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AS starts Bellingham-Honolulu

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avrodriver

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Alaska Airlines Announces Bellingham-Honolulu Service

First-ever scheduled flights to Hawaii from Bellingham International Airport will provide convenient option for travelers in Northwestern Washington and Lower Mainland, B.C.


Press Release Source: Alaska Airlines On Monday August 2, 2010, 8:00 am EDT
SEATTLE, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alaska Airlines will inaugurate nonstop service between Bellingham, Wash., and Honolulu, Hawaii, starting Jan. 7, 2011. The daily flights will provide a convenient alternative airport for travelers in Northwestern Washington and Lower Mainland, British Columbia.
"Alaska Airlines is proud to call the Pacific Northwest home. So we're delighted to offer Bellingham its first-ever nonstop scheduled service to Hawaii," said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "Our new Honolulu flights will allow travelers from north of Seattle and the Lower Mainland to take advantage of our low fares, award-winning service and Mileage Plan earning opportunities via an easy-to-access, nearby airport."
Alaska Airlines currently flies between Bellingham and Las Vegas while its sister carrier, Horizon Air, offers Bellingham-Seattle service. Alaska and Horizon customers receive a variety of amenities at no extra charge, including online reservations, advance seat selection, and complimentary inflight water, soft drinks, coffee, tea and snacks.
Summary of new service:
Start Date
City Pair
Departs
Arrives
Frequency

Jan. 7, 2011
Bellingham-Honolulu
5:20 p.m.
9:40 p.m.
Daily

Jan. 7, 2011
Honolulu-Bellingham
10:25 p.m.
6:05 a.m.
Daily
 
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So, what are they going to drop? They don't exactly have a spare 737-800 around for this route.
 
This is definitely an effort to beat Allegiant to the punch. Did a trip into BLI a few weeks ago. The taxiways are being redone and the runway will be closed all of September for resurfacing (which it needs-roughest runway I've landed on in a long time). Allegiant's success there is fueling all the work. They are BIG with Canadians from British Columbia that use it as an alternative to Vancouver. Cheaper and fewer Customs headaches.

And unless Alaska is prepared to offer the Honolulu flights for about $99 bucks each way, Allegiant will kick their ass on that route too.
 
Has Allegiant even announced the service yet? When do they get the first 757? and how long to start ETOPS flights? Alaska will have some time to themselves on that route before Allegiant gets going.
 
Looks like AS isn't starting up till Jan so it will probably be about the time Allegiant is getting ready to kick things off.

Here's a recent article regarding Allegiants plans:

What does Allegiant Air have in mind for their upcoming Hawaii service? We’re anxiously awaiting the announcement on which airports they’ll fly to Hawaii from, and that news is expected shortly. I’m also interested if any of their deals will apply to Hawaii residents traveling to the mainland.
Allegiant Airlines’ Director of Marketing, Chris Stacey, came to the islands recently and spoke at the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) conference. His presentation slideshow has now been posted on the HTA website. Here are some of the items I found of most interest and my thoughts on them.
1. Likely Hawaii target markets (expect last minute changes when schedule is released).

  • Bakersfield
  • Bellingham (Seems certain and opens up the Canadian market)
  • Colorado Springs
  • Fresno
  • Stockton
  • Eugene
2. Unique marketing concepts.

  • Non-stop flights from local/regional, non-traditional airports.
  • Low, low base fares. Allegiant’s fares are currently $70-$80 each way.
  • Unbundled “a la carte pricing” (seat assignments, bags, priority boarding, in flight retail, etc.).
  • High “voluntary spend” (now $32 per passenger per flight).
  • Ancillary sales (hotel, car, and local attractions).
  • Minimal or no market competition.
  • Closed distribution. 85% of purchases are made on allegiantair.com; no on-line travel agency sales.
  • Low flight frequency.
  • No frills, leisure/vacation orientation.
3. Hawaii specifics.

  • Opaque (Priceline-like) hotel model; property name released after purchase.
  • Hawaii is the largest leisure marketing untapped by Allegiant.
  • Routes offered have no existing service.
  • Minimal flights; some seasonal. I don’t expect to see service more than a few days a week to each destination.
  • Sightseeing and attractions to be significant component.
  • Increased reliance on ancillary sales for profitability. This may work well given that Hawaii vacations are typically much longer than those to Las Vegas or Orlando.
 
Holy cow AS actually competing not just rolling over and giving up. Hope all this flying turns into recalls.
 
impressive, sounds just like something a DAL based airline would have done when it still had a leader.
 
Alaska and Horizon customers receive a variety of amenities at no extra charge, including online reservations...

I thought that was funny 'til I looked at Allegiant's fee structure. Sure enough, a $14.99 "Convenience Fee" for booking on their own web site. Add in $10 each way for "Priority Boarding" to get "first pick of the remaining overhead space." $7-15 to pick your seat. Add it all together, and you're as much as $65 over the published fare. Something to factor in when comparing airlines.
 
So, what are they going to drop? They don't exactly have a spare 737-800 around for this route.

It utilizes the airplane overnight. So I'm pretty sure it is an addition. They will have to make the BLI-LAS flights daily and retime the BLI-LAS flight from the evening to the morning southbound, but it should work just fine with the fleet we have.:cool:
 

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