ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - Mascots and school colors from two of Alaska's most beloved and heated collegiate rivals, the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will soon be featured on two of Alaska Airlines' Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft. The colorful paint themes were unveiled to a crowd of fans at the Sullivan Arena where the Alaska Nanooks and UAA Seawolf hockey teams will battle in the first of a four-game series to claim the Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup.
"We're thrilled to show Alaska Airlines' strong support of education while growing our fleet of university paint themes with our first two schools in Alaska," said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines' regional vice president - Alaska. "The UAA and UAF school colors will proudly fly between our two largest cities and from Anchorage to Kodiak."
Like other university-themed aircraft operated for Alaska Airlines by its sister carrier, Horizon Air, the Nanook and Seawolf planes will be painted at no cost to the university and will fly primarily between Anchorage and Fairbanks and Anchorage and Kodiak when the carrier introduces the 76-seat Q400 to the state of Alaska on March 3, 2014. The UAF and UAA planes will be painted and unveiled in February next year.
"These planes are yet another example of Alaska Airlines' commitment to higher education in Alaska," said UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers. "I can't wait to see the Nanooks and Seawolves take to the skies above our great state. The planes will serve as a reminder of both the quality education and spirited athletic rivalry that embodies our universities."
"We are grateful to Alaska Airlines for their continued support of UAA," said UAA Chancellor Tom Case. "It is a great honor to have our university represented in this way. These planes will be a point of pride for our UAA and Alaska community."
The UAF and UAA planes will be the 10th and 11th university-themed aircraft flown by Horizon Air since 2008. Other paint themes represent the universities of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, as well as Boise State, Montana State, Oregon State, San Diego State and Washington State. Alaska Airlines recently unveiled the "Spirit of Education." The specially-themed Boeing 737-900ER was dedicated to the students and staff of Raisbeck Aviation High School located in Tukwila, Wash.
Horizon Air is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group and flies to 39 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Also, Alaska Airlines announces service between Salt Lake City and Four West Coast cities.
Alaska Airlines will begin daily nonstop service between Salt Lake City and Portland, Ore., Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, Calif., starting June 9, and will add a third nonstop flight to its existing service between Salt Lake City and Seattle. Sale fares on the new flights will be available for booking Tuesday, Dec. 10. Flight times and start dates are listed below.
To celebrate the new service, Alaska Airlines is offering members of its Mileage Plan double miles on these routes, which count toward status in the airline's MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K elite-level programs.
"Salt Lake City has long been a top requested market by our customers and we are pleased to add to our successful Seattle-Salt Lake City flights with additional service from four other West Coast gateways," said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "This new service connects travelers with Alaska's strong network on the West Coast. In addition, our customers will enjoy double miles that apply toward elite status in our award-winning Mileage Plan program."
The threshold for Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan members to earn elite-level MVP status is only 20,000 miles - 5,000 fewer miles than most other airline frequent flier programs. Alaska Airlines first began service between Seattle and Salt Lake City on April 4, 2013.