By Winston Shek
Alaska Airlines Launches Flights to Miami
Alaska Airlines plans to grow its Seattle hub network by adding its 100th destination from the airport: Miami, Florida. The route marks the carrier’s farthest in the continental United States, entering its partner American Airlines’ hub after a 10-year absence, while maintaining its portfolio from its second South Floridian gateway, Fort Lauderdale.
From June 16, 2021, the Seattle-based carrier intends to commence a daily flight to Miami using its Boeing 737-900, showcasing 16 first-class seats, 24 premium class seats and 138 economy class seats. As Alaska Airlines 305, the six-hour flight will depart Seattle in the morning at 7:15 A.M. and arrive in Miami at 4:15 P.M. On the return as Alaska Airlines 708, the flight will depart Miami at 5:40 P.M. and arrive in Seattle at 9:15 P.M.
In July 2012, Alaska Airlines shifted its daily services from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, allowing for the launch of American Airlines’ services between Seattle and Miami. Now, the Alaska Airlines services launched will pair with American Airlines’ services from Seattle to Miami, which have a similar departure schedule from Miami to Seattle, but provide a red-eye departure from Seattle to Miami.
In addition, the Alaska Airlines services will allow passengers to connect with several of Alaska’s Oneworld partners, including American Airlines, to destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America, such as São Paulo or Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In a statement, Brett Caitlin, Alaska Airlines’ Vice President of Network and Alliances, states: “We’ve landed on a perfect location for our 100th nonstop from our home airport in Seattle. Miami is a cultural hub for travelers around the world with its incredible nightlife, art, music, architecture and food. With our new daily nonstop launching in June, we’ll be connecting two cruise capitals just in time for summer while teeing up easy fall getaways to South Florida, the Caribbean and beyond.”
Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines’ second gateway to South Florida, Fort Lauderdale, will see two daily nonstop flights to Seattle during the summer, in addition to winter-seasonal services to Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco and San Diego.
The new flight signifies a string of new endeavors for the Seattle-based carrier in recent months. Last week, Alaska Airlines unveiled an expanded network of flights to Ohio, including a new flight to Cleveland. In addition, the airline announced two new routes from its growing base in Boise last month, including flights to Las Vegas and Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Furthermore, Alaska Airlines has strengthened and grown its codeshare partnerships with its Oneworld members, including British Airways and Iberia. Since its entry into the Oneworld alliance, the Seattle-based carrier added 188 codeshare routes, an increase of 39 percent, to its growing codeshare network.
Alaska Airlines is one of many U.S.-based carriers to start services from Miami since the COVID-19 pandemic. Spirit Airlines launched its first flights in October, becoming the second-largest carrier at the airport with 31 routes. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines established a presence of fourteen destinations during the pandemic with plans to add a new connection to Pittsburgh this winter. Moreover, JetBlue launched five destinations from Miami during the pandemic.
All of these carriers are growing outside of their portfolios in nearby Fort Lauderdale. Both JetBlue and Spirit Airlines hold focus cities at the airport, while Southwest Airlines maintains a sizable presence in Fort Lauderdale.