National News

Dec 17, 2013 1:35 PM by katc

Delta plans service between Seattle, Juneau

Delta Air Lines is planning to provide daily, seasonal service from Seattle to Juneau starting next year.

Company spokesman Anthony Black said one Boeing 737-800 will fly the route each day. Delta's website shows the first scheduled flight to Juneau from Seattle is in May.

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 said 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 currently 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 previously announced plans to expand its reach out of Seattle. Earlier this month, 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.

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