Alaska Airlines is in a Newark State of Mind

Alaska Airlines will significantly expand at Newark Liberty International Airport and introduce new services from Portland, Oregon and San Diego, California from the start of November 2016, with new service to San Jose, California beginning in March 2017.

US carrier Alaska Airlines has revealed a significant expansion to the New York City area with multiple new routes to Newark Liberty International Airport after the Federal Aviation Administration approved a request to add four additional daily flights, tripling its daily operation at the New York airport.

The airline will introduce new services to Newark from Portland, Oregon and San Diego, California from the start of November 2016, with new service to San Jose, California beginning in March 2017. A third daily departure from Seattle, Washington to Newark, will also be added in May 2017.

"We thank the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for their efforts to increase competition in the New York metro area," said John Kirby, vice president of capacity planning, Alaska Airlines.

Since 2015, Alaska has launched 28 new routes from its West Coast hubs and focus cities, while the airline has also boosted its domestic activities through the acquisition of Virgin America. "With our new expanded service to Newark, we continue to grow our West Coast footprint by offering our valued customers more nonstop flights to popular business and leisure destinations," added Kirby.

Alaska's new Portland - Newark service will launch on November 10, 2016 and continues the airline's expansion of its Portland hub which includes other recently added destinations such as Minneapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Orlando; Omaha, Nebraska; and Atlanta. The newly added Newark service will be the only daytime non-stop from Portland to the Garden State and will bring competition to the existing daily United Airlines service.

The new daily San Diego - Newark service from November 21, 2016 will be the third East Coast destination from the airline's Southern California focus city and will provide San Diego travellers with enhanced access to one of the largest business markets in the world. United Airlines also serves this city pair, while American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways all link San Diego International Airport to New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport, according to OAG Schedules Analyser.

The new San Jose - Newark service will be first non-stop flight on the route since Continental Airlines ended its service in 2008 and will commence from March 12, 2017. It will provide Silicon Valley customers a convenient new option for travel to and from the New York City area and complement the existing flights of JetBlue between San Jose and New York JFK.

Traffic data from Sabre AirVision Marketing Intelligence shows that around 40,000 passengers flew on indirect services between San Jose’s Norman Y Mineta San José International Airport and Newark in the past 12 months, a market that rises to an estimated 145,000 two-way travellers when you also factor flights to and from JFK and LaGuardia airports across the New York Tri-state area.

In the spring, Alaska Airlines will also add a third flight between Seattle and Newark, complementing the two existing daily nonstop flights from the Emerald City. The third rotation will be introduced from May 14, 2017 and will operate overnight on the eastbound leg.

The growth will see Alaska Airlines boost its daily offer to and from Newark to almost 2,000 seats each-way and will see it rise to among the ten largest operators at the airport. Although this growth is notable for the carrier, it will only boost its capacity share at Newark to an estimated 1.4 percent. This is considerably below that of United Airlines (68.4 percent), which has a hub operation, and other major US operators like American Airlines (6.4 percent), JetBlue Airways (4.7 percent), Delta Air Lines (4.6 percent) and Southwest Airlines (3.6 percent), based on existing 2016 published schedules.