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Alaska Airlines 'Thriving' Despite Stiff Competition From Delta, Says CEO

Tom Banse
Northwest News Network
File photo. Alaska Airlines reported its highest quarterly profit in its history Thursday.

The parent company of Alaska Airlines reported the highest quarterly profit in its history Thursday despite stiff competition in the Northwest skies.

Delta Air Lines continues to expand on Alaska's home turf. Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden told Wall Street analysts his carrier is "doubling down" on service to hold its rival at bay.

"As we pause to take a look at how we're doing mid-year and two-and-a-half years into the biggest competitive incursion we've seen in a while, I am happy to share that we are thriving,” Tilden said. “Our operation is firing on all cylinders."

Alaska Air Group executives said they’re maintaining market share at SeaTac Airport, which both Alaska and Delta now claim as a key hub. The brisk growth by both carriers seems to be coming at the expense of other airlines serving the Northwest such as United and Southwest.

Delta Air Lines executives said they're bullish about the performance of their new Pacific gateway during their own earnings conference call a few days ago.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.