Thursday, May 18, 2017

Alaska to expand Seattle-area service to Snohomish County

Pending government approvals, Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines will begin scheduled commercial air service from Snohomish County in the fall of 2018, making it the first carrier to offer scheduled service from Paine Field (PAE).

The addition of service from Paine Field, the home of Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) Everett Factory, will make air travel considerably more convenient for more than a million travelers from Snohomish and North King Counties in Washington, the airline noted in a news release announcing the new service.

Puget Sound airports served by Alaska
"As our region continues to grow at a record pace and Sea-Tac Airport (SEA) nears capacity, the time is right to bring air service to our valued guests living in the North Sound," Brad Tilden, Alaska Air Group CEO, said, noting that the addition of service from PAE will mean, “[L]ess time stuck in traffic on Interstate 5 and more time enjoying your vacation or making the most of your business trip."

According to publicly available traffic data, Everett residents could shave up to 80 minutes off their airport commute during peak traffic hours by flying out of Paine Field, the carrier noted.

While PAE is home to the Boeing Everett Factory, a major aviation maintenance facility and several flight schools, Alaska will be the first carrier to offer scheduled passenger service. Local officials characterized the announcement as great news for the area.

"Businesses will have easier access to major markets and leisure travelers can skip the commute down south, saving time and fuel,” Dave Sommers, Snohomish County Executive, said.

"Alaska is an industry leader in service and reliability, and our citizens and businesses will benefit from having such a convenient travel option," Ray Stephanson, Everett’s mayor, added.

The addition of flights to and from PAE will bring to three the number of Puget Sound-area airports the carrier serves. Its main hub is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) with additional flights serving Bellingham International Airport (BLI).

Alaska plans to operate nine daily departures from PAE using a fuel-efficient fleet of Boeing 737 and Embraer 175 aircraft, the carrier said. To accommodate its future flights, ground will be broken for a state of the art terminal in June. Construction will be led by Propeller Airports and Snohomish County.

Alaska plans to announce routes, flight schedules and begin selling tickets early next year.

Alaska Airlines in part of Alaska Air Group, NYSE:ALK.

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Graphic provided by Alaska Airlines
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