Alaska Airlines Opens Up New Routes Between California And Montana

Alaska Airlines announced today four new routes between California and Montana for the summer. Now, the carrier will have seven nonstop routes between the two states, connecting  San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego with Kalispell, Missoula, and Bozeman.

Alaska E175
Alaska Airlines will be flying between California and Montana with its Embraer E175 fleet. Photo: Getty Images

New flights! When do they start?

Alaska Airlines has announced today that the newest ‘Sun and Fun’ additions will offer access to some of the best vacation destinations in Southern California.

The airline will connect Los Angeles and San Diego with Kalispell, Montana. Additionally, it will start commercial service between San Diego and San Francisco with Bozeman, Montana.

The Los Angeles and San Diego flights start on May 20, while the San Francisco flights will begin on June 17. The four new routes are seasonal and will operate through September 7, according to the airline.

The carrier said this added summer service builds on the year-round three nonstop routes that already exist. These three routes are San Diego-Missoula, Los Angeles-Bozeman, and Los Angeles-Missoula.

Brett Catlin, Alaska’s vice president of network and alliances, said,

“For those ready to make moves this summer, we’re excited to better connect California with Montana. We’ve long offered access to some of the best vacation destinations from Southern California and continue to see opportunities to grow our footprint in the region.”

Alaska Airbus A321
Alaska will now offer service in six cities of Montana: Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Tickets availability and fleet

Tickets for the new flights are available on Alaska’s website. The one-way fares have launch prices as low as US$69 to and from Bozeman and US$89 to and from Kalispell.

The route Los Angeles-Kalispell will have two weekly frequencies on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Meanwhile, San Diego-Kalispell will have three flights per week on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

San Diego-Bozeman will be the busiest route of them all, with five frequencies on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Finally, San Francisco-Bozeman will only be operated on Saturdays.

Alaska Air will use its Embraer E175 fleet for all these new routes.

Alaska’s passengers will enjoy service in a three-class cabin that includes first class, and premium class, said the airline. Plus, those flying from Montana to California can connect at the West Coast’s airports and fly to more than 900 destinations worldwide, via Alaska’s partners in the oneworld alliance.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900
In 2020, Alaska Airline had a US$1.3 billion net loss. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Alaska turned the page on 2020

Last year’s dreadful demand left Alaska Airlines with a US$1.3 billion net loss. Nevertheless, it also provided many growth opportunities for the US carrier. Alaska Airlines increased its presence in Los Angeles, joined the oneworld alliance, expanded its partnership with American Airlines, and more.

Moreover, this year, Alaska successfully flew its first revenue flight with the Boeing 737 MAX.

For the next months, Alaska Airlines believes it is in a position to have a better recovery than its competition.

About 10 to 15% of Alaska’s capacity is international. Nevertheless, it flies to nearby countries like Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica. While the US’s connectivity with Canada is hampered down due to the crisis, Mexico and Costa Rica are performing quite well. Therefore, Alaska’s recovery is not based upon the international markets, like Delta, American, or United.

Still, there’s a long way to go, and Alaska still had a cash burn of US$137 million in January, so there’s room for improvement.

Have you traveled with Alaska Air to Montana or California? How was it? Let us know in the comments.