Less than two years after switching to beverages from Seattle underdog Jones Soda on their flights, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air will move back to soda pop giant Coca-Cola on March 1.
The change is coming because of customer requests, Alaska Airlines said in a news release. The airline and Horizon Air are both operated by Seattle-based Alaska Air Group.
“As we continue to spread our wings beyond the West Coast, it’s increasingly important to respond to our customers’ requests for Coca-Cola products onboard,” Steve Jarvis, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing, sales and customer experience, said in the release.
The airline has provided Jones Soda products on flights since April 2008. Before that, it was with Coke for 10 years.
Coke, which said in the release it is delighted about the move, lost its Qwest Field contract to Jones Soda in 2007 after being the soda pop sponsor of the Seahawks for most of the previous three decades.
Jones still pours soda at the football stadium but no longer provides energy drinks or water there. It scaled back its contract last fall and is paying less now, although it does not disclose how much.
Jones executives said at the company’s annual meeting in 2008 that the Alaska Airlines and Qwest Field deals were break-even propositions — not intended to make money but to introduce the drinks to people who might buy them in stores.
Last August, Jones said its financial predicament raises “substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.” The company has since said it is considering being acquired by Big Red Holdings of Texas, which gave an “indication of interest” — not a formal offer — of almost $8 million.