Delta’s expansion of its shuttle service to Seattle last week was the latest move in the carrier’s skirmish with Alaska Airlines for Pacific Northwest supremacy, analysts said.

“Delta and Alaska don’t get along,” said Seth Kaplan, the managing partner for Airline Weekly. “They’re at war.”

Delta launched the business traveler-oriented service on May 11 with flights from Seattle to San Francisco and Seattle to Los Angeles. Most notably, Delta Shuttle flights have separate, dedicated check-in counters. For convenience, they also make use of gates located near security and offer two-class service with complimentary upgrades.

Delta is operating the shuttle service on its eight existing peak-day flights from Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport to Los Angeles and its eight peak-day flights from Seattle to San Francisco. It will also be offered on two Seattle-LAX flights to be added May 23.

The Delta Shuttle’s West Coast expansion — it has offered flights between San Francisco and Los Angeles since 2013 — came a month after Alaska entered into a merger deal with Virgin America. Once the merger is finalized, Alaska will be the largest carrier on the West Coast.

Delta has been taking on Alaska aggressively in its Seattle home market since 2012, increasing service at Sea-Tac from 31 peak-day flights to what will total more than 150 peak-day flights this summer. Alaska makes 258 daily departures from Seattle. 

Aviation analyst Bob Mann of R.W. Mann & Co. said that Delta made the move on Seattle after it decided it couldn’t merely rely on its codeshare agreement with Alaska for Seattle routes. That agreement remains in place, leading some to refer to the airlines as “frenemies.”

While Alaska’s codeshare with Delta amounted to 2% of its annual revenue as of December, the carrier brought in more than twice that from a codeshare deal with American.

Analysts last week expressed skepticism that the advent of the Delta Shuttle in Seattle will have a major impact. Alaska offers 19 peak-daily flights between Seattle and San Francisco and Los Angeles compared with 22 Delta will be offering by the end of May.

“Every move that Delta makes in Seattle is calculated to siphon off from Alaska,” said Jason Rabinowitz, data research manager for the flight-amenities ranking website Routehappy. “I don’t know if it will be successful, because the shuttle doesn’t really offer all that much more than the typical flight.”

Mann said that the conversion of standard service into Delta Shuttle operations should be viewed mainly as a marketing effort. He said the original airline shuttle operations, which flew between New York, Boston and Washington, were operated as on-demand services. Now the Delta Shuttle is booked like any other flight.

“I think [Delta] just decided that there are shuttles on the East Coast that don’t actually perform like a shuttle, but we’ll call them that,” Mann said, “so why can’t we do that on the West Coast, too?”

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