Alaska Airlines and Delta to end partnership in spring 2017

SEATTLE -- Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced they are ending their partnership next year as competition between the two rivals amps up in Seattle.

The two airlines said effective April 30, 2017 the companies will no longer offer bookings for travel on each other's flights.

It also means passengers that belong to either airline's frequent flyer program will no longer earn miles on the other.

The announcement comes on the heels of Alaska finalizing its deal to purchase Virgin America -- creating the 5th largest airline in the U.S. with the most daily flights to and from the west coast.

"This should come as no surprise as our relationship has become increasingly competitive over the last few years," said Charles Breer, Alaska Airlines’ managing director of alliances. "Given our own growth and expansion, Alaska Airlines now can take people virtually anywhere they need to go."

Meanwhile Delta has more than tripled flights and destinations at its Seattle hub since 2013.

“We view Seattle and the Pacific Northwest as one of the most important markets in the country, with strong economic growth, cultural diversity and some of the world’s most innovative brands and minds,” said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s Vice President – Seattle. “As a result, we have invested heavily in our product, services, facilities and the community. Our focus now is earning the long-term trust of Pacific Northwest customers by demonstrating the value of partnering with a global airline and the benefits of being a Delta SkyMiles Member.”

Alaska also announced changes to its Mileage Plan -- including the ability to earn miles on Virgin America flights and lowering many of the award tiers for booking award travel.