WATCH: Seattle Hub War Heats Up
Photo via Seattle's Space Needle on Instagram
The hub war in Seattle at Sea-Tac International Airport is heating up again between Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
Port of Seattle commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved designs for Alaska Airlines to expand its North Satellite Terminal at a cost of more than half-a-billion dollars – with some estimates pegging the final cost at $636 million.
The project will add eight new gates for Alaska Airlines, a new premium lounge, and double the dining and retail space to add new vendors. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2017 and be completed by the spring of 2019.
The Port of Seattle says construction will start early next year on a $636 million renovation to the North Satellite, where Alaska Airlines is the sole tenant. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be complete in 2019. The entire project is scheduled to be finished in 2021.
The project includes eight new gates with a 240-foot extension to the west, an upper-level mezzanine, a doubling of the dining and retail space and a rooftop Alaska Airlines lounge with views of the Olympics.
“This project – which will include new gates, increased dining and retail options, and more robust Wi-Fi and connectivity – is critical for meeting the region’s needs at Sea-Tac Airport for the next 25 years,” Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton said in a statement. “Renovations will open up the building with natural light, bring the feeling of movement and travel inside and express the culture of the Pacific Northwest with cost efficient, environmentally friendly functions and materials including a living wall and collecting rainwater to supply flushing water to the restrooms throughout most of the year.”
This is Alaska Airlines’ latest move to counter the growing presence of Delta which, several years ago, began to use Seattle as its northwestern hub – much as the old Northwest Airlines did before Delta acquired the carrier in a merger. Delta was widely praised for using Sea-Tac as a launching point for increased flights to Asia.
Alaska countered with its merger with Virgin America earlier this year, and now this renovation.
Here’s an animation of what the exterior of the project will look like.
“With upgraded facilities and additional gates, the improvements to the North Satellite will enhance the travel experience for our customers and employees and accommodate the continued growth of the airline,” Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Alaska Airlines, said in a statement. “Through the partnership with the Port of Seattle on the North Satellite Expansion Project, we will be able to deliver a signature Alaska experience for fliers in a space that epitomizes our energetic brand.”
Here is a look at the inside.
According to The Seattle Times, “The project will be funded by all the airlines that use the airport, not just Alaska, in proportion to each carrier’s share of passenger traffic.”
More by Rich Thomaselli
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