On 20 June, Seattle-Tacoma Airport celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony the inaugural flight of Alaska Airlines to Tampa, which will be operated daily utilising the carrier’s 737-800s.
Later that day, celebrations continued at Tampa Airport with a Seattle themed cake featuring a giant chocolate space needle and a ribbon cutting ceremony. Cutting the ribbon are: Joe Lopano, CEO, Tampa; Robert Watkins, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tampa; along with Alaska Airlines’ crew on the inaugural flight.
- Alaska Airlines, which in the previous week added nine US services, continued to strengthen its domestic network with the addition of two new routes. Firstly, on 19 June, the carrier inaugurated the 964-kilometre sector from Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) to San Francisco, CA (SFO) with daily operations utilising a mixed fleet of its 124-seat 737-700s, 144-seat 737-400s and 163-seat 737-800s. Secondly, one day later, Alaska launched daily flights from its Seattle-Tacoma, WA (SEA) hub to Tampa, FL (TPA) utilising its 163-seat 737-800s. While the 4,056-kilometre sector to Florida faces no competition, the route to San Francisco is already flown by United Airlines (34 weekly flights) and Delta Air Lines (32 weekly flights). Commenting on the route launch to Tampa, Joe Sprague, SVP Communications and External Relations, said: “We're excited to offer Seattle residents a nonstop trip to the beach. The Tampa Bay Area is the perfect place for people who love to explore whether they want to play along the shore or seek urban adventure in vibrant neighbourhoods. Of course, simply relaxing on a warm beach this weekend sounds pretty nice, too.”