Alaska Airlines is announcing a new twice-weekly service out of Anchorage for the summer. Running on the weekends, the airline will connect Alaska’s largest city to a Delta Air Lines fortress hub: Minneapolis. This move comes after Delta Air Lines announced a large summer expansion across Alaska, encroaching onto Alaska Airlines’ home turf.
Alaska Airlines adds new nonstop out of Anchorage
Alaska Airlines has announced a new seasonal service out of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC). The new service will run to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in Minnesota.
Starting on June 19th, the Anchorage to Minneapolis flight will run on Saturdays and Sundays using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The seasonal service will end on August 15th.
Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president, stated the following on the new route:
“We are looking forward to welcoming more guests to the Great Land in 2021 and expanding service for the residents of Alaska. With a massive network across the state and our naturally socially distanced outdoor spaces, this route offers easy access to Denali, kayaking, sightseeing, and the most sustainably managed fishing in the world. Alaska is a safe and attractive travel destination for friends and family.”
Alaska will face competition from Delta Air Lines and Sun Country Airlines on the route. Sun Country will also fly Boeing 737s on the route, while Delta prefers to fly the Boeing 757 on routes to Anchorage out of Minneapolis.
Alaska continues expansion out of Anchorage
Anchorage is a key hub for Alaska Airlines. This summer, the airline will fly nonstop to 11 destinations in the lower 48 contiguous United States. Aside from Minneapolis, the other flights are to Alaska hubs in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The airline will also fly to American Airlines hubs in Phoenix and Chicago this summer. The remaining flights are to Las Vegas, Denver, Maui, and Honolulu.
Newly-added services for the summer include Las Vegas, Denver, and San Francisco. Maui and Phoenix have been extended to year-round service. So, in general, Alaska has been building up out of Anchorage.
This is great news for ANC, which has sought to grow beyond its incredible strength as a cargo hub and see more passengers go through the airport. As travelers turn to more domestic destinations, Anchorage is getting some love from plenty of airlines.
Taking on Delta Air Lines
About a week ago, Delta Air Lines announced a huge expansion to Alaska. The airline is adding new flights to Anchorage, including from Detroit and New York-JFK, while expanding services to its hubs in Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Minneapolis. Meanwhile, Delta will also be running a widebody service between Atlanta and Anchorage.
Anchorage is sacred ground for Alaska Airlines, and the airline wants to maintain its competitive status at the airport. It is the largest passenger carrier to and from the state, and it wants to keep it that way.
Alaska’s twice-weekly flight will not be a massive hurdle for Delta. Instead, Delta should come out fine from this fight, even with its up to three daily nonstop between the two cities.
Instead, this is Alaska Airlines showing that it is willing to fight against Delta. The two carriers already compete significantly out of Seattle, which is a newer hub for Delta. Minneapolis is not a large connecting hub for Alaska Airlines nor any of its oneworld partners, so Alaska will mostly be targeting origin and destination passengers on this route, with some connections in Anchorage to cities across Alaska.
Will you fly Alaska’s new nonstop between Anchorage and Minneapolis? Let us know in the comments!