Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Alaska Air expands to Everett, Wash., where it would be the only carrier

Alaska Airlines announced plans to begin flying from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., a facility about 25 miles north of Seattle that does not currently have commercial passenger airline service.

Alaska Airlines said its service would begin in the fall of 2018 and would come only after a passenger terminal is built at the airport. Alaska Air did not immediately reveal schedule plans, adding that its Paine Field expansion remained subject to government approvals. But Alaska Air did say that if approved, "more than a million North Sound travelers will enjoy ... up to nine daily departures."

Paine Field already hosts a busy flight schedule, but that’s not from regular airline service. Instead, the facility is adjacent to Boeing’s largest assembly line, where the U.S. jet-maker performs final assembly on its 747, 767, 777 and 787 wide-body aircraft.

Boeing’s large aircraft keep a heavy flight schedule at the airport, which also hosts some private general aviation flying.

Several airlines have previously suggested they would try to fly from Paine Field, but Alaska Airlines’ announcement appears to be the most serious effort yet to do so.

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines operates its busiest hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which sits on the south side of the city of Seattle. Everett is on the north side, about 40 miles from the region’s primary Seattle-Tacoma airport.

While Alaska runs a busy hub there, it touted its planned service at Everett’s Paine Field as a way to expand its reach into the northern stretch of Seattle’s metro area, where travelers can facing daunting traffic on Interstate 5 to get to Seattle-Tacoma.

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