Delta Might Be Planning Big Push In Seattle

Aug. 17--Delta Air Lines, which already has cranked up its international connections in Seattle several times in the last year, shows signs it may again be upping its presence in the Emerald City.

The airline announced Friday it is appointing an executive, Mike Medeiros, as vice president for its Seattle operations.

Among Medeiros' former jobs was head of Delta's big operation at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. Most immediately, Medeiros has been vice president of global human resources and human development for the Atlanta-base airline.

Since Delta merged with Northwest Airlines five years ago, it has become Sea-Tac's second largest airline by passenger traffic after the SeaTac-based Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air combination.

In the last 18 months, the airline has made Seattle a hub for international flights with non-stops to both of Tokyo's airports, Narita and Haneda, to Beijing, Shanghai, and Amsterdam. Delta took over from Air France in connecting Seattle non-stop with Paris and it recently announced it will begin Sea-Tac-London service next spring.

Alaska Airlines and Delta are code-sharing partners on many flights to and from Sea-Tac.

Since May, Delta service in Seattle has expanded from 33 peak-day departures to 13 destinations to its current schedule of 44 peak-day departures to 18 destinations.

Delta has also invested $14 million in its facilities at SeattleTacoma International Airport, including its recently completed lobby renovations, new Delta Sky Club, Sky Priority services, new gate area power recharging stations and expanded ticket counters, the airline said.

The airline has increased its service on the critical Los Angeles-SeaTac route and added new routes to Las Vegas.

Each time Delta has announced service increases at Seattle, Delta and Alaska executives have been questioned about the possibility of the two airlines merging. The answers, at least from Alaska, have been that the airline would have to consider any offers, but it isn't interested in merger and acquisitions.

Copyright 2013 - The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)