Alaska Air’s nonstop service from Portland International (PDX) to Baltimore/Washington, Milwaukee and Philadelphia will be seasonal. Flights between Portland and Albuquerque will operate year-round.
"We're super excited to launch four new nonstop daily routes from Portland, further enhancing our offerings for our guests in the Rose City," John Kirby, Alaska's VP of capacity planning, says in a statement. "At 55 nonstop destinations and counting, we continue to connect our valued Portland customers to the places they want to go."
"We're happy that Alaska is once again expanding its network from PDX with four new service announcements," added David Zielke, Port of Portland director of air service development. "Albuquerque, Baltimore and Philadelphia offer Portland-area travelers more convenient nonstop options. And, until now, Milwaukee was one of the top 10 markets to which Portland didn't have nonstop service.”
The details of Alaska Air’s new routes are as follows:
Daily service on Horizon Air-operated Embraer E175 aircraft begins Aug. 18 and will continue all year.
Daily service on Boeing 737 aircraft begins June 6 and runs through Aug. 26.
Daily service on SkyWest-operated Embraer E175 aircraft begins June 5 and runs through Aug. 26. The eastbound flight will be a red-eye, departing Portland at 11:10 p.m. and landing in Milwaukee at 5:02 a.m. (all times local).
Daily service on Boeing 737 aircraft begins May 22 and runs through Aug. 26. The eastbound flight will be a red-eye, departing Portland at 8:39 p.m. and landing in Philadelphia at 4:50 a.m. (all times local).
Alaska Airlines' new Portland service comes just a month after it official closed on its acquisition of San Francisco-based Virgin America. Those two airlines are now set to combine operations in a merger that will make the combined carrier a West Coast juggernaut.
Both Alaska Air and Virgin America enjoy strong customer-service reputations, though the airlines images are otherwise very different. In particular, Virgin America's hip image and mood-light cabin have won it a loyal base of customers.
Alaska Airlines Brad Tilden has said the company has not yet decided whether to fold the Virgin America brand into Alaska Airlines or to find a way to keep each of the brands alive.
“We appreciate that there is great interest in the future of the Virgin America brand among customers and employees alike,” Tilden said to Today in the Sky in December. “This is a big decision and one that deserves months of thoughtful and thorough analysis. We plan to make a decision about the Virgin America brand early next year.”
(Ben Mutzabaugh - Today In The Sky / USA Today)