Alaska Airlines to launch nonstop from Portland to Atlanta

Alaska Airlines Expands into Delta Air Lines Territory with New Atlanta Route

Alaska Airlines is making a bold move by adding a new cross-country flight to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which is considered prime Delta Air Lines territory. Starting on October 1st, Alaska will launch nonstop service to Atlanta from its hub at Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon. This daily flight will operate year-round, further expanding Alaska’s transcontinental route network out of Portland.

The decision to add this Atlanta route comes as Alaska continues to grow its presence in key markets. In addition to the new service to Atlanta, Alaska will also be launching nonstop flights to Nashville International Airport (BNA) next month. This move follows the successful launch of a Portland nonstop route from Miami International Airport (MIA) in November.

Kirsten Amrine, Alaska’s vice president of revenue management and network planning, expressed excitement about the new Atlanta route, stating, “We’re always looking for ways to connect the Rose City to other destinations across our network. We believe our flights to Atlanta will be a popular addition for our guests heading to the South.”

However, the Atlanta route is not just about connecting Portland to the South. It also represents a significant incursion into Delta’s home turf. Alaska’s scheduled seats to Atlanta this year are expected to increase by 32% from 2023, according to data from aviation analytics firm Cirium. This growth is driven by the addition of nonstop routes to Atlanta from both Portland and San Diego International Airport (SAN), with the latter set to launch on May 16th.

Alaska already serves Atlanta from its hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), but the decision to add a Portland-to-Atlanta route signals the airline’s commitment to expanding its presence in key markets and competing head-to-head with Delta.

In addition to Atlanta, Alaska is also expanding its footprint at another Delta hub in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The airline’s seats to MSP are expected to increase by around 42% compared to last year, driven by added capacity between Minneapolis and Alaska’s hubs in Seattle and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

The growth in Portland is another key focus for Alaska Airlines. The airline is dramatically increasing its flight schedule out of Portland, with a 33% year-over-year increase in seats expected for the month of October. This growth is supported by increased frequencies to existing cities on Alaska’s route map out of Portland, including Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS).

Alaska’s commitment to Portland is further underscored by the announcement of an all-new “Flagship Lounge” in the city, set to open between 2025 and 2026. This lounge will offer more than 10,000 square feet of space for travelers to relax and unwind before their flights.

As for the new Portland-to-Atlanta route, here are the itinerary details:

– PDX-ATL: Departs at 9:37 a.m., arrives at 5:12 p.m.
– ATL-PDX: Departs at 7:59 p.m., arrives at 10:14 p.m.

At least initially, Alaska will operate a Boeing 737-900 aircraft on this route, providing travelers with a comfortable and efficient flying experience.

Overall, Alaska Airlines’ expansion into Delta Air Lines territory with the new Atlanta route demonstrates the airline’s commitment to growth and competition in key markets. By adding this cross-country flight to Atlanta, Alaska is not only connecting Portland to the South but also making a strategic move to compete with Delta on its home turf. With further expansion planned in Minneapolis and Portland, Alaska is positioning itself as a formidable player in the airline industry.

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