Just as Delta has been adding a number of new routes at Seattle-Tacoma in a tit-for-tat rivalry with its erstwhile “partner” Alaska Airlines, it has adopted the same tactic following Southwest Airlines’ announcement that it will begin service this fall from Oakland to Delta’s Atlanta hub.
Less than two weeks after Southwest said it will launch daily Oakland-Atlanta flights on November 1 comes word that Delta will start flying the same route effective October 1. Delta already serves the Oakland-Los Angeles and Oakland-Salt Lake City markets.
By the way, Southwest tells us that when its new Oakland-Atlanta route starts, it will discontinue its existing service between San Francisco International and Atlanta.
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Meanwhile, ultra-low-cost Spirit Airlines is growing at Oakland as well, with plans to launch twice-daily OAK-Los Angeles service November 12. Spirit already flies from Oakland to Las Vegas, Chicago and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Getting back to Seattle, Delta just announced four new routes from Sea-Tac, including daily service to Boston starting next April; daily flights to Orlando beginning December 19; three daily roundtrips to Pasco, Wash., as of November 1; and three a day to Victoria, B.C. starting April 4, 2016. In addition, Delta said on August 1 it will increase its Seattle-Bozeman/Yellowstone, Mont,. service from once a week to once a day.
Alaska Airlines’ next round of expansion at SEA comes July 1, when it will begin daily non-stops to Milwaukee and Oklahoma City.
The ongoing rivalry between Alaska and Delta is giving Seattle-area residents dozens of new air travel options as they pile on new routes. In fact, passenger traffic at Sea-Tac is expected to reach 42 million this year, a gain of 8 million from 2014 levels, making it one of the nation’s fastest-growing airports.
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