Delta unveils special “Spirit of Seattle” livery on a Boeing 737 (N809DN) in Seattle – Photo: Delta Air Lines
In October, we gave our $.02 on the Delta expansion in Seattle, home base of “partner” Alaska Airlines. Delta had announced new service on a number of routes that Alaska was already serving. In theory, this was to feed Delta’s growing international gateway from Seattle. We opined that it was possible Delta and Alaska were going to start playing hardball. A couple of days later, news broke that Delta pulled the plug on providing ground services at some Alaska remote stations. Things haven’t gotten much better in the meantime.
This past week, Delta announced a further expansion in Seattle, launching flights to Vancouver (5x daily) and seasonal service to Fairbanks, Alaska (you can guess who also flies there). Delta and Alaska are now competing on ten routes out of Seattle.
The Spirit of Seattle seen from the air – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com
Last week, Delta unveiled their newest special aircraft, a Boeing 737-900ER named the Spirit of Seattle. This is a big deal, because it is rare for Delta to do any sort of special livery. But it seems that Seattle is special enough.
“For 80 years, our customers, employees and partners in Seattle have embraced Delta, and our growth here would not be possible without them,” said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s vice president – Seattle. “The Spirit of Seattle aircraft will proudly bear its name as it travels around the country as a representation of Delta’s history in Seattle and a sign of our thanks and commitment to our future here.” Delta also points out that they’ve spent $14 million enhancing their passenger facilities in Seattle.
Would Alaska respond? Oh yes…
Continue reading Delta Unveils a Special “Spirit of Seattle” Livery – Alaska Responds
Outside the Boeing 737 factory in Renton, WA. The air frames of the 737 arrive via train. Photo: David Parker Brown
This summer I was excited to take a tour of Boeing’s 737 factory, located in Renton, Washington, with my colleague Chris Sloan over at Airchive.com. Over the past few months we have shared some pretty amazing stories and now I want to give you a photo tour of the facility and walk you through our adventure.
One of my favorite aspects of the facility is the parking lot – yes, that is right. Well, not the lot itself, but the fact that the Boeing 737 actually starts at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, KS and the fuselage is transported by train to Renton.
If you like planes and trains (which I do), nothing beats catching a glimpse of one of the 737 fuselages riding on a train to the Renton 737 factory before it is dropped off in the parking lot [this photos shows a bit better how close the plane is to cars].
My latest trip into the factory was my third visit, but the first where I was allowed to bring a camera. Unlike Paine Field, which offers public tours, the 737 factory is closed to the public. For last year’s Aviation Geek Fest, we were very lucky to bring our entire group through the factory – something that will not soon be forgotten.
Continue reading Photo Tour of the Boeing 737 Renton Factory
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-700 at SeaTac Airport – Photo: Don Wilson | Port of Seattle
So, everybody and their brother has been writing about the recent announcement from Delta Air Lines that they’re further expanding their domestic flight schedule out of Seattle (SEA). There have been stories from mainstream media, miles/points bloggers, and (of course) industry watchers such as ourselves. Yet, we wanted to talk amongst ourselves and digest the information before weighing in.
Why is this a story? It’s because Alaska Airlines (AS), which is based out of Seattle, is supposed to be a partner airline with Delta. All three of the recently announced Delta routes are in direct competition with Alaska; actually 8 of Delta’s 13 domestic routes out of Seattle compete with Alaska.
As a guy who grew up in Washington State, and went to college at the University of Washington, I hold a special place in my heart for Alaska. An all-Boeing 737 operator, they have a loyal following in the Northwest. I just flew Alaska to and from Denver, and enjoyed their solid customer service, low-priced First Class upgrades, and great ground experience out of Seattle. (Although, as seems to be common from Denver, I got stuck on the Disneyland plane – am I the only one freaked out by flying on this bird?!).
Continue reading Our $.02 on Delta’s Expansion at Alaska’s Home Base
British Airways Boeing 747-400 at Seattle
Although I know many readers of this site are more interested about the flight itself, I tend to be more intrigued with what goes one between searching for a ticket and stepping on to the plane. Odd for some, I know, but I wanted to share my own insight.
My most recent adventure started when I decided to go to Paris (CDG) from Seattle (SEA) for vacation. After some work, I narrowed my dates to flying out on a Thursday so that I could have a full weekend in-country. Last year, I made the same trip on Icelandair and chose that airline mostly on having the lowest fare. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go with the lowest fare this time; I was also interested in the experience, so I decided to start my ticket hunt early. This all resulted with me flying on a British Airways Boeing 747-400 out of Seattle.
Continue reading From Buying a Ticket to Walking on a British Airways 747
ANA To resume 787 service on the Seattle to Tokyo flights from Fall 2013 – Image: All Nippon Airways
Today All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced that as of the 20th of September 2013, they will be returning the 787 Dreamliner to its daily service from Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) to Seattle (SEA).
The service was started on October 1st 2012, when ANA was the first commercial operator to service Seattle with a 787. However, the route was cancelled after the grounding and battery fire dramas. On the 1st of June the service to Seattle resumed, but a Boeing 777-300ER was used instead. With the resumption of daily flights to Seattle this adds a second daily 787 service to North America with daily flights on the Tokyo to San Jose route as well (which will begin daily service on the 10th July).
Continue reading ANA To Resume 787 Dreamliner Service to Seattle & More