Among the routes launched by Alaska Airlines this week was a daily connection from San Francisco to Kona in Hawaii, a sector that will be operated by Virgin America’s fleet of A320s. Along with the link to Hawaii, Alaska Airlines has also introduced services to Kansas City and St. Louis from San Diego, routes that will also be flown daily.
- Alaska Airlines has expanded its US West Coast operation this week, launching a new 3,804-kilometre route from San Francisco (SFO) to Kona (KOA) in Hawaii, while also inaugurating flights to Kansas City (MCI) and St. Louis (STL) from San Diego (SAN). The 2,140- and 2,499-kilometre sectors from San Diego, which launched on 15 December, will both be flown daily on the airline’s fleet of E175s, while the connection to Hawaii from San Francisco, which started on 14 December, will be operated by A320s that are currently flying under the Virgin America brand. All three routes are to face direct competition, with the two routes to Missouri going head-to-head with Southwest Airlines (twice-daily to St. Louis and daily to Kansas City), while the San Francisco–Kona airport pair will face United Airlines which already provides twice-daily flights. OAG schedules show that the Star Alliance member will increase its frequency on the sector to three times daily from 20 December.