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Alaska Airlines, American Airlines Announce New West Coast International Alliance

Feb 20, 2020 | Monitor

Alaska’s west coast network to connect with American’s long-haul flying to create more choice for travelers

Alaska Airlines

SEATTLE and FORT WORTH, TX—Alaska Airlines and American Airlines announced an alliance to create more choice for West Coast customers. The expanded relationship between the airlines will offer customers several benefits, including:

  • Alaska Airlines intends to join the oneworld alliance, the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance, by summer 2021, which will connect Alaska guests to more than 1,200 destinations worldwide.
  • American will launch the first service from Seattle to Bangalore, India beginning October 2020. A new American route from Seattle to the global business hub London Heathrow will begin flying in March 2021.
  • The airlines will continue their domestic codeshare that offers customers hassle-free booking and travel between the two networks. The codeshare will expand to include international routes from Los Angeles and Seattle.
  • Alaska and American loyalty members will enjoy benefits across both airlines, including the ability to earn and use miles on both airlines’ full networks, elite status reciprocity, and lounge access to nearly fifty American Admirals Club lounges worldwide and seven Alaska Lounges in the US.

The alliance is anticipated to provide west coast travelers more choices when traveling internationally, offer access across a broader network, and provide strategic growth for both airlines.

“Alaska has always been proud to serve Seattle, the city that we call home. We’re thrilled to give our guests more choice, broader use of loyalty benefits, and seamless global service with American and oneworld,” said Ben Minicucci, president of Alaska Airlines. “Additionally, international service to global business and tech hubs Heathrow and Bangalore is a tremendous win for the growing Seattle region and the West Coast.”

“Alaska Airlines has been an outstanding partner for nearly forty years, and we’re excited to expand West Coast international service together,” said Robert Isom, president of American Airlines. “By connecting American’s strength in long-haul international flying and Alaska’s presence across the West Coast, we will build a better network for our customers than either airline could build alone. Together, we will deliver more value, benefits and choice for customers across the US and around the globe.”

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Alaska Business April 2021 Cover

April 2021

Alaska Seeks Full oneworld Membership

Once approved to join the oneworld network, Alaska Airlines’ membership will allow Alaska Mileage Plan loyalty members to earn and redeem miles through oneworld’s more than 1,200 international destinations. The alliance enables reciprocal benefits on other member airlines, such as priority check-in and boarding, access to preferred seats, and free checked bags.

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Seattle: An International Gateway

Seattle’s first-ever direct flight to Bangalore will be available for purchase later this month, with daily flights beginning October 2020. Daily service between Seattle and London Heathrow will be available for purchase in May 2020 for flights starting March 2021.

“Beginning West Coast international service from Seattle will complement American’s strong existing international network from LAX,” said Vasu Raja, American’s senior vice president, network strategy. “India is a grossly underserved market, despite the number of businesses with a major presence in both India and the West Coast. By adding Seattle to Bangalore, we’re giving customers from more than seventy US cities access to India in one stop or less—versus the two, three, or four stops they’d have to make to get there in the past.”

Alaska and American will continue their domestic codeshare relationship, which was scheduled to shrink in March of 2020. The airlines will expand codeshare to West Coast international routes from Seattle and Los Angeles for broader international access and choice for customers. Codeshare gives customers seamless access to more destinations and reciprocal frequent flyer program benefits. Customers with lounge membership will enjoy shared access to nearly fifty American Admirals Club lounges worldwide and seven Alaska Lounges in the US for same-day travel on American or Alaska flights.

“This alliance further opens the world for Alaska Airlines guests, whether traveling for business or pleasure,” said Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Alaska Airlines. “And importantly for our employees, and the communities we serve, this West Coast international alliance enables Alaska’s continued independent growth. As we’ve shared, we’re focused on delivering for our guests over the long-term—which means continued profitable growth to enable new aircraft and new opportunities. This supports those goals and is an important step on the path.”

The implementation of the expanded relationship and other arrangements is subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive documentation and governmental review.

Alaska Business Magazine April 2021 Cover

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Alaska Business has been celebrating the corporations that have a significant impact on Alaska’s economy since 1993. At the time, the corporations weren’t ranked as the list didn’t have specific ranking criteria. Instead, the Alaska Business editorial team held long, detailed, and occasionally passionate discussions about which organizations around the state were providing jobs, owned or leased property, used local vendors, demonstrated a high level of community engagement, and in general enriched Alaska.

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