Alaska Airlines adds a flight from LAX to Salt Lake. What does it mean?

Alaska Airlines is starting a single daily nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Why is this newsworthy?

It’s interesting because Salt Lake is a Delta hub. For years, Delta and Alaska have been partners, and they’ve generally complemented each other on routes, rather than directly competed. But in the past year, Delta has taken a different approach, adding new flights from Seattle, which has long been dominated by Alaska. Alaska executives have publicly said they aren’t too worried about competing with Delta, but privately they can’t be pleased about the way this relationship has changed.

And so Alaska has announced new service into Delta’s Salt Lake hub. In addition to Los Angeles, Alaska will add Salt Lake flights from Seattle, Portland, San Jose and San Diego. Delta and Alaska will be competing directly on all of these routes. But Alaska is only putting one or two flights on each route, so presumably the risk is relatively minor.

Alaska will be competing with Delta, United, American and Southwest between LAX and Salt Lake. Here’s the Los Angeles schedule:

Los Angeles-Salt Lake
Start Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
June 11 Los Angeles-Salt Lake City 5:35 p.m. 8:20 p.m. Daily 737
June 12 Salt Lake City-Los Angeles 7:00 a.m. 7:55 a.m. Daily 737
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