This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Alaska Air Seeks San Diego Niche

Stocks in this article: ALK DAL LCC LUV SAVE

SAN DIEGO ( TheStreet) -- Let's just say upfront that although Alaska Airlines (ALK) has added six new destinations at San Diego International Airport over the past year, it is not trying to build a hub.

That would be illogical, given that the airport has one very severe limitation -- a single runway -- as well as major presences by all four big U.S. carriers headed by Southwest (LUV). Rather, in San Diego, said Andrew Harrison, Alaska vice president for planning and revenue management, "We are looking for underserved niche markets. Look at our history, that's really what we've done."

Alaska's approach has won favor from many airline analysts, giving it a sort of "golden boy" status in the industry, partially as a result of its route selection, partially as a result of its ability to leverage off its prime real estate in Seattle where it operates the only hub at one of the country's best gateways to Asia. Shares closed Monday at $59.58, up 35% this year.

Last month, Alaska began San Diego to Boston flights. In the preceding 12 months it boosted its San Diego operation with three new California destinations -- Fresno, Monterey and Santa Rosa -- as well as Orlando and Kauai. Its other destinations from San Diego are Portland and Seattle; Honolulu and Maui, and Los Cabos, Monterrey, and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. The three California destinations are served with 76 seat Q400 turboprops flown by partner Horizon Air. This summer, Alaska and Horizon combined will offer 24 daily departures to a dozen destinations.

To the extent possible given its single runway, San Diego International is growing. In 2012, the airport accommodated 17.2 million passengers, up 2.1% from the preceding year, with about 500 daily departures. In June, US Airways (LCC) began service to Washington Reagan National Airport, saying San Diego was the largest U.S. city without non-stop service to Washington. In November, Japan Air Lines began service to Tokyo in November, saying San Diego was the largest U.S. city without non-stop service to Asia. Fast-growing Spirit (SAVE)added flights to Dallas in June and to Portland and Los Cabos in November. American (AAMRQ.PK) will add a Miami flight this June. Southwest is the airport's leading carrier with about 38% of the traffic.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs