Alaska Airlines alliance with Delta evolves into ‘frenemies’

Alaska Airlines jet at the Juneau International Airport

(Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

A business partnership involving Alaska and Delta airlines is fraying around the edges.  The two companies have turned into what some would call “frenemies.”

Alaska Air Group and Delta Air Lines signed a long term partnership in 2008.  Both sides agree it’s been a profitable alliance.  The carriers feed connecting traffic to each other, coordinate some schedules and offer reciprocal frequent flier benefits.  But Delta clearly ruffled some feathers at Alaska Airlines this fall.  Delta added new flights from the Pacific Northwest to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden says his company will aggressively defend what it considers core markets.

Brad Tilden: “Alliances can be complicated. It’s likely that in the future there will be markets where it is in our interest to work together with Delta and there will be markets where we will compete because it is in the best interest of Alaska Air Group to do so.”

During a regular conference call to discuss earnings, Tilden said his airline is on track to book a record profit in 2013.

Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.