Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Alaska Airlines ending several California routes

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 (c/n 2800) N625AV (ex-Virgin America "Jefferson Airplane") on short final to Rwy 25L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on February 7, 2018.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Alaska Airlines is ending service on several California routes as it looks to both cut underperforming routes and harmonize its schedule with merger partner Virgin America.

Four routes are from San Francisco, where non-stops to Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Mexico City will end by mid-June. Another San Francisco route — to Cancun — ended this month.

Two routes from Southern California — Los Angeles-Orlando and San Diego-Mexico City — will be discontinued by summer.

The adjustments come as the lucrative California market has become increasingly competitive, especially since Alaska Airlines’ acquisition of Virgin America made it one of the top carriers in the state.

Alaska Airlines said the changes don’t indicate a pullback. Spokeswoman Ann Johnson said Alaska has added 34 new routes from the state since the Virgin America deal closed in December 2016. Of the additions made since then, only four are being discontinued. “That’s a pretty great success rate,” Johnson said.

Other routes that are ending — such as Denver-San Francisco — were launched by Virgin America prior to the merger. Those markets, Johnson said, are being eliminated as part of an effort “to optimize the schedule” as the carriers’ operations are blended together.

(Ben Mutzabaugh - USA Today / Today in the Sky) 

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