Anchorage had 7.3 million seats in 2019, its highest ever – but big changes

Anchorage had 7.3 million seats in 2019, its highest ever – but big changes

Alaska Airlines operated Anchorage – Las Vegas until 2018.  Sun Country then served it for five months in 2019.  It is now Anchorage’s top unserved route with around 68,000 passengers. It is also Alaska Airlines’ top route over Seattle.

Anchorage had 7.3 million seats in 2019, its second year of more than seven million and its highest result.

The airport’s seat volume increased by 8.3% since 2010, with 561,000 added.  It recorded a CAGR of 0.8% in this period.   

Anchorage’s development has been undermined by the end of Ravn Alaska in April 2020.  Ravn was the airport’s second-largest carrier in 2019 with 903,000 seats; it had a 12% share of capacity.

Ravn had 18 routes from Alaska’s largest city, with Kenai, Homer, Kodiak, King Salmon, and Dillingham its top-five.  Its 95-kilometre link to Kendai had over one-quarter of its seats across up to 81 weekly departures using 37-seat Dash-8-100s, OAG data indicates.

Ravn’s end was somewhat offset by various new Anchorage routes in 2019, including Las Vegas with Sun Country and Bellingham with Allegiant. 

These were followed in 2020 by Chicago ORD with American and Cold Bay with Alaska Airlines.  The former, a 4,580-kilometre service, operated between July and October using A321s. 

They will be joined in 2021 by Alaska Airlines to San Francisco (daily) and Eurowings to Frankfurt (three-weekly).  Although subject to change, Anchorage will then have two services to Frankfurt. Eurowings’ offering is part of the Lufthansa Group’s long-haul expansion.

Anchorage had 7.3 million seats in 2019, its highest ever – but big changes

Anchorage added 561,000 seats in 2019 versus 2010, with a CAGR of 0.8% in this period. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Over four in ten Anchorage seats within Alaska; 14 states served

43% of Anchorage’s 7.3 million seats in 2019 were deployed within Alaska.  The airport’s top-10 routes – both within Alaska and not – are shown below.

Alaska Airlines was far and away the top intra-state carrier, with nearly seven in ten scheduled seats.

This was from both its network of 19 destinations (14 non-stop) and obviously its complete use of B737s. Fairbanks, Juneau, Bethel, Prudhoe Bay, and Adak were its top-five routes by seat capacity.

But Ravn by number-one by frequencies.

Including Alaska, Anchorage had service to 14 states last year.  Of the 12 in the lower 48, Washington was clearly first with 33% of Anchorage’s seats.  This was from both Seattle and a low-frequency service to Bellingham.

It was followed by Oregon (5%), Minnesota (3%), Illinois (3%), and California (3%). 

Nevada was bottom from Sun Country’s five-month offering, with this market now unserved. 

In 2019, Las Vegas had an estimated 68,000 point-to-point passengers, booking data via OAG Traffic Analyser reveals.  It is now Anchorage’s top unserved route, followed – in the West – by San Diego (42,000) and Sacramento (36,000).

Anchorage’s top-10 Alaska routes in 2019 Two-way seats Anchorage’s top-10 non-Alaska routes in 2019 Two-way seats
Fairbanks 693,118 Seattle 2,421,474
Juneau 357,265 Portland 360,553
Kenai 309,482 Minneapolis 254,266
Bethel 291,285 Chicago ORD 195,178
Kodiak 271,242 Denver 169,486
Kotzebue 192,671 Los Angeles 161,436
Barrow 188,784 Honolulu 116,108
Ketchikan 187,627 Phoenix 68,569
Nome 185,114 Vancouver 58,040
Prudhoe Bay 171,099 Dallas DFW 57,628
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Seattle had 33% of Anchorage seats; ~760,000 connected over Seattle with Alaska

Anchorage’s top-20 routes – intra-state and outside – collectively had almost 6.7 million seats last year, 92% of the airport’s total.

With over 2.4 million, Seattle was overwhelmingly top, with one-third of the Anchorage’s total – and over three times more than second-placed Fairbanks.

At its peak in July and early August, Seattle had 197 non-stop departures a week, equivalent to around 28 daily. 

This rose to 218 – 31 daily – when stops are included, of which Alaska Airlines’ four-stopper, via Juneau, Petersburg, Wrangell, and Ketchikan, was one. The Petersburg – Wrangell leg is just 50 kilometres.

Despite Delta and JetBlue operating Anchorage – Seattle last year, Alaska Airlines owned the market – with a 92% share of seats. 

Its dominance has increased further following JetBlue ceasing its normally once-daily service last year; it operated for seven years.

Booking data estimates that around 760,000 Alaska Airlines passengers connected over Seattle. This is both with Anchorage as O&D and bridging the two airports.  

Its top segments were Anchorage to/from Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles (despite the carrier’s own non-stop), San Francisco, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Spokane, Denver, and Houston.

Bridging-wise, Kodiak to Sacramento and Spokane and Kenai to Sacramento were all about the same.

Of markets over Anchorage to Seattle, Dutch Harbour was the largest with 30,000, from strong fishing demand.  Dutch Harbour remains the US’ top fishing port.

Anchorage had 7.3 million seats in 2019, its highest ever – but big changes

Anchorage’s top routes, both within Alaska and from it, in 2019. Seattle had over three times as many seats as second-placed Fairbanks.


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