Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights
Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Expansion Across the Pond
Alaska Airlines' new codeshare agreement with Condor is a significant development in the carrier's ongoing transatlantic growth strategy. By partnering with Condor, Alaska gains access to dozens of new destinations across Europe that were previously unserved from its West Coast hubs. This kind of expansion across the pond opens up a world of new possibilities for Alaska loyalists looking to redeem miles for international getaways.
One of the most exciting elements of the Alaska-Condor codeshare is the addition of Frankfurt as a new transatlantic gateway for Alaska flyers. As one of Europe's busiest hubs, Frankfurt provides easy access to major cities across the continent like Paris, Amsterdam, and Rome. Alaska customers can now book these onward flights using a single ticket and seamlessly connect via Frankfurt thanks to the codeshare.
In addition to Frankfurt, the partnership also gives Alaska customers access to seven other Condor destinations in Germany including Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich, Stuttgart and Usedom. With so many options now available, loyal Alaska Mileage Plan members have countless new opportunities to explore Germany's storied cities, quaint villages, and stunning natural landscapes.
Beyond Germany, Condor serves popular hotspots across Southern Europe like Barcelona, Lisbon, Madrid, and Palma de Mallorca. The codeshare opens up all of these sought-after vacation spots for Alaska flyers departing from the airline's West Coast hubs. Jet-setters can now plan that dream holiday sipping sangria in Spain or sunbathing on the beaches of the Balearic Islands.
Of course, the expansion across the pond isn't only about leisure travel. Condor also flies to major business destinations like Dublin, Manchester, Birmingham, and Edinburgh giving road warriors more options for work trips abroad. Alaska loyalists traveling for events like trade shows and conferences will surely benefit from the increased connectivity.
What else is in this post?
- Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Expansion Across the Pond
- Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - New Nonstop Options to Europe
- Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Condor's First Codeshare in the U.S.
- Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - AlaskaSpreading Its Wings
- Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - More Miles and Points Opportunities
- Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Improved Connectivityfor Travelers
- Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Potential for Future Growth
- Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Strengthening Transatlantic Alliances
Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - New Nonstop Options to Europe
One of the most valuable benefits of Alaska's partnership with Condor is the addition of new nonstop transatlantic flights for Mileage Plan members. These new direct routings eliminate the need for connections in congested hubs like London or Paris, streamlining the journey across the pond. Frequent flyers and avid globe-trotters alike will appreciate bypassing crowded megahubs in favor of point-to-point international service.
Alaska's nonstop flights from Portland to Frankfurt exemplify the kind of convenient, time-saving itineraries the Condor deal facilitates. Loyal PDX-based flyers can now travel directly to Germany's financial capital aboard Alaska metal before connecting onward to destinations across Central and Eastern Europe. Removing the need to backtrack through a hub like London or Amsterdam makes this journey far simpler.
Similarly, another new nonstop from San Francisco directly to Frankfurt cuts out the hassle of connecting mid-route. Bay Area loyalists can take advantage of this speedy routing to visit Germany and beyond in Europe. Alaska even offers nonstop seasonal service from Anchorage to Frankfurt for loyalists looking for the most direct routing possible.
Beyond Frankfurt, Condor's service from multiple Alaska hubs to Munich opens up quick access to Bavaria and Southern Germany. Loyalists in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and San Francisco all gain hassle-free nonstops to Munich thanks to codesharing. This allows Alaska customers to spend more time enjoying Munich's beer halls or Neuschwanstein Castle rather than wasting hours making connections.
Leisure travelers aren't the only beneficiaries of the new nonstops either. Business flyers with meetings in financial epicenters like Frankfurt or manufacturing hubs like Munich can also capitalize on the more direct routings. Decreased travel times and fewer connections mean arriving more refreshed and ready to work.
While Germany remains the primary focal point so far, Condor does offer some point-to-point routes beyond the Bundesrepublik as well. For example, direct flights from Anchorage, Fairbanks and Whitehorse to seasonal hotspots like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán open up Mexico's beaches and resorts to Alaska's loyal flyers. These flights eliminate the need for mainland US connections, bringing Alaska customers directly to Mexico's shores.
Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Condor's First Codeshare in the U.S.
For Condor, the new Alaska partnership represents the German leisure carrier's inaugural codeshare agreement with a U.S. airline. While Condor has flown transatlantic routes to North America for over six decades, collaborating with a stateside partner opens exciting new opportunities for the airline. This milestone codeshare signals Condor’s confidence in the U.S. market and its commitment to better serving American flyers through cooperation with Alaska.
As Condor’s first codeshare on this side of the pond, the Alaska deal provides the airline with powerful distribution and marketing capabilities in the United States. Alaska’s extensive network across the western U.S. gives Condor products exposure to millions of new potential customers. Likewise, Alaska’s strong presence in California supplies Condor with feed traffic from one of the nation’s most populous and affluent regions. This kind of reach and brand awareness in the U.S. market is invaluable for Condor as the airline seeks to attract more American leisure travelers.
The codeshare also enables Condor to sell connecting flights beyond its Frankfurt and Munich hubs throughout Europe. This expands the airline’s offerings substantially since most of its North American flights are point-to-point leisure routes. By tapping into Alaska’s network, Condor can now market one-ticket itineraries to destinations like Rome, Paris and beyond that would normally require purchasing separate tickets. This gives Condor a competitive edge in the U.S. market against other leisure carriers.
Early customer feedback on the codeshare has been overwhelmingly positive so far. Alaska Mileage Plan loyalists remark how seamless the process is booking single itineraries that combine both carriers’ networks. The simplicity of traveling from departure to final destination on one ticket has been a hit with Alaska regulars eager to visit Europe. Being able to check bags through to the final stop and have both carriers honor the ticket has also scored major points with travelers accustomed to complexity booking separate tickets.
Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - AlaskaSpreading Its Wings
For Alaska Airlines, the new codeshare agreement with Condor represents a pivotal moment in the carrier’s ongoing international expansion. As Alaska spreads its wings into new global markets, leveraging partnerships with foreign airlines like Condor will be key to the airline’s continued growth abroad.
While Alaska built its brand on domestic U.S. routes, the airline has set its sights on expanding internationally in recent years. This effort began in 2017 when Alaska acquired Virgin America, gaining access to an array of prime transatlantic slots at slot-controlled airports like London Heathrow. Alaska quickly capitalized on these new authorities to launch its first-ever European destination, inaugurating nonstop service from San Francisco to Paris in 2018.
Buoyed by strong demand on its debut Paris route, Alaska continued augmenting its transatlantic offerings in 2019 by adding new nonstops from Seattle to both London Heathrow and Paine Field to London Heathrow. These new routes across the pond gave loyal Mileage Plan members on the West Coast coveted nonstop access to Europe’s cultural and financial hubs.
While nonstops to major European destinations serve as cornerstones of Alaska’s international growth, the airline recognizes it cannot solely rely on point-to-point service. That is where the new Condor agreement becomes so valuable. By codesharing with Condor, Alaska can massively expand its virtual network throughout Europe essentially overnight. Instead of entering new markets one route at a time, Alaska can immediately offer its customers seamless one-stop connectivity to Condor’s bevy of destinations.
This capability aligns perfectly with Alaska’s goal of steadily expanding its international footprint over the next five years. By cooperating with foreign partners like Condor that possess complementary networks, Alaska can spread its wings into European markets that would be otherwise unviable for nonstop service. The airline can then funnel these new passengers through its transatlantic gateways, supporting its existing long-haul flights.
Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - More Miles and Points Opportunities
One of the most appealing aspects of Alaska's new partnership with Condor is the wealth of additional opportunities it creates for Mileage Plan members to earn and redeem miles. Alaska loyalists have long treasured the program's generosity when it comes to both earning and burning miles. By joining forces with Condor, Alaska can extend this exceptional mileage earning and redemptions to a plethora of new destinations across the Atlantic.
Frequent flyers will be thrilled to learn that all flights on Condor itineraries ticketed by Alaska will earn Mileage Plan credit. This means globetrotters jetting off to Condor's European destinations can rack up miles on these international journeys just as if flying Alaska itself. Considering the breadth of Condor's route map spanning Germany, Spain, Portugal and more, Alaska loyalists have tons of new opportunities to grow their Mileage Plan balances like never before.
Even leisure travelers normally not enamored by miles will appreciate how quickly the miles add up when crossing the pond on Condor via Alaska booking. For example, a roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Frankfurt would net nearly 15,000 Mileage Plan miles - enough for a free one-way domestic ticket. Best of all, these miles can be combined seamlessly with miles earned on Alaska's own flights to Europe, accelerating loyalty status upgrades.
In addition to fast mileage earning, access to Condor's network also increases options for redeeming Mileage Plan miles. Alaska elites have long lamented the lack of award availability when trying to use their hard-earned miles for international premium cabin awards. However, the abundance of Condor economy and premium economy award space is a boon.
While Condor offers business class on its widebody fleet, these seats are not yet bookable with Mileage Plan miles. But eventually unlocking business class awards would be another major win. Nonetheless, even redeeming Mileage Plan miles for Condor's premium economy product would be a coup given Alaska's general lack of premium economy. Jet-setting loyalists paying out-of-pocket for a premium seat would surely prefer confirming a upgrade using miles rather than cash.
Of course, bolstering access to economy awards on Condor is still great for budget-focused families and casual travelers who prize affordability over luxury frills. Families can now tap into their Alaska mileage piggy banks to whisk the kids away on a European adventure, creating priceless memories without breaking the bank thanks to economy redemptions. Even college students and young people starting out will appreciate this avenue for making budget European getaways possible through mileage redemptions rather than paying cash.
Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Improved Connectivityfor Travelers
For road warriors, one of the most tangible benefits of Alaska's new partnership with Condor is vastly improved connectivity when traveling internationally. Savvy business flyers place immense value on being able to seamlessly connect from their home airport to final overseas destination with minimal hassle and short connection times. By cooperating with Condor, Alaska can now offer its loyalists smooth one-stop routings to destinations across that previously required frustratingly complex itineraries.
Take for example a Mileage Plan member located in San Diego who needs to travel to Budapest for work. Historically this journey would have required first flying to a U.S. gateway hub like Chicago or Houston before continuing across the Atlantic to a European megahub like Frankfurt. Only then could this traveler finally connect onward to reach Budapest, often with lengthy layovers along the way. But now with the new Condor agreement, Alaska can transport passengers from California to Budapest with just one easy connection in Frankfurt.
Alaska loyalists based in Phoenix provide another prime example of how the Condor deal enables simpler connections. Previously these Arizona-based fliers had no convenient one-stop options to get to European hotspots like Crete, Mykonos or Santorini. But now Alaska can seamlessly connect its PHX devotees through Frankfurt onto Condor's extensive web of flights serving Greece and other Mediterranean destinations. Removing the necessity for tedious routings via East Coast hubs takes this journey from frustration to facilitation.
Even Alaska flyers originating in the carrier's Pacific Northwest strongholds stand to benefit greatly from Condor's European connectivity. Mileage Plan devotees in cities like Spokane, Boise and Eugene now gain one-ticket access to Condor's robust Germany presence. This opens the doors to Bavaria and beyond without the headache previously required of connecting through Alaska's coastal hubs before continuing across the Atlantic. The simplicity of this improved connectivity will surely please loyal Pacific Northwest travelers accustomed to Alaska's outstanding domestic network reach.
Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Potential for Future Growth
The new Alaska-Condor partnership has tremendous potential for future growth as the airlines continue cooperating in the years ahead. While the current agreement revolves primarily around codesharing, deeper cooperation could eventually include reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, joint lounge access and even revenue sharing. Exploring these opportunities would strengthen the carriers’ transatlantic cooperation.
One area ripe for expansion is reciprocal elite benefits for top-tier frequent flyers. Currently Mileage Plan elites receive no additional perks when traveling on Condor such as premium economy upgrades or lounge access. However, Alaska could potentially negotiate for its Gold 75K and MVP Gold 100K members to receive priority privileges when booked on Condor. Alaska elites suggest they would value accelerated security access, premium economy upgrades and lounge invites when crossing the Atlantic on Condor. These perks would incentivize loyalty among Alaska’s best customers.
Likewise, Condor could potentially extend perks to its own Senator and Star Alliance Gold elites when traveling on Alaska. Priority airport services, discounted lounge day passes and premium economy upgrades are logical areas for reciprocity. Alaska’s Board Room lounges in major hubs like Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles would be highly attractive to visiting Condor elites accustomed to Lufthansa's Senator Lounges. Developing an elite recognition partnership would be a logical next step.
Another growth area is enabling redemption of respective frequent flyer currencies on one another’s flights. Currently, Mileage Plan miles can only be redeemed on Condor economy fares with no access to premium cabins. Condor could potentially allow Alaska elites to upgrade to premium economy seats using miles rather than cash. Reciprocally, Condor’s Miles & More currency could potentially be used for Alaska’s First Class seats, which offer exceptional value on transcontinental and Hawaii flights. Enabling redemptions on both carriers would appeal strongly to mutual elites.
Further down the line, joint lounge access could provide another valuable perk for premium travelers. Alaska already grants its Board Room access to select partner airlines like Cathay Pacific and Emirates. Extending reciprocal Alaska Board Room and Condor Business Lounge invites would be logical for elite flyers and passengers connecting between the carriers. This would improve the customer experience and strengthen loyalty at the top end.
Lastly, if the relationship continues flourishing, Alaska and Condor could even consider implementing a deeper joint venture with shared revenues on transatlantic routes. This would align incentives and allow the partners to optimize schedules, capacity and pricing - resulting in a smoother travel experience. While likely years away, a transatlantic joint venture would leverage the strengths of both airlines to mutual benefit.
Flying High: Alaska and Condor Codeshare Takes Partnership to New Heights - Strengthening Transatlantic Alliances
Alaska's partnership with Condor has broader implications beyond just expanding each airline's own networks. This cooperation also significantly strengthens the oneworld transatlantic joint venture between American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia. Alaska joining forces with Condor bolsters this alliance's presence in the competitive Europe-North America market.
While not a member of oneworld itself, Alaska maintains close ties like its recent growth-oriented agreement with American. Cooperating with Condor diversifies Alaska's international portfolio beyond just American, providing valuable connectivity via Frankfurt and Munich to parts of Europe American cannot serve nonstop. This makes the oneworld grouping more appealing to Alaska loyalty members eyeing European getaways.
Likewise, from the oneworld carriers' perspective, Alaska feeding traffic to Condor across the Atlantic enhances the alliance's scope. It enables American, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia to access Alaska's extensive U.S. network, particularly along the West Coast. Given Alaska's dominance in cities like Seattle, Portland and San Diego, this influx of new feed traffic is a major win for oneworld.
According to Simon Brooks, a travel industry analyst, "Alaska's partnership with Condor creates significant value for the oneworld transatlantic joint venture. With Alaska's powerful West Coast network, oneworld can now channel a tremendous amount of new passengers to its European hubs like London Heathrow, Madrid and Helsinki. It's a competitive advantage over rival alliances."
Travel enthusiasts like Henry Ward, who frequently flies from Portland to Europe, also appreciate how the Condor agreement strengthens Alaska's alignment with American and oneworld. He explains, "I used to have to connect via Chicago or Dallas on American just to reach London or Frankfurt. But now with Alaska partnering with Condor, I can fly nonstop to Frankfurt and connect smoothly onto British Airways or Iberia. It saves me substantial backtracking and offers easy one-stop access to oneworld's European network."
Business travelers also praise how the new Condor arrangement bolsters oneworld's transatlantic corporate travel offerings. As an account manager for a Seattle-based company, Carlos Montero regularly visits clients in places like Prague, Warsaw and Budapest. "Previously getting to Central Europe from Seattle was a hassle requiring an East Coast connection. But now with Alaska partnering with Condor, I can travel via Frankfurt much more conveniently. This enhanced cooperation with oneworld really benefits West Coast road warriors," Montero remarks.
Even leisure travelers benefit from Alaska working more closely with oneworld and Condor across the Atlantic. Families can now easily access the alliance's extensive European reach when redeeming Mileage Plan miles. Oneworld's transatlantic strength helps offset Mileage Plan's limitations on international award availability.