Saturday, November 15, 2008

Delta and Alaska Airlines Announce Code Share Agreement

Alaska Airlines passengers may gain more direct flights to more international destinations in what the airline is calling “a major marketing alliance” to be announced Monday.

The new agreement is with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, which merged with rival Northwest Airlines after getting antitrust approval Oct. 29. Both Delta and Northwest already had code sharing agreements with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, which meant flights could be booked for either of the carriers through Alaska. and vice versa.

One benefit for Alaska is that Delta is now moving some aircraft from redundant routes within the U.S., into less-served and more lucrative international routes, said Steve Danishek, president of TMA Inc., a Seattle-based industry consultant and agent.

These will include Valencia, Spain; Monrovia, Liberia; Cape Town, South Africa, and direct flights to Tokyo from Atlanta, New York and Salt Lake City, he said.

“What it means for Alaska is good news on the feed side, because they can now feed to many more destinations,” Danishek said. “It’s just more options for Alaska, for the mileage holders here.”

Danishek said he doesn’t expect a huge investment into marketing the revamped code share deal.

“This is just jumping on the notoriety of the merger and saying we’re part of that too,” he said of the Monday press conference. “It’s a low-cost way for Alaska Airlines saying there’s more stuff coming for Alaska Airlines passengers.”

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