Daily nonstop flights will connect Boise to Chicago and Austin; new service scheduled between Seattle and two new destinations: Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Redding, California
New Routes Out Of Seattle And Boise
On June 17, Alaska will begin daily nonstop service between Boise and Chicago, and between Boise and Austin. Both routes will be flown year-round with Horizon Air’s Embraer 175 jet and its three-class cabin. With these new flights, Alaska will have 28 daily departures to 12 cities from Boise this year.
The flights between Idaho’s largest city to the Windy City will allow Alaska’s guests to connect to American Airlines’ domestic and international network. With Alaska joining American in the oneworld alliance on March 31, guests can expect a seamless travel experience.
“Alaska has long been Boise’s largest carrier and we’re excited to grow our presence with new eastward connections,” said Brett Catlin, Alaska Airlines vice president of network and alliances. “As Boise continues to grow its diverse and vibrant economy, we look forward to serving the needs of the community with nonstop flights, low fares and great service.”
Alaska’s new service between Boise and Austin will connect two capital cities with robust tech economies. The airline is also adding an additional daily flight between Boise and Sacramento.
“Alaska Airlines’ announcement today is a testament to their commitment to grow with the Treasure Valley. The new flights open up markets and create greater connectivity for Boise’s residents and visitors,” said Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp. “The Boise Airport looks forward to continuing our strong partnership with Alaska Airlines long into the future.”
Two new destinations are coming to Alaska’s schedule this summer: Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Redding, California. Both locations offer excellent outdoor opportunities, especially this summer as more and more travelers search for open spaces to spread their wings. Idaho Falls is the western gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and Redding in Northern California provides easy access to Mt. Shasta and the Redwoods.
The year-round service will connect both Idaho Falls and Redding to Seattle on Horizon’s Q400 turboprop aircraft starting on June 17. Idaho Falls currently does not have a year-round flight to any West Coast airport, and this new service will be the only nonstop flight between Seattle and Redding.
How Alaska Airlines Does Route Expansion
Alaska Airlines is always looking for underserved markets to bring new services to. The airline owns its own regional airline – Horizon Air that operates under a capacity use agreement. In this relationship, Alaska Airlines markets the flights and sells the tickets. They contract with Horizon to provide the aircraft and flight crews. In addition to the aircraft and personnel at Horizon Air, Horizon contracts with Skywest to supply additional resources. This unique relationship allows Horizon to realign and reposition crews and aircraft through its network on short notice. Using this method allows Alaska Aircraft to test new markets with very little investment. If these routes work, Alaska will grow the routes and if successful, they can replace the regional aircraft with mainline Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 aircraft.
Flying the Embraer E-175 is an excellent aircraft to fly long and thin routes. Alaska can offer three-class, jet service in the 76 passenger market.
The Bombardier Q400 is a 76-passenger turboprop that has exceptional fuel economy for short-range feeder flights like Seattle to Idaho Falls and Seattle to Redding where the market really needs to be tested for long-term success.
In the changing landscape of travel where airlines have been cutting back on service, Alaska is testing the waters for expansion. Alaska has the methodology to test new markets for both popularity and capacity using regional aircraft. The airline evaluates the success of new market testing and can switch to mainline Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft if successful.
For the people that live in Boise, ID and Redding, CA, it gives them new airline services to serve their communities.