Alaska Airlines feeling good about business travel

Fresh off its first profitable quarter since before the pandemic and in the midst of a rebound in business travel demand, Alaska Airlines plans to leverage the carrier’s partnership with American Airlines and its entry in the Oneworld airline alliance to gain business travel market share in 2022 and beyond. 

The airline recently had its best week in terms of business travel demand versus the commensurate pre-pandemic week, said Alaska Air Group executive vice president and chief commercial officer Andrew Harrison during the airline’s Q3 earnings call.

Harrison also said that Alaska in September “activated for the first time our preferred-partner status” with American Express Global Business Travel, “enabling greater access to more corporate guests and quality traffic.”

More airline earnings stories

  • AA says business travel is ramping up again
  • Delta turns Q3 profit and has mostly optimistic outlook
  • United says 2022 international capacity will exceed 2019 by 10%
  • Operational meltdown costs Southwest $75 million
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He added that the carrier has seen “overwhelming response from our corporate clients wanting joint contracts with Alaska and American, providing much more competitive fares and much bigger options.” 

Harrison said Alaska has been “more generous now with our big corporate accounts” with amenities like priority seating. “The whole dynamic there has really improved.”

Though the Covid-19 delta variant harmed demand especially in September, business travel since had rebounded.

“What we’re seeing is an increased steady forward momentum of business demand starting to return,” Harrison said. 

Alaska Air Group’s passenger revenue increased 210% year over year to $1.77 billion in the third quarter, a figure down 20% from the third quarter of 2019.

The carrier reported net income of $194 million for the third quarter, compared with a net loss of $431 million in the third quarter of 2020. 

Source: Business Travel News

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