The acquisition of Virgin America has “propelled” Alaska Airlines Group “five-plus years into the future”, the buyer’s vice-president of capacity John Kirby believes.
Speaking at an airline briefing at World Routes in Barcelona on 24 September, Kirby said the tie-up had given Alaska the “critical mass” it needed to develop its market presence in California – a state of 39 million people.
“It’s given us a strong position, it’s given us a platform for growth, and it’s given us critical mass so we can go out and compete,” says Kirby.
Following the acquisition in December 2016, Alaska announced 37 new destinations to be flown by a combination of mainline and regional partners operating Embraer 175s.
Kirby says these jets allow the airline to operate longer stages than it had previously been able to do with Bombardier Q400s, and says they offer a superior experience in terms of passenger comfort.
The aircraft are being used on routes that are initially “too small” for mainline jets, such as Seattle-Milwaukee, but that “tend to grow” to the point where larger jets can be introduced on to them…Fuente: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/routes-virgin-america-acquisition-propelled-alask-441454/