Alaska Airlines is shifting its service from California to Kona next March. At the same time, Alaska will be adding new non-stop service from San Jose to Puerto Vallarta. Here is a summary of the changes for next Spring:
Discontinued Flights to Kona
Service from both San Francisco (SFO) and Sacramento (SMF) will be discontinued. Note that these flights were not operated daily.
Additional Flights to Kona
Alaska will move the aircraft to support additional flights to Kona (KOA) from San Jose (SJC) and San Diego (SAN). Both airports will offer daily service to Kona. The schedules below have not been updated to daily service as of today. I have been watching Alaska Airlines grow San Diego into a hub for Hawaii and transcontinental flights. Here are the new schedules for March, 2020:
New Service to Puerto Vallarta
Alaska Airlines will be adding a new route from San Jose (SJC) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) beginning March 19, 2020. This new daily service is subject to Government approval will be operated by Airbus A-320 aircraft.
Why Alaska is Making the Changes
Daniel Chun, the director of Sales, Community and Public Relations explains the changes this way:
The airline’s overall California-Kona service, however, will not be impacted, as Alaska also will increase frequency of Kona service between both San Jose and San Diego. The San Jose and San Diego routes will be offered daily beginning in March.
“There is not a net decrease in service. It’s still the same amount of flying to Kona — the same amount of seats, the same amount of planes,”
“We really look at demand and where our guests want to go — so that is the goal for us, to make sure that we are going to the places that our guests want to go when they want to go. There’s more demand for both of those markets, San Jose and San Diego, than San Francisco and Sacramento to Kona … That is really what this change is about.”
My Take on the Changes
California continues to be a high-demand market for both Hawaii and Mexico. There are always fluctuations in seasonal demand so airlines typically move aircraft around to meet new demands in service. Alaska is still building San Diego into a larger hub which is great for those living in San Diego and South Orange Counties so they can avoid the I-405 traffic north to Los Angeles International Airport and Orange County – John Wayne Airport. The discontinued routes don’t seem to be influenced by Southwest Airlines expansion of Hawaii service. It looks like the moves are changes to seasonal markets.