American Airlines partners up with Alaska to strengthen position in Seattle

Following the news that American Airlines has extended its partnership with Alaska to close the gap on Delta;

Ralph Hollister, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“After Delta recently acquired a 20% stake in American’s long-time South American partner LATAM Airlines, American’s extended partnership with Alaska allows the airline to increase its presence in Seattle, a stronghold of Delta’s.

“Delta has been aggressively expanding at Seattle in recent years, driven by the addition of new domestic destinations as well as more flights and larger aircraft operating between existing routes.

“The tie-up includes a new daily route to Bangalore operated by American from Seattle. India is still a developing market for the American airline industry and overcapacity may threaten this route due to relatively unknown demand.

“A key benefit of this new route from Seattle is that it is one which Delta does not operate. As well as a new flight to London Heathrow, this could signal further American expansion from Seattle for long haul flights, with Alaska providing domestic feeder routes.

“If this codeshare partnership continues to evolve and is successful, there is a possibility that American may consider the acquisition of Alaska Airlines, so it can gain full control of the domestic and international network.”

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