Alaska Airlines said Friday that it will add two nonstop routes next summer out of Anchorage to New York and San Diego.
The 3,386-mile route to New York City will be the longest flight offered by the airline and something the company would not be able to do without its new Boeing 737-8 planes, which have a longer range, Alaska Airlines spokesman Tim Thompson said.
Daily nonstop flights between Anchorage and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport will begin June 13, and weekly nonstops between Anchorage and San Diego will begin May 18, the company said in a statement. Both routes will end in mid-August.
Alaska Airlines is adding at least five Boeing 737-8 planes to its fleet by next summer, Thompson said. The planes have a significantly bigger range compared to other aircraft in the fleet and can fly up to 4,000 nautical miles in a single trip, he said.
“Having that range gives us more options,” Thompson said. “We’re always reviewing where we can fly to and where our guests want to go.”
By adding the new routes, Alaska Airlines will serve 14 destinations with nonstop flights to and from Anchorage next summer, Thompson said.
The announcement comes as company officials said they plan to trim fleet growth after third-quarter financial results fell short of projections. Alaska Airlines is moving to optimize its network and focus on areas where there’s more demand, like the routes from Anchorage to New York and San Diego, Thompson said.
“And while these are just seasonal at this point, it will depend on demand and maybe we can continue down the road to expand that service or take it out of seasonal and make it year round,” Thompson said.