Less than a week after confirming that it will continue flights from both North Texas airports, Alaska Airlines announced it will expand service at Dallas Love Field by adding four new destinations.
The Seattle-based carrier, which acquired Virgin America in December, said it plans to start flights to Seattle; San Diego; San Jose, Calif.; and Portland, Ore. from Love Field within the next year. It will also end Virgin America’s Dallas-to-Las Vegas service in August.
“These new routes offer Dallas business flyers complete West Coast utility from one of the fastest-growing corporate centers in the country,” said John Kirby, Alaska Airlines vice president of capacity, in a statement.
Alaska Airlines plans to start Portland and Seattle routes in August and add San Diego and San Jose next February. With the addition of the new routes, Alaska will offer 18 seasonal daily departures from Love Field. The carrier gained two gates at the Dallas airport as part of its $2.6 billion merger with Virgin.
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Instead of using Virgin’s larger Airbus aircraft, which carry between 119 to 149 passengers, on its new Love Field routes, the airline said it will use 76-seat Embraer 175 jets, operated by regional carrier SkyWest Airlines. It will also use the smaller jets on the Love Field flights to New York’s LaGuardia and Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National airports starting this summer.
“Optimizing the fleet and matching the right plane to the right market is one of the key benefits of our merger with Virgin America,” Kirby said. “The fuel-efficient E-175 jet has the same amenities and features of a mainline jet and is perfectly suited for Love Field.”
With the fleet changes, Alaska said it will use the Airbus aircraft on routes out of San Francisco.
Alaska said it will continue operating daily flights from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Seattle and Portland.