Alaska Airlines has just announced its newest international destination, which will mark the carrier’s longest route yet…
Alaska adds flights to Nassau from West Coast
For the upcoming winter season, Alaska Airlines will be introducing flights from both Los Angeles (LAX) and Seattle (SEA) to Nassau (NAS), using the Boeing 737 MAX 9. This marks the carrier’s first-ever route to the Bahamas, and it will be the carrier’s only current route to the Caribbean (the airline briefly operated a Los Angeles to Havana route, but that didn’t last).
The Los Angeles to Nassau route will operate 4x weekly from December 15, 2023, through April 8, 2024, with the following schedule:
AS724 Los Angeles to Nassau departing 10:40AM arriving 6:55PM
AS723 Nassau to Los Angeles departing 11:00AM arriving 2:20PM
The eastbound flight will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and the westbound flight will operate on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The 2,524-mile flight is blocked at 5hr15min eastbound and 6hr20min westbound.
The Seattle to Nassau route will operate 3x weekly from December 15, 2023, through April 9, 2024, with the following schedule:
AS750 Seattle to Nassau departing 9:00AM arriving 6:15PM
AS749 Nassau to Seattle departing 10:00AM arriving 2:05PM
The eastbound flight will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and the westbound flight will operate on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The 2,887-mile flight is blocked at 6hr15min eastbound and 7hr5min westbound. This will be the longest flight in Alaska’s network.
Will Alaska Airlines succeed flying to Nassau?
I don’t think most of us were expecting Alaska Airlines to add flights to Nassau, so this is an interesting one. I’m curious if this is a one-time experiment, or if the route comes back in future years.
Generally speaking, those on the West Coast seeking warm weather often vacation in Hawaii or Mexico (particularly Cabo and Puerto Vallarta, due to the distance), while those on the East Coast seeking warm weather often vacation in Florida, the Caribbean, or Mexico (particularly the Cancun area). At least that’s what minimizes travel time, and what current flight schedules reflect.
Of course that doesn’t mean people always travel with those patterns. Heck, living in Miami, I’ve vacationed in Hawaii more often than I’ve vacationed in the Caribbean. One thing is for sure — Alaska won’t have much competition on these routes, at least compared to other warm weather destinations. JetBlue is also launching a Los Angeles to Nassau route this upcoming winter, but that’s otherwise the only West Coast to Nassau competition.
Lastly, as you can tell, the aircraft utilization on these routes isn’t very good. In both cases, the plane will be on the ground in Nassau for around 16 hours. Clearly this is intended to maximize connectivity, and minimize crew layover times. I suppose in winter, Alaska has some planes to spare (since leisure demand isn’t high), or else I couldn’t imagine the airline would launch a route with this schedule.
This upcoming winter, Alaska Airlines will add seasonal flights from both Los Angeles and Seattle to Nassau, marking the carrier’s first-ever service to the Bahamas. These are some interesting adds to Alaska’s network, especially with the not-ideal aircraft utilization.
I’m always a bit surprised when people from the West Coast vacation in the Bahamas, but everyone has a different take on that. At least Alaska won’t be facing much competition in these markets.
What do you make of Alaska adding flights to Nassau?