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Alaska Airlines to Boost West Coast Presence With New Routes

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In a bid to expand its presence in the West Coast, Alaska Air Group’s (ALK - Free Report) wholly-owned subsidiary — Alaska Airlines — announced that it intends to start operating additional non-stop flights between the Pacific Northwest and the states of Alaska and California next year.

In fact, the carrier has been looking to strengthen its West Coast presence ever since it acquired Virgin America in 2016 as part of its objective to compete with the likes of United Airlines (UAL - Free Report) , Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) and Southwest Airlines (LUV - Free Report) in the area.

As part of the latest expansion move, Alaska Airlines aims to add eight new routes connecting the “vibrant Pacific Northwest communities” with California cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. For instance, there will be two daily departures from Spokane to Los Angeles and San Francisco each.

While some of the above flights (for example, Spokane to Los Angeles) will start operations from Jan 7, 2020, most others (for example, Spokane to San Francisco, Missoula to Los Angeles) will take to the skies from Mar 19. However, flights connecting Anchorage and San Francisco will begin operations from Apr 21. Alaska Airlines will utilize Embraer 175 jets to operate most flights on the new routes. Notably, these planes have only window and aisle seating.

Alaska Airlines also aims to increase flight frequencies in several existing markets as part of its expansion initiative. For instance, the company will operate daily non-stop flights connecting San Diego and Orlando from Jan 7, 2020, as opposed to the current five times a week service. An additional flight connecting San Francisco and Orange County, California, will be launched on the same day.

A second daily flight connecting San Francisco and Chicago O'Hare will operate from Mar 21. Similarly, the daily nonstop flights between San Diego and San Jose will increase from four to six from Mar 19. Further, Alaska Airlines will start operating a second daily flight connecting San Diego and Boston from May 21.

Zacks Rank

Alaska Air Group carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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