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Delta Airlines announces big expansion plans in Alaska

Delta Airlines has announced huge expansion plans in flights to Alaska.

Anchorage is emerging as a strong market for Delta as the airline has announced multiple nonstop flights from the city.

Joe Esposito, Senior Vice President – Network Planning, Delta Airlines said the following on new flights to Alaska:

Delta is looking forward to offering more premier outdoor destinations this summer, including more options to travel to the beautiful state of Alaska, as well as providing access to the lower 48 and beyond through seamless and convenient connections over our hubs. Our extensive network is bolstered by Delta’s commitment to award-winning hospitality, more seat-back entertainment and as always, the health and safety of everyone on board.

Anchorage – A big winner

Starting 28th May, Delta will add a new weekend service to its hubs in New York, Los Angeles and Detroit out of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. From 19th June, Delta’s largest gateway to Alaska, Seattle (SEA), will have seven daily round trips to Anchorage. Seattle to Anchorage is served year-round by Delta.

Minneapolis/St. Paul will have three daily nonstop flights to Anchorage. The third daily flight will begin on 5th May. Also, starting that same day, Delta will offer a year-round nonstop flight from Salt Lake City to Anchorage, with a summer seasonal second daily flight starting on 19th June.

And lastly, Delta will resume daily service to Atlanta out of Anchorage from 5th May. Delta’s Atlanta service will be the longest flight out of Anchorage and the route will be flown by a Boeing 767-300ER featuring Delta One lie-flat seats. Note that in the fall season, Delta will drop this down to three-flights-a-week.

Delta will fly a Boeing B767-300ER between Anchorage and Atlanta. Photo: Wikipedia

Flights out of New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and Minneapolis will be served by Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737-900ER, and Boeing 757-200 jets. While Delta does have a premium Boeing 757 with lie-flat Delta One seating, it appears these flights will run with the standard recliner-style Boeing 757s.

Anchorage airport has been seeking expanded service from passenger carriers for quite some time. Though it is not Delta turning the airport into a connecting hub, the expanded service will allow the airport to tout its new connections across the lower 48, especially to New York City. This is in a way welcome news for the Anchorage airport.

Fairbanks gets new flights

Starting in Summer, the Atlanta-based carrier will offer six nonstop flights from Fairbanks to its various hubs.

From 5th May, Delta is introducing a new daily nonstop route from Salt Lake City to Fairbanks International Airport.

A third daily nonstop flight will start from Seattle to Fairbanks from 19th June. And finally out of Minneapolis, Delta will run a second daily nonstop flight from 19th June.

Additionally, the Salt Lake City and Minneapolis to Fairbanks services are being extended to year round services. As both of these are large hubs for Delta Airlines, passengers from across the US and the world will be able to connect to Fairbanks.

Flights to Fairbanks will also be run by a mix of larger aircrafts like the Boeing B737-900ER. Delta will offer a recliner-style first class, extra-legroom economy, and standard economy. Delta’s mainline aircraft feature seatback entertainment and WiFi.

Flights to Fairbanks will be run by aircrafts like the Boeing B737-900ER. Photo: theflight.info

Delta returns to secondary cities in Alaska

Summer seasonal service from Seattle will run to three additional cities in Alaska. These three cities will see flights from Memorial Day Weekend at the end of May through to the end of September.

Delta will operate one daily flight to Juneau International Airport from Seattle. The service to the capital of Alaska will be run by a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

In addition to Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka will get a daily service to Seattle. Flights to both of these secondary cities in Alaska will be run by a SkyWest-operated Embraer E175 service under the Delta Connection banner.

Flights to Ketchikan and Sitka will be run by a Enbraer E175. Photo: Pinterest

Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka typically get seasonal service from Delta, and the airline is bringing them back in time for the summer of 2021.

Strong competition to Alaska Airlines

Unsurprisingly, the largest airline to operate in and out of Alaska is Alaska Airlines. Alaska has a new, deeper partnership with American Airlines that is leading the two airlines to expand significantly out of Seattle. On the other hand, American Airlines has announced new flights to India, London and China that will be complemented by Alaska’s massive domestic network out of Seattle.

Alaska is a market that is getting a lot of renewed attention from US-based airlines and passengers who are otherwise barred from a lot of international flying.

Alaska primarily is a place where many cruise passengers come, the COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled almost all of those cruises and pushed them off by at least a year.

For there are passengers who still want to fly to Alaska and Delta is putting up a fight with various airlines for those passengers.

Featured image by Delta News Hub

What do you think of Delta’s expansion in Alaska? Let me know in the comments section below.

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