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Sat, Feb 09, 2013

Alaska Airlines Takes Next Step Towards FAA Authorization For Paine Field Ops

Has Provided The Agency With Proposed Schedules As Required By Its Application

Alaska Airlines is working with the FAA to add Paine Field in Everett, WA, as an authorized airport for the carrier's operations. This is a required step if the carrier were to begin jet service out of the regional airport at some point in the future. As required by its application, Alaska Airlines is providing the FAA with a proposed schedule over the next five years that could include 28 round-trip jet flights a week.

"We continue to believe that our flights at Sea-Tac Airport and in Bellingham best serve the Puget Sound region's needs for affordable air travel, particularly in light of the significant investments both airports have made recently to improve their facilities," said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines' vice president of planning and revenue management. "That said, if one or more other airlines begin operations at Paine Field, we would commence service alongside these carriers. Submitting a schedule with the FAA along with a request for authorization to serve Paine is a necessary step in the process."

Alaska Airlines' proposed schedule in the first year of operations would include 14 weekly round-trip flights to Las Vegas, Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii, using Boeing 737-800 jet aircraft. Alaska would also fly 21 weekly round-trip flights to Portland, Ore., with Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft. Not all destinations would be served daily.

By the fifth year of operations, Alaska would fly 49 weekly round-trip flights. This would include 28 round-trips to Las Vegas, Honolulu, Maui, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Diego with 737-800s, plus 21 weekly round-trips to Portland using Q400s.

Alaska Airlines informed the FAA that these proposed schedules could change depending on competitors, business and economic factors, and the needs of its customers. The carrier is also seeking information from the FAA about any necessary environmental review of its proposed schedule, given a pending legal challenge to the agency's approval of commercial air service at Paine Field in December.

Alaska Airlines operates about 1,750 weekly round-trip flights at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, located 42 miles south of Paine Field, and up to 63 weekly round-trip flights at Bellingham International Airport, which is approximately a one-hour drive north of Everett.

Paine Field currently has no adequate passenger terminal, which would need to be built before operations by any airline could begin.



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