What do Alaska and Delta have up their sleeves? Photo by Paul Carter.

What do Alaska and Delta have up their sleeves? Photo by Paul Carter.

Today Alaska Airlines sent out a media advisory stating that their CEO, Brad Tilden, and Delta Air Lines CEO, Richard Anderson, will make a joint announcement on Monday about, “new service, product enhancements in Seattle.” What does that mean exactly? I am not sure.

The advisory continues to say that they plan, “to announce Delta and Alaska Airlines’ latest steps in Seattle, which include new service and product enhancements. Alaska operates the most flights at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, while Delta is the market’s largest provider of Asian and trans-Atlantic service. Through their partnership, the two carriers provide air travelers with connections throughout the Northwest and elsewhere on codeshare flights, as well as reciprocal lounge and frequent flier benefits.”

Rumors about Alaska and Delta have been swarming for years. Although I doubt this is an announcement that Delta will be taking over Alaska, it has to be something pretty major for Anderson to come in from Atlanta.

What are you guesses on what the announcement might include? Leave them in the comments and let your imagination soar. We can all find out on Monday.

Thanks to Paul for letting me use his photo.


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

Airline Livery of the Week: Alaska Airlines Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II
Tony Bianchi


LOL…right? One can now fly non-stop from Fairbanks to AMS.

Richard D

Maybe a new code share or even merger!


Easy buddy. I think I make it quite clear that I do not think it is a merger announcement. Maybe you aren’t one who likes to sit around and talk about the latest airline news and wonder what things mean. This is obviously not a hard-hitting news story saying something is going to happen, but light on asking what-if.


Amen David. I love it when people post a mockery of exactly what they’re doing themselves. sb…..too entertaining.

i think your caps lock is stuck

You should cut him some slack since your shift and period keys don’t work.

Who hired the english teacher?….

*English teacher

Colin = WINNER!


My guess is that DL is announcing new service to Shanghai and, possibly, London and/or Hong Kong. Maybe even announcing an upgrade to aircraft types flying to Asia to compete with ANA who now fly the 787 from SEA. Additionally, my opinion is that DL and AS will announce exclusivity code share agreement, thus ending AS code share with AA.

I know DL earlier already announced upgrades to their 767s running out of Seattle.


I suspect it has to do with new International service as Mr Anderson is bringing a 747 as a backdrop for the announcement. Big plane to fly out on with his entourage

This is one of the first things that went through my head, too. Though I’d rather fly through DFW and not ATL if I was flying a codeshare or reward ticket down South.

I’m specutlating Alaska announcing new service to Delta’s hub cities not currently served by AS – or perhaps, Alaska becoming new SKYTEAM alliance member.

Chuck G

Skyteam recently announced an affiliate program. Might AS be the first carrier to go that route?

Maybe an announcement of the Seattle to Haneda (Tokyo) service??

Fly girl

It’s just new routes people! Geez!

It might end up being just that. But to involve both CEOs for some new routes to be announced seems overkill.


Most likely Delta is going to gradually increase its Transpacific flights out of Sea-Tac. There will be a lot more code sharing between Alaska Air and Delta which will help feed Delta’s Transpacific flights out of SEA. Hopefully SEA will work better than Portland did for Delta about 20 years ago.

Interesting… no idea, but will stay tuned. To “sb” above. WOW.. quite a reaction. So what if many find this type of info curious. Talk about getting a life? Why not stop slamming others, and get one yourself. Just my view.


since when do CEOs fly to cities to announce code shares.?

that’s the point that has me stumped. a few code shares or schedule adjustments is a press release, not a warning of major annoucnements and CEOs on stage together. This could be something big.


It’s PVG and expansion of code share…;)

debbie ghonda

If given the choice, I would much rather see Alaska take over Delta than the other way around. Delta has just always been So unorganized. I refuse to fly Delta.

Refuse delta?? haha try US Scareways. next to Alaska, Delta would easily be my second choice.


I think that ‘SB” should always use his middle initial. His mama didn’t make it OSCAR without a reason. And somebody please teach him how to turn off the CAPS LOCK button.

Delta has the Seattle to Shanghai route. It just needs to be announced. Including AS with this announcement indicates to me that there is some kind of enhanced agreement forming, where AS will provide all the feed to Delta’s international flights from Seattle. (But they already do that) The other possibility is Haneda. Possibly both? It is interesting to me that both CEO’s will be together to make the announcement. Being based in Seattle, I’ve not heard that Anderson is coming to town yet, so we’ll have to wait and see.


New codeshare flights Bellingham to Hawaii to Tokyo?

If that was the case, wouldn’t they be announcing at BLI?



Alaska will go into close partnership with DL. But at the same time CANCEL all codeshares with non-Sky Team carriers. So this is a major turn in strategy, over 10 codeshares with various airlines will be cancelled. AS as an independent airline that works with pretty much everybody is gone.
This is of course done because DL is building SEA up as an Asia hub.

Better for Delta than Alaska and probably not good for SEA in the long run since non-Sky airlines leave the market internationally. SEA becomes dependent on DL and AS as well. Congratulations.

I was on Delta’s inaugural Seattle to Beijing flight a couple of years ago, big hoopla in the terminal (they even offered passengers a pre-flight meal of “Chinese food”). The CEO wasn’t there for that flight and I wouldn’t expect him to be for similar first flights or announcements. I’m guessing Delta will announce plans for a new PNW hub to be shared with Alaska, it makes good economic sense and positions Delta for a future acquisition…

It surely will be an expanded operating agreement/program to benefit both carriers. The Cardinal rule of the new teens is pronounced “PACIFIC”. Delta has been sucessfully expanding it’s Pacific theater out of Seattle, but also has been doing so for Europe. A more enhanced operating system between the two carriers will only improve both, which has already been evidently seen recently. As for take over, Alaska wants and WILL remain independent for the foreseeable future. However, in this industry its either absorb or be absorbed. While Delta continually works on it’s past mergers to create the solid company invisioned, Alaska needs to acquire Hawaiian Airlines. This would create a tremendous operating crescendo operating in the Pacific theater that would be such a crown jewel for Delta to work with. Merger DL/AS?? Somewhere down the line perhaps, but logically this scenario has such positive future impact on both AS/DL that it only makes sense.

They are going to jointly buy aircraft (787 or 748) and pain one side DL and the other AS.

A plane order would be cool, but I would guess it would take place at Paine Field, not SEA.


It’s got to be HUGE since they are doing it on a national holiday!

David, this has to be one of your most active posts. Let the rumors fly!
If DL is visiting SEA and AS not visiting ATL, this has to be a bigger announcement for AS. So many guesses.

Maybe something with Korean Air? DL and they were written up on expanding Pacific ops. Is Alaska in it to feed long haul Pacific runs?

Press conference to emphasize that their seats stay where they are supposed to.

Sea-Tac is expanding the North Terminal for Alaska’s use. U.S. Customs is at the South Terminal. It’s possible that either could be developed as an exclusive, seamless Alaska/Delta international terminal, relegating other international flights to the opposite end of the airport. Likely this would be combined with announcements of more Delta international flights, possibly to Shanghai or Haneda, or both, or elsewhere.

They are announcing nonstop service to Singapore, Mombasa, and Mars using a 737-000 configured for 450 pax. Seat pitch of a whole 1/2 inch. Rumor has it they’ll codeshare with Starfleet and a ruddy pig named Sir Rufus.

Pago Flyer

A fellow retiree told me that he has a cousin working on Mahagony Row and she said…….

Perhaps As buying Hawaiian airlines and DlL/AS exclusive code share.

TKT2FLY1955 aka Tom

I like Lewis’ comment – perhaps Alaska buying Hawaiian and a DL/AS exclusive code share – add SKY TEAM member and you have winner!


How about this AS/QX taking over some of the Skywest or even the SLC hub?

Alaska has over 1 billion dollars in cash, their stock is at an all time high, they are conservative and very profitable, Delta could not afford to buy Alaska. Code share has been in place with Northwest for years and now it is Delta. Tighter code sharing is a probablity but Alaska would not give up code shares with others as they make lots of money keeping them in place. Alaska could by Delta but there is no way it would bring on the risk.

Are you serious? Of course, Delta could buy Alaska tomorrow if it wanted. It has a $12B market cap, and Alaska is $3B. That would be easy. What is unrealistic is ALK buying DAL. Never happen. Really annoys me when people talk out their arse about things they clearly don’t understand.

I’m a 27 year Delta employees and I just learned the reason for the meeting about 30 minutes ago. It’s very exciting! Hope I can get this posted quick as my Bluetooth keyboard battery just displayed 2% juice left. Anyway, it has to with what everyone suspected pending regulatory approval. Delta (Mr. Anderson) announcing we will be %!’kki over €la$£a^ ^^£erger ==………………………

Picking my wife up at the airport tomorrow. Shes’s coming in at about the time the hoopla I will start. Should be lots of fun there.

Gordon Werner

Well Delta is upgrading SEA-NRT to a 744 next June …

Michael Becker Former WA SFO and LAX

Well to me it has been painfully obvious. Go back to the route maps of 1986/87 for both AS and WA. Now fast forward to 1990-2000-2010 what have you seen. Basically it is still the same except the west coast routes have consistently changed to AS and there a few differences. I don’t know the Grinstein SEA/Alaska connection of today, but it endured latter WA and DL for decades.
My wildest assumption would be a merger of the two or AS becoming a formal part of the DL/Merger. My next wildest would be a premier and solitary marketing arrangement under DL control. The next rung down would be AS feeding DL BIIIIG aircraft in ANC, SEA, PDX, and LAX.
But from the apparent stripping of WA coastal and handing them off to AS without discussion, including Mexico makes this a hopefully more transparent for everyone.

Let’s see what happens, “Tell Me Something Good” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-qQ9_amoKM

Pat 4mr DL

Maybe Dl will do what the have done in the past. Merge with Western Airlines, close the SeaRes office, merge with Northwest close the SeaRes office. Maybe merge with Alaska so they can close their Seattle Res office. Just ask me, I used to work for Western became Delta, became unemployed, went to work for Northwest became Delta became and am unemployed.

TKT2FLY1955 aka Tom

I hear its two Transpacific Asian routes for Delta – one being SEA Shanghai, don’t know the other, upgrade of business class on the SEAJFK routes and 747 aircraft being used – of course this is pretty one sided for DL – not sure of the AS side of the announcement – probably as all are speculating, codeshare news!

I doubt they’ll do exclusive and drop all other code shares. There is just too much cash involved in letting the likes of QF, BA, EK, KL, AF and others put their codes on AS flights.

They’ll probably announce what is already known…SEA-NRT upgraded from A330-200 to 747-400 and service to Shanghai. AS may be providing some behind the scenes support and collaboration with DL.

No merger. No SkyTeam or SkyTeam affiliate.

Alaska will be announcing new 787 service between Washougal and White Salmon, with connections to Delta’s DC-3 nonstop service to Leningrad…

I believe it will be a new marketing agreement and a possible merger conversation, that will spin off Alaska to operate on its own and feed Delta flights worldwide. Alaska has won awards that Delta also wants.

Much Ado About Nothing

I cannot believe all the effort Richard put into this for announcements that were old news three weeks ago. I feel this was an opportunity for Delta to trump Alaska on adding Seattle service, and will eventually buy Alaska at the same time making a big push to become “Seattle’s” airline much has been done in New York….Great timing for Alaska’s computers to be down and an impending fueler labor action. Good Times!


Is this mean Alaska will join sky team ad trying to expand to Asia or beyond Central America? I wonder what going to happen code-share or lounge agreement with American?


I would love to see Alaska and Delta merge. A takeover by Delta would strengthen Delta’s presence on the West Coast.

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