MIAMI – Delta Air Lines (DL) is expanding in Alaska with several new routes to Anchorage (ANC) and Fairbanks (FAI) along with increased frequencies on existing routes.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hinder travel demand, airlines are expecting to see an uptick in travel over the summer. As customers become confident in traveling again, airlines are adding more capacity and restoring routes, especially to domestic and leisure destinations. Today, DL has revealed expanded Alaska flying which reflects on this strategy.

Delta Air Lines is launching four new routes to Alaska:

  • Weekend Detroit (DTW) to Anchorage starting May 28, 2021.
  • Weekend Los Angeles (LAX) to Anchorage starting May 28, 2021.
  • Weekend New York (JFK) to Anchorage starting May 28, 2021.
  • Daily Salt Lake City (SLC) to Fairbanks starting May 5, 2021.

Delta will be the sole carrier on the Detroit to Anchorage and Salt Lake City to Fairbanks flights. However, they will face competition from Eastern Airlines on the New York to Anchorage route and both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines on the Los Angeles to Anchorage route.

Delta Air Lines N908DN Boeing 737-900ER | Photo: Otto Kirchof/Airways

Delta Increases Alaska Flights

Along with the four new Alaska routes, DL is increasing flights on existing routes and will extend several from seasonal to year-round.

Increased Anchorage (ANC) Flights:

  • Year-round Seattle (SEA) to Anchorage increases up to 7 daily flights from June 19, 2021.
  • Minneapolis (MSP) to Anchorage gains a third daily flight from May 5, 2021.
  • Salt Lake City to Anchorage goes year-round beginning May 5, 2021.
  • Salt Lake City to Anchorage gains a second summer seasonal flight starting June 19, 2021.

Increased Fairbanks (FAI) Flights:

  • Seattle to Fairbanks receives a third flight from June 19, 2021.
  • Minneapolis to Fairbanks doubles with a second daily flight from June 19, 2021.

Other carriers are increasing their flights to Alaska in anticipation of growing demand this summer. American Airlines will use the Boeing 787-9 on its Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Anchorage flight and Alaska Airlines is expanding its Anchorage to Phoenix (PHX) route from seasonal to year-round.

Delta Airlines N172DZ Boeing 767-332(ER) | Photo: Ryan Scottini/Airways

Delta’s Returning Alaska Routes

Delta Air Lines is also resuming several Alaska routes this summer. Starting May 5, the airline will resume daily nonstop service between its Atlanta (ATL) hub and Anchorage with the Boeing 767-300ER. During the fall, the flight decreases to three times per week.

This summer, DL will resume daily flights from Seattle to Alaska’s capital, Juneau (JUN), with the Boeing 737-800. Additionally, the airline will restore daily flights from Seattle to Ketchikan (KTN) and Sitka (STN) with the Embraer 175.

Delta’s Summer 2021 Alaska Network | Map generated using Great Circle Mapper by Karl L. Swartz.

Competition Heats Up in Alaska

Starting May, American Airlines will also launch two new routes to Fairbanks from Chicago (ORD) and Dallas/Fort Worth. Both of these routes were delayed from 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the airline is set on inaugurating them this year.

Sun Country (SY) will also commence its first flight to Fairbanks from its Minneapolis hub starting in late May. Alaska Airlines is adding three seasonal flights from Las Vegas (LAS), Denver (DEN), and San Francisco this summer.

With doubt casted over the recovery of international travel for certain countries, US airlines are doubling down on new and expanded domestic routes, especially for ones to “sun and fun” destinations such as Florida, Montana, and Alaska.

Featured Image: Delta Air Lines N191DN Boeing 767-300(ER). Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways