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Alaska Airlines takes on Delta with nonstop from Portland to Atlanta

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Alaska Airlines is wading deeper into prime Delta Air Lines territory, adding a cross-country flight to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Starting Oct. 1, Alaska will launch nonstop service to Atlanta from its Portland International Airport (PDX) hub in Oregon. The Seattle-based carrier will operate the daily flight year-round.

The move comes as Alaska continues to expand its transcontinental route network out of Portland. Next month, it will launch nonstop flights to Nashville International Airport (BNA). Plus, Alaska launched a Portland nonstop from Miami International Airport (MIA) in November.

“We’re always looking for ways to connect the Rose City to other destinations across our network. We believe our flights to Atlanta will be a popular addition for our guests heading to the South,” Kirsten Amrine, Alaska’s vice president of revenue management and network planning, said in a statement.

But this Atlanta route is also a notable foray onto Delta’s home turf. It’s not necessarily an outlier, either.

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Capacity growth in Atlanta and beyond

In all, Alaska’s scheduled seats to Atlanta this year will be up 32% from 2023, according to data from aviation analytics firm Cirium.

That spike in seats comes as Alaska adds nonstops to Delta’s home base from both Portland and San Diego International Airport (SAN), with the latter route set to launch May 16.

Alaska already serves Atlanta from its Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) home base.

For its part, Delta does already operate an Atlanta-to-Portland route, with multiple daily nonstops.


Alaska is also expanding its footprint pretty significantly at another Delta hub in 2024. Its seats to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) will be up around 42% from last year, Cirium data shows. That’s helped by added capacity between Minneapolis and two Alaska hubs: Seattle and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) in Alaska.

Growth in Portland

Meanwhile, Alaska is also dramatically increasing its flight schedule out of Portland.

During the month of October, when this route launches, for instance, the carrier is set to increase its year-over-year seats from the West Coast airport by about 33% over last year, per Cirium.

Portland International Airport (PDX). SEAN CUDAHY/THE POINTS GUY

In a statement earlier this month, the carrier noted its increased frequencies to other existing cities on its route map out of Portland, led by Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), which will have five daily frequencies as of Aug. 20.

Alaska also noted Feb. 12 that it’s putting the final touches on the design for an all-new “Flagship Lounge” in Portland, which would open sometime between 2025 and 2026 with more than 10,000 square feet of space.

PDX-ATL route details

Here’s how the itinerary shakes out for Alaska’s new flight between Portland and Atlanta. Again, the route begins Oct. 1 and will operate daily.

  • PDX-ATL: Departs at 9:37 a.m., arrives at 5:12 p.m.
  • ATL-PDX: Departs at 7:59 p.m., arrives at 10:14 p.m.

At least from the outset, it appears, from Alaska’s booking channels, that it will operate a Boeing 737-900 aircraft on the route.

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