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Alaska Airlines announced Tuesday that it will be ending its flights from Dallas-Love Field (DAL) to both New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Washington, DC’s Reagan Airport (DCA). The flights will end this fall, Alaska CEO Brad Tilden said in the airline’s first quarter earnings call, saying the routes were “not strategic” for the company at this time.
The Seattle-based carrier said it would lease the open slots at both airports to Southwest Airlines. The 10-year lease begins in October and has been approved by the US Justice Department, Bloomberg reports.
It’s not yet clear what destinations Southwest will serve with the two new East Coast slots, but it means six new round-trip flights at LGA and four new round-trips at DCA. The takeoff and landing opportunities at the two busy airports are not up for grabs often. “We expect to share details in the coming weeks about the additional Southwest service made possible by this transaction,” a Southwest spokesperson told TPG in an email.
The changes are part of Alaska’s merger with Virgin America. It effectively means the end of any Alaska service at LGA, as the route to DAL is the carrier’s only one at LaGuardia. (Alaska does, however, operate several routes out of New York [JFK] and Newark [EWR]).
At DCA, Alaska will still offer service to Seattle (SEA), San Francisco (SFO), Portland (PDX) and Los Angeles (LAX).
Alaska originally inherited the LGA-DAL and DCA-DAL routes from Virgin America, which established them in 2014. When Virgin America operated the flights, it used Airbus A319/A320 aircraft. When Alaska took over, it changed the flights to regional routes using Embraer 175-LRs.
Before trimming these two routes, Alaska had been beefing up its service out of DAL. Last year, the carrier added nonstop routes from DAL to PDX, San Jose (SJC), San Diego (SAN) and two daily flights to SEA.
H/T: Travel Codex
Featured image by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images.
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