AS needs to invest in their hard product and not waste money on airplane paint.
I think they are potentially looking for a better premium product for longer haul & Hawaii, maybe initially on the MAX 9? There are even more options down the road. ANC-FLL? All only potential actions, but AS needs to bring a MINT style product in a small sub fleet of aircraft, for specific routes & they need to keep up closer to the competition JFK-LAX/SFO.
Didn't AS already announce that they are disposing their SFO-JFK route.
No - they haven't said anything about SFO-JFK thus far.
LAX-JFK, well that's a different story... scheduled to be cut in October and I don't see anything that could lead to a reversal in that plan. They might end up cutting SFO-JFK as well at a later date, although maybe not, because the competition on LAX-NYC is just so stiff. SFO-NYC has stiff competition, sure - but much, much less than LAX-NYC.
And with regards to the previous post concerning Alaska adding a premium product on a subfleet - as much as I'd be thrilled to see that happen, I can't reasonably see how it ever will.
The first step to becoming a more premium carrier is most definitely *not* cutting your most premium route. LAX-JFK is being cut out of the network, and SFO-JFK might eventually get the axe as well. That doesn't bode well at all for a carrier that hypothetically plans on introducing some new type of Mint-esque lieflat direct-aisle-access premium transcon seat. Secondly - compared to all of its competitors - AS's transcon footprint really isn't that large at all, since (I'm guesstimating) 80% of all transcon flights depart from one airport - and the subset of "premium" transcon flights is so small that you can almost count them on your fingers:
And then there's a couple from DCA/IAD to each of these, plus some BOS flights sprinkled in there too.
Even still, this pales in comparison to the likes of UA, B6, DL, AA, etc - who have not only many more routes to worry about, but also way, way more frequencies to fly. Is it really worth AS's $$ to invest in a premium subfleet, or would it be better for them to focus on their core interest - more leisure-based flights as well as banked flights that suit their network better? Should they build up PDX as a reliever hub or try to increase their footprint with CA customers, or instead chase the sexy lieflat J market?
The only conceivable way that I think they could justify adding a premium transcon seat is to increase brand resonance with potential CA-based customers and highlight a new, premium experience to attract a richer (or corporate) customer pool.