Just a quick post to share some news from Fresno2Minneapolis on Twitter. Starting in September, Alaska Airlines will begin service twice a day between Fresno and Los Angeles! The flight will be on an Embraer RJ-175, operated by Skywest.
If all goes as planned, they would join American Airlines and United on this route. Note that due to COVID-19, those flights are currently not operating. However, if they come back as before, there would be 10 daily flights between the two cities.
The flight schedule, (assuming no more Coronavirus changes) from Fresno to LAX would be as follows:
The morning flight slots in at a good time. The 2pm flight would be better an hour later. Of course, they plan for connections, so it’s not easy. Here is the flight schedule from LAX to Fresno
Flying at the EXACT SAME TIME as American is pretty dumb.
Aside from that…the flight addition provides new competition on the route, which is much needed because AA and UA have been seen to charge really high fares unless you are connecting elsewhere. When I looked at the most common destinations for people flying from Fresno, I found that the average fare to LAX was $264. Alaska, as an airline with a strong focus on California, will push that down.
Additionally, this will allow for better connections. Unless you’re going to Asia, Seattle is too far out of the way for most routings. The new flight will offer a lot more options, especially for onward travel to Mexico.
If you’re going to the East Coast, there’s good and bad news. Ordinarily, Alaska offers a number of flights to major East Coast destinations from LAX. In fact, they bought Virgin America for those routes. Sadly, they haven’t done that well, and today they announced the following routes would be dropped for the next few months:
LAX – Boston
LAX – Baltimore
LAX – New York JFK
LAX – Washington Dulles
LAX – Chicago O’Hare
But again, this is also subject to change with the virus stuff. On the other side, Alaska today announced new flights between San Jose and Spokane, and the return of their Portland-Denver flights. For being a smaller city and metro than Fresno, Spokane airport sure is well connected … That reminds me, maybe I should update my look at peer cities once the COVID changes settle down.
Did anyone have this flight on their bingo card? In previous posts, I mentioned that Alaska was really ramping up their west coast activity, so a new flight from them is not a surprise. I thought they’d go for San Jose airport though. The other big question is whether the other airlines will try and answer this. I still think Houston from United would be a good addition, especially for connections to Mexico and Latin America. On the other hand, Delta has the weakest presence at FAT, and they might want to compete with Alaska on the Seattle route, as Seattle is the number one destination for Fresno flyers.