EVERETT — Daily flights to the San Juan Islands are returning to Paine Field next month.
Starting July 14, people can board a Kenmore Air nine-passenger Cessna Caravan plane from Everett to Orcas and San Juan islands. The Caravan is a standard wheeled aircraft, different than Kenmore’s iconic fleet of floatplanes.
Reservations open Monday. Flights stop at Friday Harbor Airport on San Juan Island then proceed to Orcas Island Airport in Eastsound before returning to Everett. Each of the four daily flights take about 25 minutes.
“Transportation modes to the San Juans have become more restricted and less reliable in recent months, leaving many people looking for a way to spend more of their free time enjoying the islands and less time getting there,” said Kenmore Air Chief Operating Officer David Gudgel in a statement.
Crew shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted Washington State Ferries service, including on the Anacortes-to-San Juan Islands route.
Sailings to Friday Harbor, the last terminal on the ferry route to the San Juan Islands, can take over an hour. It’s one of the few routes in the state’s system that has reservations, which can reduce waiting in the holding lots.
Driving onto the ferry with a passenger in a vehicle under 22 feet would cost $87.50 roundtrip.
Kenmore Air flights from Paine Field to the San Juan Islands cost $189 per person, one way. The company is offering $175 one-way rates until July 14.
But Kenmore isn’t the first airline to fly that route.
Bellingham-based San Juan Airlines started regular weekday passenger service to the islands from Paine Field in May 2019. But the company suspended that service because of low demand.
San Juan Airlines still offers charter flights to the islands from Paine Field for $460 on a three-passenger Cessna 172 and $625 for a five-passenger Cessna 206 and 207.
Kenmore Air also has charter service to other destinations and will continue service from Boeing Field in Seattle to the San Juan Islands.
Ben Watanabe: email@example.com; 425-339-3037; Twitter @benwatanabe.
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