Alaska Airlines lays out plans for growth and simplifying fleet: Travel Weekly

Alaska Airlines plans to phase out its remaining Airbus mainline jets and DeHavilland Dash 8 regional propeller planes by the end of next year. 

It also plans to grow capacity by 4% to 8% per year through 2025.

The goals are part of Alaska Airlines’ 2025 Strategic Plan laid out Thursday for its Investor Day in New York.

The carrier said that a portion of its capacity growth will come from adding depth to its network of 120 destinations across North America and Central America. Like some other airlines, most notably Southwest, Alaska has expanded its route map during the pandemic while reducing frequencies between many city pairs. 

New cities introduced by the carrier during the pandemic include Cincinnati; Fort Myers and Jacksonville, Fla.; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Cold Bay, Alaska; Cancun; and Belize City. 

Alaska was operating its mainline network only on Boeing aircraft prior to its 2016 merger with Virgin America, which flew Airbus planes. The carrier expects that returning to a single fleet type will drive savings by reducing operational complexity. Alaska currently has 45 Airbus A320 planes in its fleet, according to the website 

Similarly, Alaska’s regional subsidiary Horizon will phase out the Dash 8 — also known as the Bombardier Q400 — leaving it with an all-Embraer E175 fleet. Horizon currently has 32 Dash 8s, according to Planespotters. 

Alaska is also citing ongoing and planned airport improvements in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles as a key aspect of its strategic plan. 

For example, Alaska is managing the $400 million North Terminal improvement project at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. The $149 million first phase of that project, which will increase capacity in Alaska’s ticketing area and the associated TSA checkpoint, begins this summer.

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