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On the move to Maui

Alaska Airlines launching service

to third Hawaii destination July 17

April 7, 2008


By Paul McElroy


Alaska Airlines today announced it will offer new service between Seattle and Anchorage and Maui, the carrierâ€s third destination in Hawaii. Year-round daily flights to Kahului on the island of Maui are scheduled to begin July 17 from Seattle. Flights from Anchorage will operate on Fridays and Saturdays from Oct. 31 to April 25, 2009. Tickets will be available for purchase starting April 10.


“When we announced the start of our long-awaited service to Honolulu and Kauai last year, our customers were delighted, and they immediately began asking when Alaska Airlines would offer flights to Maui and other destinations in Hawaii,” said Gregg Saretsky, executive vice president of flight and marketing. “The time has come for us to expand the leisure travel options we can offer our customers and Mileage Plan members.”



Maui sunsets are the best.

Alaska Airlines†decision to expand its Hawaii service comes after Aloha and ATA Airlines ceased operations last week. The two former carriers flew between the Islands and several Mainland cities, including Oakland, Orange County, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Diego .


“Capacity between the West Coast and Hawaii is down 20 percent,” said Brad Tilden, executive vice president of planning and finance. “We think there will be significant reshuffling by airlines with Hawaii service. Weâ€re pleased to offer these additional flights and our intent is to continue evaluating our Hawaii service for travelers from the Pacific Northwest and the state of Alaska.”


Last Thursday, Hawaiian Airlines announced it will begin daily Boeing 767 service between Oakland and Honolulu starting May 1, replacing service formerly handled by Aloha and ATA. Other carriers that fly between California and Hawaii include American, Delta, Continental and United.


“We donâ€t view California-to-Hawaii as a market in which we can be successful long term,” Saretsky said. “There are too many entrenched competitors and tremendous capacity already available. Our flying has always performed better when we supported it from a base of strength and with lots of feed traffic."


In addition, Alaska Airlines Vacations offers a full line of vacation packages for travel to the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. Packages include air transportation, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and tours. Employees are eligible for a 10-percent discount on Alaska Airlines Vacations packages.


Alaska Airlines†flights from Seattle will depart daily at 8:20 a.m. Pacific time and arrive at 11:35 a.m. Hawaii time. Return flights will depart at 1:05 p.m. Hawaii time and arrive at 9:45 p.m. Pacific time.


Flights from Anchorage will depart Fridays and Saturdays at 2:20 p.m. Alaska time and arrive in Maui at 6:35 p.m. Hawaii time. Return flights will depart at 8:45 p.m.Hawaii time and arrive at 5 a.m. Alaska time.


Alaska Airlines is working with the local Kahului Airport management to secure the use of ticket counter, gate and other necessary space, said Ed White, vice president of corporate real estate.


The aircraft to fly the routes will be allocated from existing capacity, according to Bruce Tecklenburg, director of schedule planning. The airline will also equip at least two more 737-800s scheduled for delivery this fall for extended operations (ETOPS). To launch Seattle-Maui service this summer, the airline will use the ETOPS-equipped aircraft that normally flies to Cancún during the winter.


“Given that we expect Maui to be a high-demand market, seats in lower fare categories, including V class, will be very limited,” said John MacLeod, managing director of revenue management. “We recognize that Hawaii is extremely popular with our employees as well as our customers. However, our revenue must be high enough to ensure our new services are profitable and sustainable.”

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