Virgin America acquisition gives Alaska the arsenal to up the stakes against United in SFO

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One of the main drivers in Alaska's pursuit of, and eventual acquisition of, Virgin America was strategically to bolster its position on the US west coast. Alaska is now leveraging its newly strengthened position in San Francisco to broaden its combined reach from the city with Virgin America, adding 12 new destinations from the airport by YE2017.

Alaska is upping competition with San Francisco's largest airline, United, through its expansion at the airport, breaking United's monopoly in many of its new planned routes. The growth shows that combined, Alaska and Virgin America are in a much stronger position to challenge United than Virgin America on a stand alone basis.

The new routes offered by Alaska are a mix of small and medium sized markets utilising Alaska's growing fleet of Embraer 175s and Virgin America's Airbus A320 family aircraft. Alaska's new route profile from the airport illustrates the combined airline's ability to offer more network breadth from San Francisco - through a more diverse fleet that should generate a larger pool of revenue for the company.

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