Back in December, Alaska Airlines announced a handful of new routes aimed primarily at building their San Francisco (SFO) hub, as part of their merger with Virgin America. One of these routes we find particularly interesting is the daily nonstop service they will be adding between Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) beginning on July 18th, 2017.
Alaska's regional affiliate SkyWest will operate the route which will have two daily flights from each location. The daily flights from Minneapolis will depart at 6:15 AM and 3:20 PM while the daily flights from San Francisco will depart at 11:45 AM and 6:45 PM. The route will be operated on the 76-seat Embraer E175 which has 12 seats in first class, 12 seats in premium class an 52 seats in the main cabin.
Being a Minneapolis based traveler, it's great to see airlines adding additional nonstop routes originating out of MSP. With this announcement, Alaska Air becomes the fourth airline to offer nonstop service to the bay area out of Minneapolis (Sun Country, United & Delta are currently operating this route). One would expect that competition on this route will ultimately bring prices down, similar to what we have been seeing on routes to Los Angeles. It will be interesting to see what other changes Alaska makes after their merger with Virgin America. Stay tuned!