Alaska Airlines announced three new cross-country routes Wednesday, keeping up its aggressive push to add more coast-to-coast services to its route map.
The latest transcontinental routes will operate from the company’s hubs in Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles and will be on a mix of aircraft flown by both Alaska Airlines and merger partner Virgin America.
From Portland, Alaska Airlines will start nonstop service to Detroit on Aug. 30 and to New York JFK on Nov. 6. The carrier will fly one daily round-trip flight on each route with Boeing 737 aircraft. Once the flights begin, Alaska Air says it and Virgin America will fly non-stop from Portland to 58 destinations – the most of any carrier at the airport.
In California, Alaska Airlines will connect its Los Angeles hub with Philadelphia. That route will start Sept. 1 and will be flown with Virgin America's A320 family of jets.
The Philadelphia service restores a route that Virgin America flew from April 2012 through October 2014. The airline said then that it was “suspending” its Philadelphia service to free up aircraft so it could begin using new gates and landing rights it acquired from American Airlines for flights New York LaGuardia, Washington Reagan and Dallas Love Field.
Once the Philadelphia service returns, it will give the combined carriers a total of 28 non-stop destinations from Los Angeles.
"Alaska Airlines continues to expand service from our West Coast hubs by adding convenient, non-stop flights to popular destinations like New York City, Philadelphia and Detroit," John Kirby, VP of capacity planning at Alaska Airlines, says in a statement. "Whether traveling for business or leisure, we continue to meet the needs of our valued guests with more than 800 daily flights in over 300 markets originating from the West Coast."
Alaska Airlines’ latest service expansion comes as it has been steadily increasing its presence on cross-country routes. Alaska Air has long been one of the largest carriers on routes between West Coast cities, but has added numerous high-profile coast-to-coast routes since mid-2013.
Among others, those include: Baltimore-Seattle; Baltimore-Los Angeles; Baltimore-San Francisco; Boston-San Diego; Charleston, S.C.-Seattle; New York JFK-Seattle; Nashville-Seattle; Raleigh/Durham-Seattle; Raleigh-Durham-Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.-Orlando; and Washington Dulles-Seattle.
Alaska Air also has launched several medium-length routes from its western bases to the central U.S. Recent additions include routes like Austin-San Jose, Calif.; San Diego-Minneapolis/St. Paul; San Diego-Omaha; Portland-Kansas City; Portland-St. Louis; Seattle-Dallas/Fort Worth and Seattle-Milwaukee.
Alaska Airlines’ cross-country network already has become more formidable since its acquisition of Virgin America closed in December. Alaska Airlines is now in the process of merging with Virgin America, which already flies several high-profile cross-country flights from its hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles.