August 10, 2022
Alaska Airlines Joins Big Leagues: Offers Long Haul Flights To Australia

Alaska Airlines Joins Big Leagues: Offers Long Haul Flights To Australia

MIAMI — Alaska Airlines will begin selling inter-continental tickets through its partnership with Qantas Airways (QF), marking the first time the Seattle-based carrier has ever offered its passengers long haul connectivity.

Starting March 01, 2019, the airline will display its AS code on a number of Qantas flights, including Los Angeles (LAX) to Brisbane (BNE) and Melbourne (MEL), San Francisco (SFO) to Sydney (SYD) and Melbourne, as well as from Sydney to Honolulu (HNL).

Qantas is the first partner to allow Alaska Airlines the possibility to codeshare beyond the carrier’s over-land network.

Until now, only American Airlines had the codeshare exclusivity with the Australian carrier. From now on, passengers will be able to book a seat on a Qantas Airways flight through an Alaska Airlines ticket office or website.

From A Merger To An Overseas Expansion

Since Alaska Airlines merged with Virgin America, the combined carrier has been on a positive track, posting profits and taking delivery of brand-new planes to feed its ever growing network.

In addition to its financial strength and growth, the individual high customer satisfaction reputation could undoubtedly drive Alaska to become a major member of the market.

Per the Airline Quality Rating in 2017, an annual report on airline performance, Alaska ranked as the best airline in the country.

These statistics were pulled by an impressively high on-time rating of 82% (the third highest in the U.S.), as well as an incredibly low rate of baggage mishandling.

Since then, the airline increased its route network and cities served, growing to almost 30 destinations in the Great Plains, South, and East Coast of the United States, from towns as small as Wichita to cities as large as New York City.

The airline has positioned itself as one of the top players in the US West Coast, with major hubs in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles—most of which are served by airlines such as Qantas Airways, also actively looking for new traffic feeders.

From there, Alaska Airlines flies to more than six destinations on the East Coast, as well as to a myriad of Central cities in America, to Hawaii, and to Alaska. However, the airline has focused most of its efforts in connecting the Western side of the US with high levels of efficiency.

Alaska’s lack of international flight offerings has inherently put it behind the other US Big League players, namely Delta, United, and American.

But things are about to change.

Expanding Frontiers

The new ability that the Australian carrier has granted Alaska can be a prelude of major things to happen with the US carrier, which has been known to partner with numerous major airlines to feed its vast domestic network.

Other than Qantas, Alaska Airlines has active partnerships with other international big players, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Finnair, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, and Singapore Airlines, among others.

Photo: Bill Larkins

Alaska’s new extended routes to Australia pose as a tremendous expansion for a carrier that has only operated narrow-body planes in a conservative network.

Should this code share agreement replicate with other partners, Alaska is well on its way to become an important threat to other operators in the market.

Commercial Pilot, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Aviation MBA, Globetrotter, AS Roma fan, and in my free time, I fly the Airways Ship.

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