Delta Air Lines is expanding again in Seattle, announcing new service to Chicago O’Hare that will put it into direct competition with several of its biggest rivals.
Beginning June 19, the carrier will start flying three daily round-trip flights on the route using Airbus A319 jets.
Delta’s latest Seattle route also furthers its efforts to muscle onto the turf of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, a former partner of Delta that’s long been the biggest carrier in Seattle.
But Delta has started to build its own base in Seattle this decade. The Atlanta-based airline has added dozens of nonstop routes to both domestic and foreign destinations from Seattle, which it has now turned into a large connecting hub.
Delta says it has “more than tripled flights and destinations” in Seattle since 2012, now offering offer a total of 163 peak-day flights to more than 40 destinations, according to the company.
With the addition of the Chicago flights, Delta says it will now fly from Seattle to all 10 of the top air-travel markets from Seattle.
“We have built a robust network from Seattle to key U.S West, Midwest and East destinations over the last few years, complementing service to Europe, Asia and Latin America,” John Caldwell, Delta’s VP – Seattle, says in statement. “Adding Chicago fulfills a key part of our vision for the Pacific Northwest and provides our customers access to all of the most important destinations from Seattle.”
In adding the new service, however, Delta will step in a crowded field of competitors flying between Chicago and Seattle.
United offers six daily round-trip weekday flights between Chicago O’Hare and Seattle while Alaska Airlines offers four, according to those carrier’s summer schedules. American offers three daily weekday round-trip flights. And, from Chicago’s Midway Airport, Southwest flies nine daily round-trip flights to Seattle, according to its summer schedule.
As for the continuing competition between Delta and Alaska, Alaska has countered Delta’s Seattle expansion by expanding its own schedule there. The ensuing turf war has turned Seattle-Tacoma International into one of the USA’s fastest-growing airports.
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