American Airlines strengthens partnership with Alaska Airlines to target Delta Air Lines in Seattle, analyst says

Miami International Airport
American Airlines aircraft are parked at Miami International Airport on March 5, 2017. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

American Airlines has strengthened its partnership with Alaska Airlines to better position the carrier in Seattle, an industry analyst said.

The move comes after Delta Air Lines acquired a 20 percent in LATAM Airlines, American’s long-time South American partner, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. American’s partnership with Alaska enables the airline to boost its presence in Seattle, a Delta stronghold.

“Delta has been aggressively expanding at Seattle in recent years, driven by the addition of new domestic destinations as well as more flights and larger aircraft operating between existing routes,” Ralph Hollister, a travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, said in a news release.

As part of the new agreement, American is launching a new daily service from Seattle to Bangalore, India.

“India is still a developing market for the American airline industry and overcapacity may threaten this route due to relatively unknown demand,” Hollister said.

“A key benefit of this new route from Seattle is that it is one which Delta does not operate. As well as a new flight to London Heathrow, this could signal further American expansion from Seattle for long haul flights, with Alaska providing domestic feeder routes,” Hollister added. “If this codeshare partnership continues to evolve and is successful, there is a possibility that American may consider the acquisition of Alaska Airlines, so it can gain full control of the domestic and international network.”

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