During the pandemic, airlines have had to completely rework their approach to route planning, given how the demand for travel has shifted. The good news is that with the current vaccination timeline in the US, travel should very much be possible this summer, especially domestically.
We’re seeing airlines update their schedules to reflect that. In the case of Delta Air Lines, the Atlanta-based airline has just announced a huge expansion to the state of Alaska this summer, which is worth highlighting.
Delta’s big summer schedule to Alaska
Delta Air Lines has just added a bunch of new flights to its schedule for travel this summer to Alaska. This includes the launch of new routes, as well as additional frequencies in existing markets. In total, Delta will fly to five Alaskan destinations. Let’s go over the details.
Delta is planning a lot of Alaska service this summer
Delta’s service to Anchorage
Delta’s expanded service to Anchorage (ANC) includes the following:
- As of May 5, 2021, a daily flight from Atlanta (ATL), which will continue into the fall with three weekly frequencies; this will be operated by a Boeing 767-300ER, featuring flat beds in business class (this is Delta’s only flat bed service to Alaska)
- As of May 5, 2021, a third daily flight from Minneapolis (MSP)
- As of May 5, 2021, a new year-round nonstop flight from Salt Lake City (SLC)
- As of May 28, 2021, a new weekend service from Detroit (DTW), Los Angeles (LAX), and New York (JFK)
- As of June 18, 2021, up to seven daily year-round flights from Seattle (SEA)
- As of June 19, 2021, a second daily summer seasonal flight from Salt Lake City (SLC)
Delta’s summer schedule to Anchorage
Delta’s service to Fairbanks
Delta will offer six daily nonstop flights to Fairbanks (FAI) from major hubs this summer, including the following:
- As of May 5, 2021, daily nonstop flights from Salt Lake City (SLC)
- As of June 19, 2021, a third daily nonstop flights from Seattle (SEA)
- As of June 19, 2021, a second daily nonstop flight from Minneapolis (MSP)
Previously Delta’s only year-round flight to Fairbanks was out of Seattle, while Minneapolis and Salt Lake City service will be extended to year-round as well.
Delta’s summer schedule to Fairbanks
Delta’s service to Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka
Delta will offer summer seasonal flights from Seattle (SEA) to three additional cities in Alaska, which will start Memorial Day weekend and go through the end of September. This includes:
- A daily Seattle (SEA) to Juneau (JNU) flight with a Boeing 737-800
- A daily Seattle (SEA) to Ketchikan (KTN) flight with an Embraer E175
- A daily Seattle (SEA) to Sitka (SIT) flight with an Embraer 175
Delta’s summer schedule to other Alaskan destinations
While Delta has offered a significant amount of service to Alaska for quite a while, the airline is taking it to the next level with this latest expansion. Delta isn’t the only airline doing interesting stuff in Alaska this summer — American will fly a 787-9 to Anchorage, while United will operate an intra-Alaska route, from Anchorage to Fairbanks.
It’s fascinating to see how the pandemic has impacted airline route planning, and the next few months should lead to a lot more interesting routes. It’s clear travel will make a comeback in the coming months, though odds are that the focus will be more on domestic travel rather than international travel. I can’t wait to see what else is added.
What do you make of Delta’s summer expansion to Alaska?