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Since the approval of the Alaska-Virgin America merger (more a takeover, but that’s neither here nor there) late last year, we’ve seen many ways in which the two airlines plan to become one:
- New Alaska Award Chart Just Keeps Getting Better
- Alaska Airlines publishes award chart for Virgin America flights
- Alaska Airlines announces elite benefits when traveling on Virgin America
Now, we also know what Alaska Airlines plans to do with Virgin America’s two gates at Dallas Love Field: keep them!
Currently, Virgin America serves five destinations from Dallas Love (DAL): Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York-LGA, San Francisco, and Washington-DCA. Alaska currently serves two destinations from Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW): Portland, OR and Seattle, WA.
“We’re keeping both for sure. We love Love Field,” Ben Minicucci, Alaska’s president and Virgin America’s chief executive officer, said in an interview Wednesday.
To me, this is an interesting tactic, and can probably be broken down as follows. I think you will see some West Coast to LGA/DCA connection in the future on Alaska, but I really do see Love Field being more the destination, rather than DFW, which will most likely provide feed to American flights. More simply:
- Dallas-Ft. Worth: Connecting traffic with AA flights
- Dallas-Love: Emphasis on O&D (Origin & Destination) traffic, less focus on connections
Also, remember that Alaska will be limited to two gates at Dallas-Love, which means they’ll be able to fly only ~20 flights a day out of that airport. That will really limit growth potential and require Alaska to be innovative to compete against Southwest.
It’s good to see Alaska keeping the two gates at Dallas-Love, which will hopefully put some pressure (albeit small) on Southwest. I’m curious to see their growth plans and which cities they plan to add or remove.
What do you think? What’s on your Alaska Dallas-Love wishlist? Let us know below!