Alaska Airlines Goes Head To Head With JetBlue’s LAX Expansion

Alaska Airlines has today revealed an impressive expansion at Los Angeles Airport (LAX). The Seattle-based airline will add eight new routes and will resume four more, bringing its end of year total out of the city to 35. Expansion at other cities was also announced, as was the resumption of service at most of its passenger lounges.

Alaska Airlines Aircraft
Less than a week after JetBlue’s LAX expansion was announced, Alaska has revealed its own. Photo: Getty Images

35 routes from LAX by the end of the year

Alaska Airlines has announced today that it will add 12 new destinations this year from Los Angeles (LAX). This will bring the total nonstop routes from LAX on the carrier to an impressive 35. Four of these routes have been flown before by Alaska, but eight are brand new, with a target to launch all of them between September and December.

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Resuming from LAX, all of which were added this year, are Redmond, Oregon; Spokane, Washington; Boise, Idaho; and Missoula, Montana. All are operated by the Embraer E175, with daily frequencies and double daily for Boise and Spokane. Complementing these E175 services from September 1st will be Fresno, California, for a double daily service also.

Alaska Airlines
12 new routes from LAX this winter. Photo: Alaska Airlines

Newly announced today are eight routes previously not served by Alaska. Launching on October 1st will be Eugene and Medford, Oregon, served with a daily E175 service. Bozeman, Montana will join these with a daily service, also on the E175, from November 20th.

With the larger Boeing 737, Alaska will add four weekly services to Fort Myers, Florida and daily service to Tampa, Florida, from November 20th. Most excitingly, two Hawaii destinations will be added in time for the holidays, with Kona beginning December 17th, three times a week, and Lihue from December 18th for four times a week service.

Brett Catlin, Alaska Airlines managing director of capacity planning and alliances, commented on the additions, saying,

“LAX is one of Alaska’s important hub markets and continues to offer valuable opportunities for selective expansion. The addition of these 12 new routes from LAX along with our upcoming membership in the oneworld alliance sets the stage for future growth.”

Alaska joins JetBlue in expanding service out of LAX. The New York-based carrier announced last week that it would add seven new routes in October for a total of 32 daily flights. JetBlue’s new base at LAX will replace its facility at Long Beach. The two airlines appear to be in direct competition on several routes, something that will be further exacerbated by JetBlue’s new tie-up with American Airlines.

JetBlue is planning its own ramp-up of services at LAX. Photo: JetBlue

Expansion elsewhere on the cards too

As Alaska works to ramp up services, today also saw the announcement of more routes from Seattle, Portland and San Diego. From November 20th, Portland will be linked to Fort Lauderdale four times a week using a Boeing 737 service. The following day, Seattle to Fort Myers and San Diego to Fort Lauderdale will also begin.

Building a strong network out of Los Angeles is not only good for Alaska’s network right now; it will also make it an indispensable part of the oneworld alliance when it officially joins later this year.

American and Delta Planes at LAX
LAX is a key hub for oneworld airlines. Photo: Getty Images

LAX is a major hub for many oneworld airlines, including Cathay Pacific, British Airways, American Airlines, Japan Airlines, Iberia and Qatar. Having a robust onward network from the city to uniquely Alaska Airlines destinations will help to secure Alaska’s position as a crucial feeder carrier for its alliance partners.

From August 1st, Alaska will also reopen a number of its lounges. Four of the seven it operates will relaunch, including the LAX lounge at Terminal 6. Alongside these, lounges will open at ANC, PDX, and SEA North Satellite, leaving just JFK and SEA Concourse C closed. We don’t know yet if the brand-new lounge at San Francisco will be opening soon or not.

While facemasks are required onboard, they are unlikely to be demanded in the lounge, although this can vary by airport. Snacks are limited to pre-packaged items, and drinks will only be available from the bar.