Alaska Airlines Expands Central American Footprint To Belize
Alaska Airlines has announced its latest international destination. With flights to Belize set to start this November, the airline will offer a cumulative six weekly frequencies to Belize City from two of the airline’s West Coast hubs. Belize is Alaska’s fourth country with nonstop services.
Alaska Airlines expands to Belize
Alaska Airlines will be adding two new routes to Belize this fall. Starting on November 19th, Alaska will connect Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) with Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE).
Schedules are as follows (all times are local):
- LAX-BZE departs at 11:00 and arrives at 17:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
- BZE-LAX departs at 10:00 and arrives at 13:30 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays
- SEA-BZE departs at 08:30 and arrives at 16:35 on Fridays and Saturdays
- BZE-SEA departs at 11:00 and arrives at 15:55 on Saturdays and Sundays
Brett Catlin, Vice President of Network and Alliances at Alaska Airlines, stated the following on the routes:
“Our guests are eager for more eco-friendly leisure destinations, especially as they get vaccinated, and we’re ready to offer them terrific options. Belize offers an unbeatable mix of sensational beaches, iconic cayes and rich heritage.”
Alaska Airlines announced it was adding flights to Belize alongside announcing that it was expanding its order book for Embraer E175 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Alaska Airlines will use a Boeing 737-800 on the route. With room for 159 passengers onboard, Alaska has divided the aircraft into three experiences. There are 12 recliner-style first class seats at the front of the cabin. This is followed by 30 extra-legroom economy seats and 117 standard economy seats.
First class is in a 2-2 configuration. Extra-legroom economy and economy class sections are in a 3-3 configuration. Alaska Airlines offers WiFi and streaming entertainment onboard with access to power. There are no seatback entertainment monitors.
Alaska Airlines is planning on starting to retrofit the Boeing 737-800s this year. Details remain relatively slim, though Alaska is expected to harmonize its fleet in terms of products, aligning it more to aircraft like the Boeing 737 MAX in terms of the onboard offering. The Boeing 737 is Alaska’s workhorse. Moving forward, the airline wants to focus entirely on the 737 for its fleet and future fleet needs.
Alaska’s fourth country
After Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica, Belize is the fourth country to join Alaska’s route network. Alaska Airlines typically tends to fly more domestic than international routes, largely due to its network configuration.
As a primarily West Coast carrier, the airline’s best international options for short- and medium-haul operations are Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Alaska Airlines does not have and has no interest in taking widebodies for launching flights across the Pacific Ocean.
Alaska Airlines has hubs in both Los Angeles and Seattle, so it can target connecting passengers on its own metal. Los Angeles and Seattle are both major cities where the airline can target some origin and destination demand with leisure travelers looking at a beach getaway.
With the American Airlines partnership, there was some speculation about whether American would allow Alaska Airlines to expand its presence to Central America, given how strong American Airlines is to Latin America.
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This clearly shows that Alaska Airlines has plenty of room to expand its network and target points in Central America. American Airlines is also in the Los Angeles to Belize market. However, American Airlines has scheduled that flight as a redeye to Belize and a complementary flight time to Alaska’s return flight. American Airlines also flies fewer frequencies per week between the two markets.