Passengers line up to board a flight to Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon at Paine Field in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Passengers line up to board a flight to Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon at Paine Field in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Purchase Photo

Alaska Airlines to double Everett flight schedule this fall

The Paine Field terminal is expected to offer at least 12 daily flights by October. In 2019, there were 24.

EVERETT — Alaska Airlines this fall will double the number of flights it operates from the two-gate passenger terminal at Paine Field.

Alaska currently operates six daily flights to six destinations — San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Phoenix — from the Snohomish County-owned airport.

By October, the Seattle-based carrier expects to operate 12 daily flights and serve eight destinations. The new schedule will include two daily departures each to Boise and Spokane that begin Sept. 8.

“It is very good news and we look forward to having a more robust schedule,” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports, the privately held company that built and operates the terminal. “It’s been a long and painful year.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the terminal was bustling with mask-wearing travelers waiting for flights to Las Vegas and Palm Springs. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, on the secure side of the terminal, was open and serving those in need of a bite to eat.

“Passenger volumes are up and planes are going out full,” Smith said, surveying the crowd.

Also full were the vases scattered throughout the main lounge.

“The flowers are back,” Smith said of the signature perk that was discontinued when the COVID-19 pandemic knocked out air travel here and everywhere.

“Most of this is leisure travel, but we’re hopeful that business travel will begin to return this fall,” Smith said.

A flight to Las Vegas, boarding Wednesday afternoon at Paine Field in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

A flight to Las Vegas, boarding Wednesday afternoon at Paine Field in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

In the first year of the terminal’s operation, more than one million passengers were served and there were 24 daily round-trip flights on the schedule. Business travel accounted for about 70% of traffic, Smith said.

Before Alaska picks up the pace, it will drop the number of daily departures to five in June, when it temporarily suspends service to Palm Springs, a seasonal destination, airline spokesman Ray Lane said in an email. Daily service to Palm Springs will resume in October.

Also in June, Alaska will eliminate daily service to Los Angeles — due to lack of demand — and replace it with a daily flight to San Francisco, Lane said.

United Airlines, which shares the terminal with Alaska Airlines, currently flies from Paine Field to its Denver hub. The company said in a statement that it “will continue to monitor demand and adjust our schedule as needed to meet that demand.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the two carriers offered 24 daily round trips from the terminal.

A passenger in the terminal awaiting her flight Wednesday afternoon at Paine Field in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

A passenger in the terminal awaiting her flight Wednesday afternoon at Paine Field in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Here’s what Alaska’s fall schedule will look like with a dozen daily departures to eight airports:

• Two daily flights each to Boise, Spokane, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

• Once-daily service to San Diego, Orange County and San Francisco.

• A daily flight to Palm Springs that will resume in October.

Alaska said it expects domestic travel to return to pre-COVID levels by summer 2022, according to a company statement.

While United Airlines was not specific about plans for Everett, it also is beefing up its schedule this summer and expects to operate a domestic flight schedule that’s 67% of normal capacity.

The federal Transportation Security Administration continues to see passenger counts tick upward.

Daily passenger totals at security checkpoints are averaging about 1.5 million, up from about 200,000 a year ago. Recently some daily totals are approaching 2 million, getting closer to the 2.5 million daily average in 2019.

Janice Podsada;; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

With the Olympic mountains in the background, the first passenger flight by Alaska Airlines Flight 2878 departs for Portland on opening day of the Paine Field Terminal on Monday, March 4, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Snohomish County airports get $5.5 million in federal grants

Paine Field will receive $5.4 million. Arlington’s airport and Harvey Field each are getting $59,000.

Tim Keating, Boeing executive vice president of government operations and a member of the leadership council, speaking in 2014 at the Governor’s annual Aerospace Summit in Everett. Keating was abruptly ousted Monday. (Ellen M. Banner/Seattle Times/TNS)
Boeing ousts its longtime chief lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

Chief Executive Dave Calhoun’s memo provided no explanation for Tim Keating’s sudden departure.

This condo on Norton Ave. in Everett was sold Friday, June 18. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Snohomish County home values soar in latest assessment

Lack of affordable housing put the squeeze on buyers and drove up home prices across Snohomish County.

Pilot Dan Tarasievich lines up for a landing at  Arlington Municipal Airport after a morning of flying with friends on Saturday, April 20, 2019 in Arlington, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Could Snohomish County’s two largest airports be expanded?

A study explores expanding runways at Paine Field and Arlington Municipal to relieve a coming crunch.

With credit scores out, will insurers cut or hike your rate?

Lack of affordable housing squeezed buyers and drove up home prices across Snohomish County.

Washington state revenues continue to rise above projections

“One of the things that the pandemic did was really alter patterns of consumption.”

FILE - In this May 5, 2019, file photo Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, smiles as he plays bridge following the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. Warren Buffett made a $4.1 billion annual philanthropic contribution and said he’s halfway through his goal of giving away most of his money. The billionaire investor also said he is stepping down as trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as he exits all other corporate boards. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
Warren Buffett resigns from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The billionaire, 90, has also begun stepping away from his leadership role at Berkshire Hathaway.

pizza with cheese. vector illustration on white background
You voted: The best pizza in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, people still have their favorites

FILE - In this June 19, 2015 file photo, Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration building is seen in Washington.  The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday, June 2, 2021 that Ali Bahrami, the head of FAA's aviation safety office, will step down at the end of June. Bahrami was among FAA officials who were criticized by lawmakers and relatives of passengers on Boeing Max jets that crashed.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Latest FAA reform gives workers new way to report safety flaws

The Voluntary Safety Reporting Program was spurred by the two fatal crashes on the Boeing 737 Max.

Most Read