Delta plans service between Seattle, Juneau

JUNEAU, Alaska — Delta Air Lines is planning to provide daily, seasonal service between Seattle and Juneau starting next year.

Company spokesman Anthony Black said one Boeing 737-800 will fly the route each day.

The nonstop flight is scheduled to begin May 29 and run through Aug. 30, he said.

The deputy manager of Juneau International Airport, Marc Cheatham, said as far as he knew, Delta had not contacted the airport about flying in and out of Juneau. He told the Juneau Empire he learned about the airline’s plans Monday, after being out sick last week.

The airport is required by the Federal Aviation Administration to let any airline that wants to operate there do so, Cheatham said. But, he said, “there are a lot of logistical things that need to be taken into account,” such as gate and terminal space.

“I’m sure these things will be ironed out as we get closer,” he said. “But as soon as I heard it, I thought, `Wow, that’s great news, but I wish they would have given us a memo.”’

Alaska Airlines is the only commercial airline operating out of Juneau and holds a monopoly on the Seattle-Juneau route. It is a partner of Delta. Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said Delta’s expansion would not affect that partnership.

She said Alaska Airlines also has a loyal customer base in Juneau, having served the community “nonstop for decades.”

“Oftentimes, we were the only airline that could access the state’s capital when other airlines canceled their flights,” she said. “We get Alaska, and we’re unique in their respect.”

Delta on Tuesday formally announced its plans for the daily nonstop summer seasonal flight serving Juneau, along with one additional summer seasonal flight from Anchorage to Seattle for a total of three, daily nonstop flights, and four new daily nonstop flights from San Jose International Airport. Black told The Associated Press on Tuesday the expanded service to Seattle is intended to help feed Delta’s international growth.

Delta previously announced plans to expand its reach out of Seattle.

Earlier this month, for example, the company said it would add new daily flights to Seattle from Fairbanks International Airport and Vancouver International Airport beginning May 29 and June 5, respectively.

“The Pacific Northwest economy is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., and a big part of why we’re adding domestic flights in support of our growing global gateway in Seattle,” Mike Medeiros, Delta vice president, Seattle, said in a release. “By next summer, we’ll offer more than 2,500 daily international seats as part of our 79 peakday departures to 25 destinations.”

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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