Alaska Airlines and Delta will end their codeshare partnership on April 30.

The announcement came five days after Alaska completed its $2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America, a move that jumped it ahead of JetBlue to the fifth-largest U.S. carrier.

The partnership between the carriers had already been shrinking steadily in recent years with Delta competing aggressively with Alaska in Seattle. Delta said it has more than tripled its flights and destinations from Seattle since 2013.

Meanwhile, Alaska's revenue from its codeshare agreement with Delta has dropped from $190 million to $65 million since 2014, the airline reported in an SEC filing on Dec. 6.

"This should not come as a surprise as our relationship has become increasingly competitive over the last few years," Alaska managing director of alliances Charles Breer said of the coming end to the Delta-Alaska codeshare deal. "Given our own growth and expansion, Alaska Airlines now can take people virtually everywhere they need to go."

Though Alaska and Delta will no longer codeshare, they will maintain an interline agreement that provides ticketing and baggage connectivity. But beginning with travel on May 1, Delta SkyMiles members can no longer accrue or redeem points for flights on Alaska and Alaska Mileage Plan members can't redeem or accrue miles on Delta flights.

The end of the codeshare deal could be a good sign for consumers. As part of its approval of the Alaska-Virgin America merger, antitrust regulators at the Department of Justice required Alaska to scale back its codeshare agreement with American Airlines, primarily on routes in which the carriers either compete now or are likely to compete in the future.

Monday's break between Alaska and Delta could signal that the enlarged Alaska Airlines is serious about growing its nationwide network, since it won't be replacing American codeshare flights with Delta codeshares.


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