US carrier Alaska Airlines and its partners will have capacity this summer to carry nearly 1 million more passengers than they did last year, as the airline prepares for its “largest summer schedule ever”.

”In response to an increase in travel demand, Alaska Airlines is offering the largest summer schedule in the company’s history, including new nonstop routes and international destinations we’ve never served before during our busiest months of the year,” the carrier said on 6 June. The carrier’s capacity figures apply to the June through August period. 

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737. Alaska Airlines

Source: Alaska Airlines

Alaska expects a strong summer travel season, with flights peaking around 4 July 

Alaska’s new destinations include Guatemala City, the Bahamas and Toronto. It is also rolling out new routes between Anchorage in Alaska and New York, Portland and Nashville, and boosting flights to and from its hubs in Seattle, Portland, San Diego and Anchorage. 

Cirium data shows that Alaska, sister company Horizon Air and regional partner SkyWest Airlines plan to operate 118,900 combined flights – enough to carry 15.8 million passengers – between June and August. During the same period last year those airlines had scheduled 109,400 flights with 14.9 million available flight-seats.

Alaska now has 237 Boeing 737s in its fleet, up from 221 one year ago, while Horizon and SkyWest have a combined 86 regional jets flying for Alaska, up from 77 last year, according to Cirium data. Horizon

”Outside of our hub cities, which are seeing notable growth, our guests have been particularly interested in exploring new places,” Alaska says, noting that interest in Guatemala City has been strong. 

”National parks have been especially popular. To support this demand, we’ve added 16% more flights to Jackson Hole, Wyoming — the gateway to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone,” the carrier adds. 

Recent signs have been pointing up, with Alaska moving more than half a million passenger during the most recent Memorial Day weekend, a 6% increase over the same period of last year. 

Alaska anticipates the busy summer travel season will peak on the days before and after the 4 July holiday, with some 160,000 passengers boarding daily.