Anchorage tourism received another boost today with Virgin America’s announcement that the airline plans summer nonstop service between San Francisco and Anchorage.
Anchorage customers will be able to connect via San Francisco to six other Virgin America destinations (Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Austin and San Diego). An Austin-San Francisco nonstop flight also was announced Monday. Flights begin June 6 and run through Sept. 8. Virgin America will fly six weekly flights between the cities, operating every day except Tuesday on the northbound leg and every day but Wednesday on the southbound one.
Virgin America fares are from $199 each way with 21-day advance purchase.
“We are excited about this new link from San Francisco and look forward to welcoming more visitors,” said Julie Saupe, Visit Anchorage president and CEO. “The addition of Virgin America to the Anchorage market reflects the growing demand for Alaska. New flights by Virgin America, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and Icelandair will give visitors more ways to get to Southcentral and all of Alaska, where within hours they can be amid Alaska glaciers, wildlife and national parks.”
Virgin America is the latest airline to enter the Anchorage summer market, joining JetBlue and Icelandair in offering new summer service to Anchorage. JetBlue, in addition to nonstop flights between Anchorage and Long Beach, Calif., will add nonstop flights from Anchorage to Seattle.
Icelandair plans twice-weekly service to Keflavik International Airport, its hub near Reykjavik, starting May 15 with connections to Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Finland and Sweden. The flights strengthen Anchorage’s links to Europe even as Condor celebrates its 20th anniversary of Anchorage service this summer with nonstop flights to Frankfurt, Germany.
Alaska is best known for its pristine natural beauty, and Anchorage is the most convenient starting point for an exploration of Alaska’s beautiful glaciers, abundant wildlife, rich Alaska Native culture and vast national parks. Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, but visitors are often surprised when they find hundreds of miles of nature trails and a resident moose population of over 1,500. Alaska’s 60 most accessible glaciers are within a day’s drive of Anchorage. Road, rail and air connections link Anchorage to five nearby national parks: Kenai Fjords, Lake Clark, Katmai, Wrangell-St. Elias and Denali. Anchorage has the best blend of metropolitan services and the wild adventure for which Alaska is known.
"Austin and Anchorage present unique opportunities for us to expand our network into areas that demand and deserve increased flight options," Virgin America CEO David Cush said in a release. "The addition of Anchorage will allow us to offer seasonal service to one of the most popular outdoor destinations from our home in San Francisco."
Visit Anchorage’s mission is to attract and serve visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage while building and diversifying the Anchorage economy. Visit Anchorage’s marketing functions are funded by one-third of the bed tax collected by lodging facilities. One-third goes to the Municipality’s general fund, and one-third to service the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers. Visit Anchorage receives no state or federal funds. Visit www.Anchorage.net for more information.