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Earlier this week, we reported that Alaska Airlines was committed to keeping Virgin America’s two gates at Dallas-Love Field, which could give them up to 20 flights (or so) per day, in addition to their flights from Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport.
Alaska took no time in waiting to announce new routes, and we’re going to see a pretty large expansion in the next few months.
Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are growing their footprint in the Lone Star State, expanding service to Dallas Love Field from four West Coast airports. With new routes between Love Field and Seattle; San Diego; Portland, Oregon; and San Jose, California, the combined airline will serve eight destinations from Love Field with 18 daily peak season departures, up 40 percent.
You can see the services added below, most of which will be on Skywest Embraer E-175 aircraft.
As you can see, it seems like Alaska is “right-sizing” some of the capacity on their Dallas-Washington D.C. and Dallas-New York routes:
Starting this summer, Virgin America jets will be replaced with a 76-seat E175 jet in two Love Field markets – New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport. On Aug. 27, three-times daily service to New York’s LaGuardia Airport will operate using an E175 and increase to four daily flights on Oct. 28. Starting Feb. 18, twice-daily service to Reagan National Airport will also be replaced with an E175. The third daily Love Field-Washington Reagan National daily trip will continue to be operated by Virgin America until March 11, when SkyWest will take over the evening flight. As part of these schedule changes, Virgin America will permanently exit Love Field-Las Vegas on Aug. 26.
“Optimizing the fleet and matching the right plane to the right market to is one of the key benefits of our merger with Virgin America,” said Kirby. “Prior to merger, Virgin America lacked a regional aircraft to take advantage of mid-sized routes. The fuel-efficient E175 jet has the same amenities and features of a mainline jet and is perfectly suited for Love Field.”
This re-fleeting allows Alaska to open up previously announced routes on Virgin America metal.
All of these routes are served in some capacity by either Southwest at Love Field or American up the road at DFW. It’ll be interesting to see how Alaska competes with these two, more entrenched airlines. I’m sure we’ll see a few fare wars erupt in three, two, one…
I’m really excited to see how this Dallas experiment works out for Alaska–you can bet we’ll cover it here!
Where else would you want to see Alaska fly to? Let us know below!