Alaska Airlines has announced new nonstop flights from it’s main hub in Seattle (SEA) to Indianapolis (IND) and Wichita (ICT). This is the first time Alaska Airlines will serve either Indianapolis or Wichita. Both routes will operate daily with the Indianapolis flight starting on May 11th, 2017 on a Boeing 737-800 and the Wichita flight starting on April 13th, 2017 on an Embraer E175.
The schedule is as follows:
|Start date||City pair||Departs||Arrives|
|04/13/16||Seattle-Wichita||11:55 a.m.||5:13 p.m.|
|04/13/16||Wichita-Seattle||6:10 p.m.||7:55 p.m.|
|05/11/16||Seattle-Indianapolis||9:55 a.m.||5:10 p.m.|
|05/11/16||Indianapolis-Seattle||6:10 p.m.||7:59 p.m.|
For my hometown, Indianapolis, this represents a huge addition as Seattle was one of the largest unserved routes. It is impressive that Alaska feels confident enough to use the larger 737-800 instead of an E175. Although the E175 would be pushed due to it’s range limits so there may have not been a choice.
Utilizing my a US Airline Demand Tool to pull demand it is apparent that both markets experience seasonal demand fluctuations with the peak occurring in Q3. Indianapolis sees 152 passengers per day and Wichita has 56 passengers per day in 2014 Q3. The aircraft choices make sense as the E175 seats 76 passengers and the 737-800 seats 163 which nearly matches the current demand but will allow for some growth and for connections. Below is an interactive visual of the demand from Seattle with some parameters set to display mainly unserved markets.
Anyway I am happy to see Indianapolis finally see a nonstop flight to Seattle! There could be more midwest destinations on the horizon. Both Columbus (CMH) and Pittsburgh (PIT) are unserved and have similar demand to Indianapolis. Outside of Seattle it will be interesting to see how Alaska digests the Virgin America merger. Will we see additional flights from San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), or San Diego (SAN) to currently served cities??