their schedules, today will be a major challenge just yesterday. Besides snow, ice and rain, severe low temperatures are also affecting airline operations in the central part of the USA all the way down to Texas.

The National Weather Service issued this warning:

Over 150 million Americans are currently under Winter Storm Warnings, Ice Storm Warnings, Winter Storm Watches, or Winter Weather Advisories as impactful winter weather takes shape from coast-to-coast…

…Major winter storm to spread heavy snow and significant ice accumulations from the Plains to the Northeast…

…Frigid Arctic air and dangerously cold wind chills to persist in the Heartland into next week…

There are no shortage of winter weather hazards across the Lower 48 over the next couple days. An Arctic high pressure system supplying sub-freezing temperatures is working in tandem with an active storm track to generate a large swath of accumulating snowfall and treacherous ice accumulations. Icy conditions look to linger around the Mid-Atlantic Sunday morning but should improve throughout the day. While conditions improve in the Mid-Atlantic, conditions will deteriorate throughout the day in the southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley as an upper-level trough in the Southwest spawns a major winter storm over the South Central U.S. The footprint from this winter storm is so large that parts of South Texas are under Winter Storm Watches for the first time in a decade.

Periods of snow, falling heavily at times, will be common from New Mexico to the Mississippi Valley today with the heaviest accumulations likely to occur in central Oklahoma and the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico. In addition to the snow, significant ice accumulations are forecast from the Texas coast to the Tennessee Valley from Sunday afternoon into Monday. The worst ice-related impacts occur on Monday as a low pressure system gathers strength in the Gulf of Mexico. The swath of accumulating ice on Monday is impressive, stretching from south Texas to the northern Mid-Atlantic. Heavy snow on Monday will also blanket much of the Lower Mississippi, the Ohio Valley, into the Northeast. The forecast through early Tuesday morning calls for 8 to 12 inches in central Oklahoma with locally higher amounts possible. An area of 4 to 8 inches of snow looks to extend from east Texas and the Ohio Valley to the Northeast. Substantial ice accumulations of up to a half inch are possible from the Lower Mississippi Valley to the Tennessee Valley leading to dangerous travel conditions, numerous power outages, and extensive tree damage.

Wintry weather is also on tap in the Northwest and Intermountain West as another Pacific storm system ushers in more Pacific moisture to these regions. Lighter accumulations are anticipated in the lower elevations, but the mountainous terrain will receive the heaviest totals. Through Monday night, the Cascades are likely to receive the most snowfall with accumulations being measured in feet in the highest elevations. Snowfall over a foot is likely from the Bitterroots of Idaho and Tetons of western Wyoming to the Wasatch and central Rockies. Winter Storm Warnings, Winter Storm Watches, and Winter Weather Advisories are located across most of these areas, along with some ongoing Avalanche Warnings that are in effect through Sunday evening.

Radar:

The aforementioned Arctic high pressure system looks to maintain a strong grip over the Nation’s Heartland, causing many areas east of the Rockies and west of the Appalachians to witness dangerous and record-breaking cold into the first half of the upcoming week. The north-central U.S. should once again see sub-zero high temps on Sunday, with single digit highs stretching as far south as the Texas Panhandle. Low temperatures are forecast to be range between -20 to -30 degrees across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Gusty winds throughout much of the Plains and Midwest continue to foster life-threatening wind chills between -30 to -60 in the north-central CONUS. Wind Chill Advisories extend as far south as the Southern Plains and as far east as the Ohio Valley. Hundreds of daily low maximum and minimum temperatures will be broken with some February and even all-time low temperature records in jeopardy. Daily temperature anomalies in the Southern Plains both Sunday and Monday are likely to range from 25 to 40 degrees below normal.

American Airlines issued this statement:

American is closely monitoring Winter Storms Shirley and Uri impacting the mid-Atlantic and Central U.S. The safety of our customers and team members is the airline’s number one priority, and the team will remain in contact with those impacted by these harsh winter storms.

American issued travel alerts for 34 airports in seven states and Washington, D.C., allowing customers whose travel plans are impacted by these storms to rebook without change fees. Customers can reschedule their travel on aa.com or by contacting Reservations at 800-433-7300 in the U.S. or Canada. If a customer chooses not to fly to/from an airport covered by the current waivers, American will waive change fees for future travel.

For Alaska Airlines, a snowstorm impacted their SEA hub. Operations are beginning to resume. From the Alaska Airlines blog:

Major snowstorms impacting Seattle and Portland

As of 12:15 p.m. Pacific time February 13, Alaska Airlines canceled around 400 flights due to winter weather in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Alaska Airlines offers international fliers VeriFLY mobile health passport for required COVID docs

International guests arriving in the U.S. can streamline their required COVID-19 documents starting Feb. 5 using the third-party app VeriFLY.

Alaska Airlines made this announcement:

International guests arriving in the U.S. can streamline their required COVID-19 documents starting Feb. 5 using the third-party app VeriFLY. The free and secure app offers fliers expedited check-in and verification for their arrival to the U.S., to help give confidence that they meet the entry requirements for their arrival to the U.S.

Why the need?

In early January, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention announced an order requiring international airline passengers entering the U.S. to have proof of a negative COVID test.  The order explains that the test must be taken within three days of departure to the U.S., and that fliers must complete a health attestation form.

VeriFLY is a mobile app that acts as a digital health passport to supplement the guest travel journey as they fulfill U.S. entry requirements. Similar to Alaska Airlines’ Pre-Clear program, the app allows for real-time verification of COVID-related credentials, like health questionnaires and diagnostic lab results. Guests will be able to store proof of their negative COVID test, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19, in addition to their health attestation form in the app to help optimize the document verification process and get them on their way.

Although proof of a negative COVID test is mandatory for travelers to enter into the country, usage of VeriFLY is not. Alaska Airlines guests will have the option to use the app for faster verification but will still be obligated to present the essential health documents as required by the CDC’s order regardless.

VeriFLY will be limited to one person per mobile device and requires an internet/mobile data connection to acquire/access passes and credentials. Adults must attest on behalf of those under the age of 18, so minors are not eligible for VeriFLY.

How does the app work?

  1. Download and create a user profile
    First, the guest must download VeriFLY from the App Store or Google Play at least seven hours prior to departure, preferably as early as possible prior to departure, then register a user profile with a photo. This step will also require email authentication.
  2. Browse and add destination
    Then, guests will need to browse the app to select the country of destination and add their inbound flight details.
  3. Complete and upload documents
    Once the profile is set up and the flight information has been confirmed, the app will generate a pre-travel “to-do” list with the necessary requirements for the country (in this case, the app will display all of the mandatory items needed for entry into the U.S. based on the CDC’s order.) Here, the guest will upload their required health documents and complete the attestation form.
  4. Receive travel pass verification
    After all documents have been uploaded, VeriFLY may take up to six hours to validate that the guest’s information is correct and confirmed. If the guest’s VeriFLY information cannot be confirmed, the guest will need to follow the manual process in adherence to the CDC’s rule.
  5. Present verified profile at the airport
    At the airport, the guest must present their certified VeriFLY profile to an Alaska Airlines agent (first point of contact). Once the guest’s information is validated, the guest can continue normal check-in without additional test verification. Upon arrival to the country, no other VeriFLY processes will be in place. The guest will be subject to the standard U.S. port of entry’s arrival procedure.

Alaska Airlines is exploring using this app in other markets that have entry requirements. Learn more about the CDC requirement at https://www.cdc.gov and VeriFLY at www.myverifly.com.

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Boeing):

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Boeing):

 

Alaska Air Group reports fourth quarter 2020 and full-year results

Alaska Air Group has released its 4Q and 2020 financial results:

Financial Results:

  • Reported net loss for the fourth quarter and full year 2020 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $430 million, or $3.47 per diluted share, and $1.3 billion, or $10.59 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2019 net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, and full year 2019 net income of $769 million, or $6.19 per diluted share.
  • Reported adjusted net loss for the fourth quarter and full year 2020, excluding payroll support program wage offsets, special items, and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments, of $316 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, and $1.3 billion, or $10.17 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, and full year 2019 adjusted net income of $798 million, or $6.42 per diluted share.
  • Reported adjusted net debt of $1.7 billion, flat from December 2019 despite a 59% decline in operating revenues for the year.
  • Reported a debt-to-capitalization ratio, including certain short-term borrowings, of 61%.
  • Held $3.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Liquidity and Fleet Updates:

  • Accessed approximately $5 billion in new liquidity in 2020, including $1.2 billion raised in the capital markets and approximately $600 million in bank financing.
  • Reached an agreement with the U.S. Treasury in January 2021 to receive an extension of payroll support totaling $533 million, $266 million of which was received on Jan. 15, 2021.
  • Extended the period available to draw funds under the CARES Act loan program from March 26, 2021 to May 28, 2021.
  • Announced plans to expand the mainline fleet and restructure the existing aircraft purchase agreement with Boeing. In total, Air Group will take delivery of 68 737-9 MAX aircraft between 2021 and 2024, inclusive of 32 previous purchase commitments and 13 aircraft to be leased from Air Lease Corporation. https://twitter.com/AlaskaAir/status/1341466170688466945?s=20
  • Took delivery of Alaska’s first 737-9 MAX aircraft on January 24, 2021, which is expected to enter revenue service on March 1, 2021.
  • Permanently removed an additional 20 Airbus A320 aircraft from the fleet in the fourth quarter, resulting in 40 Airbus aircraft removed in 2020. A total of 31 Airbus aircraft remain in the operating fleet as of the end of the year.
  • Held $3.4 billion in cash and marketable securities as of Jan. 22, 2021, and total liquidity of $5.2 billion.

Operational and Guest Safety Updates

  • Announced seven new routes in the fourth quarter, including three “fun and sun” destinations connecting Anchorage to Las Vegas, Denver and San Francisco, and expanded service from Southern California to Austin and New York.
  • Eliminated change fees and extended the flexible travel policy for tickets purchased through March 31, 2021.
  • Implemented Next-Level Care initiative, which includes more than 100 measures designed to create a safe experience for guests and employees.
  • Named the safest U.S. airline by AirlineRatings.com in their annual Top 20 Safest Airline report.
  • Launched the West Coast International Alliance with American Airlines on Jan. 1, 2021, which will unlock new benefits for Alaska Mileage Plan members in the spring.
  • Partnered with healthcare providers to offer rapid and standardized COVID-19 testing for those guests traveling to destinations that require a negative result.
  • Received diamond level certification from the Airline Passenger Experience Association for the health and safety standards Alaska and Horizon Air implemented to keep guests safe throughout their journey.
  • Launched pre-clearance program for guests traveling to the Hawaiian Islands from the West Coast with an approved negative COVID-19 test.
  • Announced a partnership with Microsoft to use sustainable aviation fuel to offset the environmental impact of certain business air travel.
  • Announced oneworld benefits for elite Mileage Plan members, providing tier status in the global alliance to Alaska’s elite members, as the company works toward joining oneworld on March 31, 2021.

Alaska Air Group Inc. today reported a fourth quarter 2020 GAAP net loss of $430 million, or $3.47 per diluted share, compared to net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share in 2019. Excluding the impact of payroll support program wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported a fourth quarter adjusted net loss of $316 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The company reported a full-year 2020 GAAP net loss of $1.3 billion, compared to net income of $769 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of payroll support program wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported an adjusted net loss of $1.3 billion, or $10.17 per diluted share for 2020, compared to adjusted net income of $798 million, or $6.42 per diluted share in 2019.

“We are not out of the woods, but we are seeing signs of brighter days ahead,” said Air Group CEO Brad Tilden. “The people of Alaska and Horizon have really shown their grit over the past year, and the rest of the leadership team and I could not be more proud of them. We’re positioned to come out of this crisis with our balance sheet unimpaired and our competitive advantages intact, and both of these set us up for a strong future and a long runway for growth.”

 

Alaska Airlines takes delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 9, N913AK

Alaska Airlines on January 24, 2021 took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 9 when the pictured N913AK (msn 44079, ln 7598) (top) relocated from the Boeing Delivery Center at Boeing Field (BFI) as flight “Alaska 9809” to nearby Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Later on January 25, 2021, Alaska Airlines issued this statement:

Alaska Airlines has accepted delivery of its first Boeing 737-9 MAX airplane, marking a new phase of modernizing the airline’s fleet in the coming years. Alaska pilots flew the aircraft on a short flight yesterday (January 24) from the Boeing Delivery Center at Boeing Field in Seattle to the company’s hangar at Sea-Tac International Airport with a small group of Alaska’s top leadership on board (below).

Alaska Airlines President Ben Minicucci takes in the view on board the airline’s delivery flight of its first Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft on Jan. 24, 2021.

Alaska’s first 737-9 is scheduled to enter passenger service on March 1, 2021 with daily roundtrip flights between Seattle/Tacoma and San Diego, and Seattle/Tacoma and Los Angeles. The airline’s second 737-9 is expected to enter service later in March.

Teams from across various divisions at Alaska will now follow a strict readiness timeline that guides the actions that must be taken before the start of passenger flights. The process – involving rigorous rounds of test flying, verifying and specific preparations – will take five weeks:

  • Maintenance technicians will undergo training to become even more acquainted with the new aircraft. They will receive at least 40 hours of “differences training,” which distinguishes the variations between the new MAX and the airline’s existing 737 NG fleet. Certain technicians will receive up to 40 additional hours of specialized training focused on the plane’s engines and avionics systems.
  • Alaska’s pilots will put the 737-9 through its paces, flying it more than 50 flight hours and roughly 19,000 miles around the country, including to Alaska and Hawaii. These “proving flights” are conducted to confirm our safety assessments and those of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and to ensure a full understanding of the plane’s capabilities in different climates and terrain.
  • Our pilots will receive eight hours of MAX-specific, computer-based training prior to flying the aircraft over the course of two days, which includes at least two hours of training in Alaska’s own certified, state-of-the-art MAX flight simulator. That’s where they fly several maneuvers specific to the aircraft and better understand the improvements that have been made to the plane.

Deliveries of Alaska’s 737-9 aircraft by Boeing will be flown with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which helps the aviation industry reduce CO2 emissions on a life-cycle basis. The SAF will be used on all MAX aircraft deliveries and will be supplied by Epic Fuels.

Alaska Airlines Capt. Chris Kipp inspects the engine of the airline’s first delivery of a Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft on Jan. 24, 2021.

Alaska announced a restructured order agreement with Boeing in December 2020 to receive a total of 68 737-9 MAX aircraft in the next four years, with options for an additional 52 planes. The airline is scheduled to receive 13 planes this year; 30 in 2022; 13 in 2023; and 12 in 2024. The agreement incorporates Alaska’s announcement last November to lease 13 737-9 aircraft as part of a separate transaction.

These 68 aircraft will largely replace Alaska’s Airbus fleet and move the airline substantially toward a single, mainline fleet that’s more efficient, profitable and environmentally friendly. The 737-9 will enhance the guest experience and support the company’s growth.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Joe G. Walker.

Skift: The Inside Story of How Alaska Airlines Went All-In on the Returning Boeing 737 MAX

Video:

Alaska Airlines adds two new routes from Southern California

Alaska Airlines announced today two new routes from its key hubs in Southern California that will begin flying this spring. The airline will launch daily, nonstop service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Austin on March 18, with an increase to three daily departures on May 20. Daily, nonstop service between San Diego and New York JFK starts on April 4.

(PRNewsfoto/Alaska Airlines)

 

New Routes

Start Date City Pair Frequency Aircraft
  March 18, 2021 Los Angeles – Austin Daily E175
May 20, 2021 Los Angeles – Austin 3x Daily E175
April 4, 2021 San Diego – New York JFK Daily 737

In 2020, Alaska added 12 new routes from LAX. With the new flight to Austin, the airline will fly to more than 40 nonstop destinations from LAX this spring. Alaska already has nonstop flights to the Texas capital city from five other West Coast cities: Seattle; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; San Jose, California; and San Diego.

The new nonstop service between San Diego and New York JFK is part of Alaska’s growth to the Northeast from its West Coast hubs. This spring, the airline will also have nonstop service between San Diego and both Newark and Boston.

Alaska Airlines announces revisions to its service animal policy

Alaska Airlines made this announcement:

Following recent changes to U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) rules, Alaska Airlines will no longer accept emotional support animals on its flights. Effective Jan. 11, 2021, Alaska will only transport service dogs, which are specially trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability.

Alaska Airlines eliminates change fees permanently. (PRNewsfoto/Alaska Airlines)

Earlier this month the DOT said it will no longer require airlines to make the same accommodations for emotional support animals as is required for trained service dogs. Changes to the DOT rules came after feedback from the airline industry and disability community regarding numerous instances of emotional support animal misbehavior which caused injuries, health hazards and damage to aircraft cabins.

Under the revised policy, Alaska will accept a maximum of two service dogs per guest in the cabin, to include psychiatric service dogs. Guests will be required to complete a DOT form, which will be available on AlaskaAir.com beginning Jan. 11, attesting that their animal is a legitimate service dog, is trained and vaccinated and will behave appropriately during the journey. For reservations booked more than 48 hours prior to travel, guests must submit the completed form via email. For reservations booked less than 48 hours prior to travel, guests must submit the form in person to the Customer Service Agent upon arrival at the airport.

Alaska will continue to accept emotional support animals under its current policy for reservations booked prior to Jan. 11, 2021, for flights on or before Feb. 28, 2021. No emotional support animals will be accepted for travel after Feb, 28, 2021.

Alaska Airlines announces restructured agreement with Boeing to acquire a total of 68 737-9 MAX aircraft with options for another 52, will replace all Airbus A319s and A320s

Executives from Alaska Airlines and Boeing sign the agreement. (From left to right: Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO; Ihssane Mounir, Boeing Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing; Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines President; and Brad Tilden, Alaska Air Group CEO.)

Alaska Airlines announced today an agreement in principle with Boeing to restructure the airline’s order to receive a total of 68 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft with options for an additional 52 planes.

Alaska is scheduled to receive 13 planes in 2021; 30 in 2022; 13 in 2023; and 12 in 2024. The delivery schedule will largely replace Alaska’s Airbus fleet and moves the airline substantially toward a single, mainline fleet that’s more efficient, profitable and environmentally friendly, and that will enhance the guest experience and support the company’s growth. This restructured agreement with Boeing incorporates Alaska’s announcement last month to lease 13 737-9 aircraft.

The agreement delivers superior economics to Alaska while providing flexibility in the final delivery schedule for the airline to optimize its fleet plan as the industry recovers. It also enables two major Pacific Northwest employers – Alaska and Boeing – to continue to support and revive jobs as the region and nation recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, fueling economic opportunity and growth in the coming decade.

Commemorative Certificate of Signing on Dec. 18 between Alaska Airlines and Boeing for 737-9 MAX order.

After significant work to manage costs and liquidity through the pandemic, support employees and jobs, and to ensure the safety of both employees and guests, Alaska’s priority is to establish strong recovery and growth in the decade ahead. Alaska also prefers to own aircraft when it makes the best financial sense for the company. This decision enables the company to exit 61 expensive, short-term leases for its Airbus fleet that were inherited by Alaska through its acquisition of Virgin America. Furthermore, compared to the Airbus A320, the 737-9 has more seats, better fuel efficiency, lower emissions and lower maintenance costs.

The agreement includes mechanisms to adjust the timing of deliveries to meet economic conditions, giving the airline substantial flexibility to manage its fleet in step with network demand. Alaska’s 52 aircraft options are for deliveries between 2023 to 2026.

TOTAL ORDERS: 68 737-9 Aircraft

Status Announcement Date Number of Aircraft
Existing Order October 2012 32
Lease Agreement November 2020 13
New Order December 2020 23

TOTAL OPTIONS: 52 737-9 Aircraft

Status Announcement Date Number of Aircraft
Existing Order October 2012 37
New Order December 2020 15

The 737-9 will replace all A319 and A320 aircraft in Alaska’s fleet to improve the airline’s overall operational, financial and environmental performance. With this plan, Alaska will reduce its Airbus fleet to 10 A321neos by the summer of 2023.

The 737-9 is 20% more fuel efficient and generates approximately 20% less carbon emissions per seat than the A320. Its larger, improved engines fly significantly quieter, and the Boeing Sky Interior lends a feeling of spaciousness to the cabin. The 737-9 can also fly up to 600 miles farther, which opens the possibility of new nonstop routes and destinations.

Alaska plans to begin revenue service with its first 737-9 in March 2021, with five additional aircraft expected to begin flying by summer 2021.

Alaska Airlines adds more ‘sun and fun’ destinations from Anchorage

Alaska Airlines continues to strengthen its presence at one of the airline’s key hubs in Anchorage with new nonstop service to three “sun and fun” destinations – Las Vegas, Denver and San Francisco – and the expansion to year-round service to a popular fourth destination, Phoenix.

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

Come this summer, Alaska will fly eight nonstops from Anchorage to these destinations in the Lower 48: Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Phoenix and Portland. Four of the cities on the West Coast are also Alaska hubs, which allow for improved connectivity for guests traveling to other locations.

New service to Las Vegas, Denver and San Francisco begins this summer; the Las Vegas flight will be offered year-round with seasonal flights to Denver and San Francisco. The current seasonal flight between Anchorage and Phoenix will now fly year-round.

The Anchorage-San Francisco flight – first announced in August 2019 – was scheduled to start in April 2020, but it was delayed due to the pandemic.

Start Date End Date City Pair Frequency Aircraft
 May 20, 2021 Year-round Anchorage – Las Vegas Th, F, Sa, Su 737
June 17, 2021 Aug. 16, 2021 Anchorage – Denver Daily 737
June 17, 2021 Aug. 16, 2021 Anchorage – San Francisco Daily 737
Year-round Year-round Anchorage – Phoenix Daily 737

In addition to Alaska’s continuing commitment to service at Anchorage, the airline partners with non-profit organizations throughout the state focused on helping those impacted by the pandemic. Alaska Airlines and Alaska Air Cargo are currently supporting residents across the state by transporting COVID-19 vaccines, including to some of the most remote communities in the U.S.

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

Alaska Airlines introduces Hawaii Pre-Clear program

Alaska Airlines guests traveling to Hawaii can now pre-clear on the West Coast, avoiding lines and bypassing the airport screening process after they arrive in Hawaii with an approved negative COVID-19 test. Alaska’s Pre-Clear program, launched this week in coordination with the State of Hawaii, is the first of its kind to allow guests to obtain an exemption from the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine before departure.

In mid-October, Hawaii began a pre-travel testing program that allows anyone entering the state who tests negative for COVID-19 in advance to proceed without the current two-week mandatory quarantine. To help with the long wait times that travelers arriving in the Islands have experienced as part of this program, Alaska has received approval to pre-clear guests who complete the state’s requirements prior to check-in, so that no additional screening is needed after arrival at Hawaii’s airports.

“As guests start planning their 2021 travel to Hawaii, we’re focused on making the journey as safe, easy and hassle-free as possible,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines’ president, who flew to Honolulu on the first day of the pre-travel testing program to experience the arrival process first-hand. “We appreciate Hawaii’s partnership to help ensure our guests are well-informed and visit these beautiful islands responsibly, wearing a mask and following the state’s safety guidelines.”

Alaska began piloting the Hawaii Pre-Clear program over the past week with its flights from the West Coast to Maui. Starting the week of Dec. 14, the program will be rolled out on all flights to Oahu and Kona on Hawaii Island. Due to the temporary pause in Kauai’s participation in the state’s pre-travel testing program, Alaska’s flights to Kauai have been suspended and will not be included in the Hawaii Pre-Clear program at this time.

“On behalf of the State of Hawaii, we appreciate Alaska’s commitment in helping to keep our community safe,” said Hawaii Governor David Ige. “Alaska has been a true partner from the very start of the pre-travel testing program by communicating with their guests about the state’s requirements so that they are well-prepared for their visit. Alaska’s Pre-Clear program adds another layer of safety by helping to ensure that the majority, if not all, of Alaska’s guests arrive in Hawaii with proof of their negative COVID-19 test results.”

To be eligible for the Hawaii Pre-Clear program, Alaska will send guests an email prior to departure asking them to complete the following steps:

Once the above requirements are met, the guest will be pre-cleared and will receive a pre-clear wristband at check-in or at the departure gate.

This month, Alaska Airlines operates an average of 18 daily nonstop flights to Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island from Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego, California; and Anchorage, Alaska.