The first flight for United Airlines servicing Paine Field taxis to the gate on March 31, 2019. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

The first flight for United Airlines servicing Paine Field taxis to the gate on March 31, 2019. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Come October, United Airlines will discontinue flights at Paine Field

The airline is one of two commercial carriers at the Everett airport. United flies to Denver.

EVERETT — United Airlines is departing Everett. After two years at Paine Field, the carrier will discontinue its flights in October.

“Airlines all over are making post-pandemic adjustments to their schedules and markets,” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports. “You’re going to see United and other airlines pulling out of various markets. … It wasn’t surprising to me.”

Propeller Airports, a private company, built and now operates the Paine Field Passenger Terminal. After United announced last year that it was discontinuing its flights from Paine Field to San Francisco, the airline’s only remaining flights were to Denver. The commercial carrier currently has one daily flight between Everett and Denver, according to its spokesperson.

“United has continued to evaluate and adapt its network and based on demand trends, the airline will suspend service from Denver (DEN) to Everett, Washington (PAE), effective Oct. 5, 2021,” a United Airlines spokesperson wrote in an email. “United will continue to serve the region with non-stop service to Seattle (SEA) from Denver, New York/Newark, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.”

Although United is ending its service in Everett, the airport has seen a lot of travelers, Smith said. Planes are leaving Paine Field at almost 100% capacity right now. Earlier this year, Alaska Airlines announced that it is increasing the number of flights and destinations it offers to Paine Field travelers.

“People are starting to travel in big numbers,” Smith said. “For United, this isn’t a big market. … If Alaska said they were pulling out, this would be a big story, but that’s not happening.”

Alaska and United are the only commercial air carriers at the airport. Alaska Airlines did not respond to request for comment Monday.

A spokesperson for Paine Field, a county-owned airport, confirmed United Airlines’ exit Monday morning.

“It’s disappointing, but they are going to fly where they have passengers,” Paine Field spokesperson Kristin Banfield said.

In an emailed statement, Snohomish County Executive Office staff wrote that air travel continues to rebound from the pandemic and that more than 1 million passengers travelled through Paine Field its first year in operation.

“Although the United Airlines announcement today is unfortunate, we have every confidence in the future of passenger air service at Paine Field,” wrote chief of staff Joshua Dugan.

Terrie Battuello, vice president of economic development for Economic Alliance Snohomish County, said the airport has been wildly popular with travelers. Battuello said the news doesn’t change passengers’ desire to travel using the Snohomish County airport and doesn’t foresee any major economic impacts.

Smith gave few details about what will happen after United Airlines no longer offers flights at Paine Field.

“These spaces will be filled by an airline,” Smith said. “We sign confidentiality agreements with our customers and that doesn’t allow me to tell you who or what or when.”

The Propeller CEO said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if another carrier took over the Denver route.

“The underlying business principles remain strong and we’re 100% committed,” Smith said. “We’re confident that by the end of the year we’re going to be full steam again.”

Reporter Jerry Cornfield contributed to this story: jcornfield@heraldnet.com; @dospueblos.

Katie Hayes: katie.hayes@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @misskatiehayes.

Katie Hayes is a Report for America corps member and writes about issues that affect the working class for The Daily Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
Freeland resident Kevin Lungren has been commuting to the office using his paddleboard. It's a commute he can do in all seasons and just about any type of weather, except wind.
Whidbey commuter paddleboards his way to work in all seasons

The financial advisor says he’s only fallen off his board twice in the past five years.

Photo by Heather Mayhugh
Stuart Peeples demonstrates how to enter Heather Mayhugh's wheelchair van. In recent months, while navigating the new Mukilteo ferry terminal, Mayhugh has struggled to unload her clients who need access to the restroom.
For some, Mukilteo’s new ferry terminal aggravates challenges

Many disabled folks say not enough thought went into improving the facility’s accessibility problems.

Parts of Snohomish County under weekend heat advisory

Monroe and areas of the county near the Cascades were expected to see highs in the 90s.

Marysville man wins $100,000 in military vaccine lottery

Carmen S., who served in the Vietnam War, claimed his $100,000 cash prize this week.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
State AG says it can’t investigate Lynnwood Jail death

Tirhas Tesfatsion’s family pushed Lynnwood leaders for an independent inquiry. Her death was ruled a suicide.

The growing business district along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, looking west toward I-5. At lower left is the construction site of the new Amazon fulfillment center. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald)
Marysville-Arlington road improvements won’t happen at once

Traffic improvement projects near the Cascade Industrial Center will take shape over the next decade.

2 men get prison time for stabbing stranger at Everett motel

The pair both pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the stabbing in 2019.

3 Monroe teachers awarded $185 million for chemical exposure

Chemical giant Monsanto was ordered to pay Sky Valley Education Center teachers in the first of many lawsuits.

Terry Boese, owner of Wicked Teuton Brewing Company, says he wishes his beard was longer so he could dress up as a wizard for a Harry Potter trivia night happening later this month. The brewer and the library are teaming up to offer two Booktoberfest trivia events, starting Thursday. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor’s big-bearded Wicked Teuton brewer killed in crash

Terry Boese, a self-proclaimed “proud zymurgist,” was well-known in the North Whidbey beer scene.

Most Read