Alaska Air and Delta Air Lines have worked together for the past couple of years. While both carriers have a frequent flier and codeshare partnership, they have entered into one another’s market quite aggressively and attempted to steal passengers.
This week, Alaska Air and Delta ended their partnership and as of the first of May 2017, the carriers will end their frequent flier and codeshare agreements becoming 100% competitors once again.
Alaska Air and Delta over four years ago held a close partnership. Back then, Delta just began to build up its Seattle operations as an important gateway for its international flights, those particularly into Asia.
At the same time, Alaska Air operated a hub that was domestic oriented in Seattle. Through working together, Alaska could deliver a great deal of connecting traffic to the long haul Delta flights.
In 2012, for instance, Delta expanded international flights out of Seattle, with new flights to Tokyo and Shanghai and upgraded aircraft in its other routes.
At the time, Richard Anderson the then-CEO at Delta said that type of growth of international flights was possible just due to its partnership with Alaska.
He added that customers at both the airlines will benefit through the new strengthened relationship between the two airlines.
However, the partnership soured for Delta quite quickly. Its reliance on its partner to provide traffic through connections meant Alaska Air had sufficient leverage to grab a large proportion of the profit out of the relationship.
Because of that, during 2013, Delta Air started to add flights into Seattle in lightening fast form. Since that year, it has tripled its Seattle presence, growing from just 40 departures daily to 150 departures on peak days.
That has allowed Delta the ability to offer a number of connecting flights for the U.S. as well as Canada using its fleet of aircraft.
Over the past couple of years, the partnership has wound down between the two airlines. In 2013, Alaska took in $235 million worth of revenue from interline tickets and codeshare from Delta.
Today, its annual revenue from the same is just $65 million. In fact, of the $65 million, $50 million is from an agreement of interline that will stay intact.
Now with the break up being official, customers at both airlines will not be able to book any new codeshare tickets for flights that take off after May 1.