In May 2017 Alaska Airlines announced plans to operate 9 daily flights from a new passenger terminal to be built at Paine Field north of Seattle. Today the company announced further details, upping the flight count to 13 daily departures covering 8 destinations on the west coast. Specific flight times are not yet detailed but the carrier reiterated that the service will be operated only by jet aircraft, excluding the Q400 fleet.
The new destinations include:
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Orange County (SNA)
- Phoenix (PHX)
- Portland (PDX)
- San Diego (SAN)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- San Jose (SJC)
“This is both a historic occasion and a great honor for Alaska Airlines. We are excited to be able to continue our commitment to the State of Washington and the Pacific Northwest,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines’ chief commercial officer. “We’re proud to become the anchor tenant of the new terminal at Paine Field. With so many new possibilities for business and leisure travel, we believe this will bring increased opportunities to our communities.”
The move reemphasizes the company’s dedication to operating the most flights and routes on the west coast. The acquisition of Virgin America helps significantly on that front, though the integration process faces the typical merger challenges. And other airlines are keeping up pressure as well. Delta Air Lines continues to add new routes in its growing Seattle hub, including recent announcements to compete directly with Alaska Airlines on some routes. United Airlines also plans to operate routes from Paine later in 2018 when the terminal opens.
With the 13 Alaska Airlines flights and the United flights the new two gate terminal appears to be nearly full from day one. That’s a mixed blessing of sorts, as it presents challenges in keeping the operation flowing smoothly. That risk increases with fog or other weather events that often hit some of the destinations such as San Francisco.
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