Alaska Airlines announced Wednesday that the airline plans on taking on an exciting yet daunting new task.
The airline announced plans to construct a passenger terminal at Everett/Paine Field, the home of Boeing’s primary 747/767/777/787 production center. The addition of a passenger terminal at Paine will greatly convenience flyers living in the greater Snohomish area, who normally have to commute well over an hour to get to Seattle’s primary airport, SeaTac.
Subject to government approval, flights will begin in the Fall of 2018, with a total of nine daily departures initially. The routes, however, won’t be announced until next year, the airline says. Among the speculated routes were some of the airlines’ flagship routes; flights to the likes of Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and connector flights to Seattle have even been rumored.
Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement, “As our region continues to grow at a record pace and Sea-Tac Airport nears capacity, the time is right to bring air service to our valued guests living in the North Sound. Today’s news means less time stuck in traffic on Interstate 5 and more time enjoying your vacation or making the most of your business trip.”
The airline also said that a mix of Embraer E175 and Boeing 737 aircraft will be used for the new service, both of which are being updated to represent the merger of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, which will change the entire flyer experience.
Snohomish Country representative Dave Somers said in an interview, “This new service is great news for Snohomish County. Businesses will have easier access to major markets and leisure travelers can skip the commute down south, saving time and fuel. For decades, Alaska Airlines has been a responsible neighbor in our region, and we welcome them even closer to home at Paine Field.”
Propeller Airport and Snohomish County plan on beginning construction of the terminal in June of this year. No details on the whereabouts, cost, or time of development have been released.