Alaska Airlines plans to launch year-round flights between Portland, Oregon and Honolulu, Hawaii beginning 20 September as Delta Air Lines plans to eliminate the same route after the peak summer season.

Alaska explains the new flights expand its current offerings from Portland to Hawaii, building on its existing service from Portland to Kahului, Maui.

Schedules in the Innovata database show that currently Hawaiian Airlines offers flights operated with Boeing 767-300s on the route while Alaska's codeshare partner Delta Air Lines operates 757s between the two locations.

However, the latest Delta schedule loaded into the carrier's system last week shows the carrier is cutting its service from Portland to Hawaii.

"The route has been unprofitable during off-peak seasons, and we have made the decision to reallocate the aircraft dedicated to this route to more profitable uses in our network," says a spokesman for Delta.

He explains Delta is hopeful that it can serve Portland-Honolulu again seasonally in the future, "and we will continue to evaluate opportunities to resume this service".

With respect to potentially codesharing with Alaska on the Portland-Honolulu pairing, Delta's spokesman says: "We would evaluate codeshare possibilities with Alaska as part of our normal alliance conversations, but no decisions have been made at this time."

Alaska and Delta in November 2008 amended their marketing agreement to make the carriers preferred alliance partners on the US West Coast.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news