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Alaska has long been the dominant carrier in Seattle, and all seemed fine in the Emerald City until about five years ago, when Delta came to town. Friends became frenemies, and come May, frenemies will become actual enemies, as Alaska and Delta will end codesharing and the ability to earn points on each other’s flights. You could say the Battle for Seattle is heating up, especially in light of Delta’s newest announcement.

(READ MORE:  Delta adds 7 new routes from Seattle)

Given Delta’s inroads into Alaska’s largest hubs, Alaska has really been on a network diversification kick. With their acquisition of Virgin America, we’ll see growth from San Francisco, and finally, Portland, the oft-overlooked hub down I-5, will start to see some growth over the summer.

Over the spring/summer of 2017 we’ll see the following additions:

  • Starting May 22, seasonal service to Philadelphia, PA (PHL) with Boeing 737-800/900ER equipment
  • Starting June 5, seasonal service to Milwaukee, WI (MKE) with Skywest Embraer E-175 equipment
  • Starting June 6, seasonal service to Baltimore, MD (BWI) with Boeing 737-800 equipment
  • Starting August 18th, year round service to Albuquerque, NM (ABQ) with Skywest Embraer E-175 equipment

New Alaska routes out of Portland, OR. Green lines are summer seasonal, blue line is year round service. Map courtesy of

In terms of competition, Alaska will face competition on three of the four routes:

  • Albuquerque: Southwest Airlines
  • Baltimore: Southwest Airlines (seasonal service as well)
  • Philadelphia: American Airlines (seasonal service as well)

These four routes represent an additional ~500 seats out of Portland everyday, which may sound small, but that’s about the total number of seats jetBlue or Frontier offer IN TOTAL from the airport (based on cursory searches, I’m sure the internet will correct me if I’m wrong 🙂 ).

Remember, with the new Alaska award chart, you’ll need at least:

  • 15,000 points for a PDX-ABQ roundtrip flight
  • 20,000 points for a PDX-MKE roundtrip flight
  • 25,000 points for either a PDX-BWI or a PDX-BWI roundtrip flight

(READ MORE:  Alaska Airlines award chart keeps getting better)

I really hope these flights are successful, and Portland continues to grow. Any PDX-based readers–what’s on your Alaska wishlist for your airport? Let us know below!


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