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Alaska Air to fill gap left by Southwest

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on July 29, 2011 at 11:54 am |
July 29, 2011 11:55 am

Alaska Airlines is adding two daily roundtrip flights between Sea-Tac and Spokane and Sea-Tac and Boise in early January.

The new flights will fill the gap left by Southwest Airlines, which intends to quit flying those routes Jan. 8.

Alaska will fly Bombardier Q-400 propjet aircraft on those routes. Southwest had been flying Boeing 737s. Southwest said it wasn’t making money on those routes because its planes weren’t full enough.

Southwest’s planes have 137 seats. The aircraft Alaska will operate will have 76 seats. Substituting those aircraft for Southwest’s Boeing’s will cut capacity on those routes while maintaining schedule frequency.

Alaska and its regional sister airline, Horizon Air, have long battled Southwest on those two routes. In recent years, Southwest has cut its capacity between those city pairs.

Southwest also announced this week it will be ending service between Salt Lake City and Kansas City and Sea-Tac this winter. Both routes have competitors for Southwest. Delta flies between Sea-Tac and Salt Lake City. Frontier connects Kansas City and Sea-Tac.

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