Alaska Airlines announces changes to service at Virgin America bases

Alec Mollenhauer

Alaska Airlines announced major changes to merger partner Virgin America's services in Dallas, adding to changes made in the past few months. Photo Credits: Alec Mollenhauer

Last week, Alaska Airlines announced they would be making significant changes to merger partner Virgin America’s existing service at Dallas Love Field (DAL).

A total of eight destinations will be served from Love Field following the introduction of four new destinations: Seattle, Portland, San Jose (CA), and San Diego. These four new destinations will join Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York LaGuardia, and Washington Reagan, which already have service from Love Field. This will eventually bring Alaska and Virgin America to have a total of 18 daily departures.

The flights to Portland and Seattle will begin on August 27th. The once daily flight to Portland will be operated by a Skywest Airlines Embraer E175. The twice daily flights to Seattle will be served by two different aircraft types. One will be operated by a Virgin America Airbus A319 and one will be operated by a Skywest E175.

Portland-Dallas

Alaska 3308 (Operated by Skywest) Departs Portland (PDX) at 6:00 A.M. and arrives at Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 11:44 A.M.

Alaska 3307 (Operated by Skywest) Departs Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 10:35 A.M and arrives in Portland (PDX) at 12:40 P.M.

Beginning October 29th, flight 3307 will Depart Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 7:28 P.M. and arrive in Portland (PDX) at 9:32 P.M.

Seattle-Dallas

Alaska 3360 (Operated by Skywest) Departs Seattle (SEA) at 9:45 A.M. and arrives at Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 3:45 P.M.

Virgin America 1770 Departs Seattle (SEA) at 1:28 P.M. and arrives at Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 7:43 P.M.

Virgin America 1765 Departs Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 10:35 A.M. and arrives in Seattle (SEA) at 12:43 P.M.

Alaska 3379 (Operated by Skywest) Departs Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 3:39 P.M. and arrives in Seattle (SEA) 5:54 P.M.

On August 27th, Virgin America’s once daily service to Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) will end. This marks the end of the route that Virgin America began serving December 1st, 2015. Virgin America’s three daily flights to New York LaGuardia (LGA) will operated by a Skywest E175 starting August 27th as well with service increasing to four daily on October 28th.

Flights to San Diego and San Jose will begin on February 16th, 2018. Alaska already has a significant presence in both San Diego and San Jose and will now enter into competition with Southwest on these routes. Both routes will be operated by a Skywest Airlines E175. While Alaska does fly to multiple destinations in Mexico and Hawaii from San Diego and San Jose, the westbound flights are not timed to meet these connections. The flights to Mexico depart mid to late morning and the flights from Dallas will not arrive until afternoon.

San Jose (CA)-Dallas

Alaska 3328 (Operated by Skywest) Departs San Jose (SJC) at 2:40 P.M. and arrives at Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 7:59 P.M.

Alaska 3329 (Operated by Skywest) Departs Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 1:25 P.M. and arrives at San Jose (SJC) at 3:15 P.M.

San Diego-Dallas

Alaska 3306 (Operated by Skywest) Departs San Diego (SAN) at 7:45 A.M. and arrives at Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 12:45 P.M.

Alaska 3305 (Operated by Skywest) Departs Dallas Love Field (DAL) at 8:39 P.M. and arrives in San Diego (SAN) at 9:54 P.M.

On February 18th, two of Virgin America’s three daily flights to Washington Reagan (DCA) will change to a Skywest E175 with the third flight changing to the E175 on March 12th.

These routes join many more routes that Alaska and Virgin America have recently announced after their merger from all of their west coast hubs.

San Francisco (SFO)

  • Philadelphia (PHL) starting August 31st
  • New Orleans (MSY) starting September 21st
  • Nashville (BNA) starting September 5th
  • Indianapolis (IND) starting September 26th
  • Raleigh Durham (RDU) starting October 19th
  • Baltimore (BWI) starting October 26th
  • Kona (KOA) starting December 14th
  • Albuquerque (ABQ) starting September 18th
  • Kansas City (MCI) starting September 18th

All of the recently announced routes will be operated once a day by Virgin America Airbus A320/A319 except the Albuquerque and Kansas City flights which will be operated by Horizon Air Embraer E175s. Alaska also plans to begin service to Mexico City later in 2017, but is still awaiting government approval.

San Jose (SJC)

  • Austin (AUS) starting August 28th
  • Tucson (TUS) starting August 28th
  • Los Angeles (LAX) starting September 20th (four daily)

All new flights from San Jose will be flown by Skywest Airlines’ Embraer E175 aircraft.

Portland (PDX)

  • Detroit (DTW) starting August 30th
  • New York Kennedy (JFK) starting November 6th
  • Albuquerque (ABQ) starting August 18th (Operated by Horizon Embraer E175)
  • Seasonal Service:
  • Philadelphia (PHL) from May 22nd to August 25th
  • Milwaukee (MKE) from June 5th to August 25th (Operated by Skywest Embraer E175)
  • Baltimore (BWI) from June 6th to August 26th

Besides the noted routes, the flights will be operated using Alaska Airlines’ 737-800 and 737-900 aircraft.

Los Angeles (LAX)

  • Philadelphia (PHL) starting September 1st

The new Los Angeles to Philadelphia service will be operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft.

San Diego (SAN)

  • Omaha (OMA) starting August 28th
  • Austin (AUS) starting August 27th
  • Albuquerque (ABQ) starting October 18th
  • Minneapolis (MSP) starting November 18th
  • Kansas City (MCI) starting December 15th
  • St. Louis (STL) starting December 15th

All new routes from San Diego will be operated using a Skywest/Horizon Embraer E175 aircraft.

Orange County (SNA)

  • Albuquerque (ABQ) starting August 18th using a Horizon Air Embraer E175

 

The announcement of the new routes is one of the biggest expansions of an airline that the United States has seen in years. This growth is fueled by the upcoming growth of both Alaska Airlines and Virgin America.  Alaska has been taking delivery of new Boeing 737-900ER at a pace of one to two per month since 2012 to bring their total up to number of 737s up to 155 with 14 more on order to replace the remaining 14 remaining 737-400s.

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER. Photo Credits: Alec Mollenhauer

Alaska has also recently taken delivery of 20 Embraer E175 aircraft operated by Skywest. Alaska subsidiary Horizon Air has also ordered 30 Embraer E175s, with two of them already on property. Horizon was expected to use these E175s as replacements for their large fleet of Bombardier Q400s, but it appears as if most of them will go towards expansion.

Virgin America has also been increasing the size of their fleet recently.  Alaska has taken delivery of 10 more Airbus A320s over the past two years. Virgin America will take delivery of its first A321NEO shortly and deploy them on its transcontinental flights from San Francisco (SFO) to New York Kennedy (JFK) on June 14th, and Washington Reagan (DCA) on May 31st. The A321NEOs will have 185 seats and will feature Virgin America’s famous interiors with mood lighting, in-flight wifi, and entertainment and a power outlet at every seat.

Alaska has elected to keep the orders for the 10 A321NEOs and 30 A320NEOs despite them being “proudly all Boeing”. Alaska will allow the delivery of at least the first two A321NEOs, but it is unknown what the fate of the rest will be.

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