An Inside Look At Alaska Airlines’ Top Routes This November

Alaska Airlines has plans to fly a total of 30,901 flights this month. With just under four million seats for sale, the airline’s seat count is only 16.6% below November 2019. Overall, its total flight count is down 18.5% compared to November 2019. Nevertheless, Alaska has a lot planned this month. Here are the airline’s top routes.

An Inside Look At Alaska Airlines’ Top Routes This November
Alaska Airlines has plans to operate over 80% of its 2019-level number of flights this month. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The routes with the most flights

Using data from Cirium, Alaska Airlines has shown that it plans to fly a wide array of routes using all the aircraft it has available. As a primarily domestic airline, Alaska has some big plans. Below are the airline’s top 15 routes in November:

  1. Seattle (SEA) to Anchorage (ANC) with 412 roundtrip flights
  2. Seattle (SEA) to Portland (PDX) with 386 roundtrip flights
  3. Seattle (SEA) to Spokane (GEG) with 337 roundtrip flights
  4. Seattle (SEA) to Los Angeles (LAX) with 280 roundtrip flights
  5. Seattle (SEA) to San Francisco (SFO) with 252 flights scheduled
  6. Los Angeles (LAX) to San Francisco (SFO) with 249 roundtrip flights
  7. Seattle (SEA) to Boise (BOI) with 244 roundtrip flights
  8. Seattle (SEA) to Phoenix (PHX) with 216 roundtrip flights
  9. Seattle (SEA) to Orange County (SNA) with 214 roundtrip flights
  10. Seattle (SEA) to Las Vegas (LAS) with 207 roundtrip flights
  11. Seattle (SEA) to San Diego (SAN) with 200 roundtrip flights
  12. Anchorage (ANC) to Fairbanks (FAI) with 166 roundtrip flights
  13. Los Angeles (LAX) to Portland (PDX) with 166 roundtrip flights
  14. San Francisco (SFO) to San Diego (SAN) with 160 roundtrip flights
  15. Seattle (SEA) to Eugene (EUG) with 149 roundtrip flights
An Inside Look At Alaska Airlines’ Top Routes This November
A map of Alaska’s top routes this November. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

The flight numbers above refer to the overall numbers for the month. Note that Alaska Airlines varies its services based on peak days, so on some days, some routes will receive more flights per day than others. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are typically lower travel days in the week, leading to fewer flights scheduled on those days.

There is also an adjustment in the last week of November due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Alaska schedules far fewer flights on November 25th (Thanksgiving Day) as a small number of passengers and crew want to step onboard an aircraft that day. Alaska is not the only airline that does this.

Owing to its name, Alaska Airlines has strong brand loyalty in Alaska, and its flights between Anchorage and Seattle are a testament to that. A large majority of those flights cater to connecting travelers looking to visit other parts of the United States. Seasonally, Anchorage receives fewer nonstop services to the lower 48 states in November, given that there is not strong demand from the US to Alaska in the winter.

An Inside Look At Alaska Airlines’ Top Routes This November
Alaska also has a hub in Anchorage, where it offers connections to smaller destinations across the state. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A breakdown by fleet shows that the Embraer E175 will operate the most number of flights, driven chiefly by its usage on shorter length routes, meaning the planes can be used to run more flights in a day. Over 8,800 flights in November are scheduled on the E175. In comparison, the Boeing 737-900ER is scheduled to operate over 6,800 flights this month.

The numbers by seat count

While Alaska Airlines has a relatively streamlined fleet, not all of its planes have the same number of seats. Using data from Cirium, the top 15 routes by seat count for Alaska AIrlines are:

  1. Seattle (SEA) to Anchorage (ANC) with 65,790 seats
  2. Anchorage (ANC) to Seattle (SEA) with 65,393 seats
  3. Seattle (SEA) to Portland (PDX) with 50,279 seats
  4. Portland (PDX) to Seattle (SEA) with 49,557 seats
  5. Seattle (SEA) to Los Angeles (LAX) with 46,523 seats
  6. Los Angeles (LAX) to Seattle (SEA) with 46,274 seats
  7. Seattle (SEA) to San Francisco (SFO) with 37,968 seats
  8. San Francisco (SFO) to Seattle (SEA) with 37,068 seats
  9. Seattle (SEA) to Phoenix (PHX) with 36,258 seats
  10. Phoenix (PHX) to Seattle (SEA) with 35,702 seats
  11. Las Vegas (LAS) to Seattle (SEA) with 35,468 seats
  12. Seattle (SEA) to Las Vegas (LAS) with 35,405 seats
  13. Seattle (SEA) to San Deigo (SAN) with 34,680 seats
  14. San Diego (SAN) to Seattle (SEA) with 34,022 seats
  15. Spokane (GEG) to Seattle (SEA) with 31,561 seats

Between aircraft scheduling patterns and times, there is a difference in terms of the number of seats each way. Some flights that leave from, say, Seattle to Anchorage and get into Anchorage late at night and do not return to Seattle until the following day leads to some variation in the month, given that the return flight may be scheduled to run in December.

An Inside Look At Alaska Airlines’ Top Routes This November
All of Alaska’s fleet are narrowbody aircraft. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

There is a relatively sizable overlap between the top routes by flight numbers and the top routes by seat count. Much of this is because Alaska has a tendency to schedule mostly mainline aircraft to fly many of these routes, such as between Seattle and Anchorage. This is in contrast to what some other airlines see, like United Airlines.

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What about international flights?

Alaska Airlines mostly operates short- and medium-haul international services. Here are the top 15 routes:

  1. Seattle (SEA) to Vancouver (YVR) with 70 flights scheduled
  2. Los Angeles (LAX) to San José del Cabo (SJD) with 63 flights scheduled
  3. San Francisco (SFO) to San José del Cabo (SJD) with 45 flights scheduled
  4. San Diego (SAN) to San José del Cabo (SJD) with 41 flights scheduled
  5. Seattle (SEA) to San José del Cabo (SJD) with 41 flights scheduled
  6. Los Angeles (LAX) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) with 35 flights scheduled
  7. Seattle (SEA) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) with 34 flights scheduled
  8. San Jose (SJC) to San José del Cabo (SJD) with 32 flights scheduled
  9. Los Angeles (LAX) to Cancun (CUN) with 32 flights scheduled
  10. Seattle (SEA) to Cancun (CUN) with 32 flights scheduled
  11. San Jose (SJC) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) with 28 flights scheduled
  12. Seattle (SEA) to Calgary (YYC) with 27 flights scheduled
  13. Los Angeles (LAX) to Guadalajara (GDL) with 26 flights scheduled
  14. Portland (PDX) to San José del Cabo (SJD) with 24 flights scheduled
  15. Portland (PDX) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) with 23 flights scheduled
An Inside Look At Alaska Airlines’ Top Routes This November
Alaska’s top 15 international routes. Mexico stands out with the greatest number of routes with the most number of services this month. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

Alaska Airlines is not a large carrier when it comes to international flights. Given its focus as a West Coast airline, geographically, it mainly operates flights to Canada and Mexico. There is also a sizable number of point-to-point demand that the airline targets between the West Coast and some of these top vacation destinations, like Puerto Vallarta or San José del Cabo.

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