Internet Travel Monitor - Marketing, Research & Tech
October 11, 2017
Virgin America Flights Become Alaska Next April
Alaska Airlines will operate all Virgin America flights as its own from 25 April 2018, with users of Virgin America's website directed to Alaska's site from that day, the Seattle-based carrier confirms.
"Alaska Airlines has posted the new Airbus schedule for flights after April 24," Alaska says in an internal memo to employees obtained by FlightGlobal. "The flights will be Alaska flights and will only be available through Alaska channels… or through travel agencies and booking sites."
"Guest who try to book an Airbus flight scheduled for after April 24 through Virgin America's website or app will be redirected to Alaskaair.com," it adds.
Alaska confirms the move, when contacted by FlightGlobal.
Virgin America, which Alaska acquired in late 2016, operates Airbus A320 family narrowbodies, while Alaska Airlines operates an all-Boeing 737 fleet.
"Today, we took an important step closer to completed our merger with Virgin America by combining our flight inventories into one," Alaska managing director of process engineering Sandy Stelling says in the memo.
Alaska, on its website, sells Virgin America flights until 24 April 2018. The next day, it lists and sells those same flights as Alaska flights.
In early September, Alaska chief executive Brad Tilden said that he expects to merge Alaska and Virgin onto a single operating certificate on 11 January 2018.
The company intends to merge the airlines into a single passenger service system by the second quarter of 2018.
On 25 April it expects to bring both Alaska Airlines and its Virgin America subsidiary into the same passenger service system, meaning the company will have a single "inventory of flights, one customer website (alaskaair.com), one mobile app and only Alaska kiosks", it says.
Copyright 2017 FlightGlobal. All rights reserved. From http://www.flightglobal.com. By Jon Hemmerdinger.
To view the Internet Travel Monitor Archive, click https://www.tripinfo.com/ITM/index.html.