Alaska Air says it is holding its own against Delta onslaught

Alaska Airlines jet at the Juneau International Airport

(Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

The intensifying competition between Alaska Airlines and rival Delta Air Lines in the Western skies does not seem to be hurting the bottom line of either company.

Seattle-based Alaska Air posted a record second quarter profit late last week. It came a day after Delta toasted its own high revenues. Alaska executives are still concerned about a flood of new seats on its home turf.

Delta Air Lines is rapidly adding domestic and international flights at Seattle’s airport as it builds up a new Pacific gateway there. Much of that new service overlaps with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines.

Andrew Harrison is Alaska’s Senior VP for Planning. He told Wall Street analysts that his carrier is holding its own.

“Our second quarter results give us confidence we are on the right track.”

Harrison says his airline is planning “more aggressive advertising”… improvements to food and wine offerings and to make its frequent flier program “stronger.”

“We are making some tactical schedule adjustments to increase our flying in some of these markets to defend our franchise. This may have short term impact. But we believe the water will find its level eventually.”

Wall Street seems less confident. Alaska Air Group’s stock plummeted more than 9 percent over the course of Thursday’s trading.

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