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Alaska Takes Off With Hainan Airlines Partnership, Reduces Dependence on Delta

Alaska is allying with Hainan Airlines, allowing its customers to access more destinations in China and reducing its reliance on Delta.

Mileage Plan members loyal to Alaska Airlines will soon have a new set of destinations to fly to on miles. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports the Seattle-based carrier has entered into a frequent-flyer partnership with China’s Hainan Airlines.

Under the terms of the pact, which was announced Wednesday, members of Alaska’s Mileage Plan loyalty program will earn miles when they fly with Hainan. To celebrate the new partnership, Alaska is offering customers the chance to earn double miles on all Hainan flights from July 23 through October 31.

Mileage Plan members will have the opportunity to use their miles to book award travel on Hainan beginning in November, with reciprocal status recognition expected by Autumn 2015.

“Alaska is expanding its international partner portfolio with the addition of Hainan,” said Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for Alaska said in a press release. “Hainan offers business and main cabin service with distinctly Chinese touches such as traditional tea service, which will appeal to our culture-savvy Northwest customers.”

Some experts in the travel industry believe the move to be a shot at former partner Delta Air Lines, as the relationship between the airlines continues to deteriorate. Last year, Alaska announced decreased Mileage Plan earnings while flying the Atlanta-based carrier, while Delta announced a goal of expanding their presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

“This reduces Alaska’s dependence on Delta as a mileage partner,” travel consultant Steve Danishek told the Puget Sound Business Journal. “We assume that the Alaska-Delta mileage tie-up will eventually fail, perhaps pushed along by this.”

[Photo: Alaska Airlines]


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edgewood49 July 26, 2015

I was changing a reservation and the agent told me they expected by the fall to enable reservations ! So the question is do you fly old smelly metal or new with real service ? Gee "Richard" what would you do !!!

starflyer July 25, 2015

With Delta continuing to devalue their frequent flyer program at an alarming rate, one more reason to switch to Alaska or other airlines.

edgewood49 July 24, 2015

This is great ! But then DL/AA/UA might add this to their "Open Skies" argument!! All kidding aside nice move AS.