Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport expects busy summer tourist season

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 9:07 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Many have already arrived, while others leave Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

“Exhausting but fun,” said Minnesota’s Patrick Shaeffer after a visit with family in Palmer.

Summer tourist season has unofficially started. The airport expects a very busy season.

“We’ve got a lot of new destinations and a lot more capacity into the market,” said Airport Manager Jim Szczesniak.

Alaska Airlines will offer nonstop service to Las Vegas, and San Francisco, Szczesniak said. Delta Airlines will also become a bigger player in the market, he said

“We’ve got Delta coming into a new market, which is Detroit for us,” Szczesniak said.

Plus, Delta will fly non-stop to New York City twice a week, he added. United Airlines, meanwhile, will offer daily non-stop to Newark, New Jersey, according to Szczesniak.

This summer marks the return of a familiar face. Discount carrier Frontier Airlines resumes summer service for the first time since 2014, according to Airport Spokesperson Trudy Wassel.

“That way you can attract multiple population sets of travelers that want to experience Alaska,” said Szczesniak

The return of tourist season is welcome news at the airport, as it saw passenger numbers fall by more than 60% last year due to the pandemic, according to Szczesniak. He said that 2019 saw a record 5.7 million people pass through this airport. That included a full cruise ship season.

“Although the ships aren’t coming, we’re going to have the aircraft capacity that’s going to bring passengers into Alaska to enjoy Alaska for the summer,” Szczesniak said.

It isn’t just the airlines that prepare for tourist season. Employees at the Norton Sound Seafood House in the airport get ready to reopen for the first time in more than a year.

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