EVERETT — Winter-weary Pacific Northwesterners can prepare now for a trip to the desert.
Alaska Airlines has added Palm Springs, its ninth destination, to the flight schedule from Paine Field in Everett. The decision was a result of customer requests, the airline said.
“Hands down, Palm Springs was number one on our guests’ wish list for the next destination from Paine Field,” said Noelle Fredrickson, general manager of network planning and strategy for Alaska Airlines, in a blog post.
The Palm Springs flights are scheduled to begin Nov. 5. Daily departures from Everett are set for 12:20 p.m. and from Palm Springs at 3:55 p.m. Travel time is around three hours.
The carrier also plans to add a second round trip between Everett and Phoenix beginning Aug. 26.
To accommodate the new schedule, Alaska will reduce the number of daily departures to Portland and Los Angeles from four to three, said Alaska spokesman Ray Lane.
Combined, Alaska and United Airlines are limited to 24 departures and 24 arrivals per day under Federal Aviation Administration rules. Alaska has 18 departures and United has six.
“We’re optimizing our flight schedule to improve our operations,” Fredrickson said. “By flying three round trips a day instead of four to Portland and L.A., we can better provide the key flight times preferred by our business travelers and allow for better connection windows.”
Lane said that the most popular destinations from Everett are Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego — “the lure of sun and fun,” he said.
Alaska was the first airline to operate out of the terminal, a private-public partnership built and managed by Propeller Airports. The airport is owned by Snohomish County.
Since launching service March 4, more than 160,000 Alaska passengers have flown to or from Paine Field, according to the company’s blog. Numbers were not available for United, which started service March 31. On May 30, Propeller Airports feted the 100,000th arriving passenger.
— Fly Paine Field (@FlyPaineField) May 31, 2019
All of Alaska’s current Paine Field flights serve western destinations: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. United flights serve its hubs in San Francisco and Denver.