0 min left

United Reclaims San Francisco Ground With Service Expansion

Responding to Alaska Airlines’ growth, United adds additional flights and larger aircraft to destinations.

Alaska Airlines could face another growth challenge from yet another competitor in a city added through its purchase of Virgin America. In a press release, United Airlines announced that it would expand service to 18 domestic destinations over the summer of 2017.

Shortly after the Alaska-Virgin America merge closed, the combined carrier announced that it would add 13 new routes at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), including those to Mexico City, New Orleans and Philadelphia. In what would appear to be a response, United announced it would also expand service from SFO to 18 destinations by either adding new daily flights or expanding to bigger aircraft.

From its international hub, the Chicago-based carrier will add considerable flights to two of Alaska’s stronghold cities, growing to 10 daily flights to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and nine daily flights to Portland International Airport (PDX) by August 15. United will also expand flights to Philadelphia to three per day, competing directly with Alaska’s announced service.

United passengers on new routes added by Alaska are not the only ones benefiting. Those traveling to ten other cities will also see an upgrade in larger aircraft. Destinations seeing new aircraft include those that compete with other carriers, including Santa Barbara, Calif. And Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Others are flights where United is expanding, including Minneapolis, Minn., where the airline previously began their basic economy experiment.

While the new service appears to be a direct shot at Alaska’s growth, the Seattle-based carrier is not new to fighting against competitors for passengers. In 2014, the airline was embroiled in a similar battle with then-partner Delta Air Lines, which ultimately led to the unraveling of their service alliance.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.