Alaska Airlines to begin nonstop daily flights between San Francisco and Philadelphia

Alaska Airlines announced Thursday that it will begin nonstop daily flights between San Francisco and Philadelphia, starting Aug. 31.

The first San Francisco-Philadelphia flight will be a red-eye departing San Francisco International Airport at 10:35 p.m. on Aug. 31 and arriving at Philadelphia International Airport at 7 a.m. the next day. The first flight to San Francisco from PHL will leave at 8:15 a.m. on Sept. 1, and arrive in San Francisco at 11:25 a.m.

Alaska currently has daily nonstop flights to Seattle, its home base, from Philadelphia. In May, the carrier will begin seasonal summer service to Portland, Oregon from PHL.

Alaska, popular in the Pacific Northwest and known for customer service, acquired Virgin America Inc. in December, creating the fifth-largest U.S. airline. Since the acquisition, Alaska has been growing its hub in San Francisco and announced on Thursday 13 new nonstop routes, 10 from San Francisco and three from San Jose.

Currently, American and United Airlines offer nonstop flights between Philadelphia and San Francisco.

"Alaska Airlines has been well received here and we look forward to even more direct service," said Philadelphia airport CEO Chellie Cameron. Alaska has been operating in Philadelphia since 2012.

Alaska, which traces its roots to 1932, got its start with an extensive network in Alaska and now flies to 118 cities in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, and Cuba.

The carrier was ranked "highest in customer satisfaction" among traditional carriers in North America by J.D. Power and Associates the last nine years.