Commercial Flights from Paine Field Beginning in 2018

Alaska Airlines announced this afternoon that the airline plans to commence flights from Paine Field located north of Seattle, Washington in Snohomish County.  Paine Field is currently home to Boeing’s Everett Factory which produces Boeing’s 747s, 767s, 777s, and 787s.  Paine Field does not currently have any commercial flights to or from the airport.

Paine Field (Image: Jeremy Elson)

Paine Field (Image: Jeremy Elson)

Today’s announcement comes after decades of debate among residents, lawmakers, and airlines on whether or not passenger flights should be allowed to operate from the airport.  As of May 2017, Paine Field does not have a passenger terminal.  However, that’s going to change as construction on a “state-of-the-art passenger terminal” is expected to begin in June of this year.

Alaska Airlines is the only airline that has announced plans to fly to the airport.  Alaska Airlines stated in a press release that it plans to begin passenger service in late 2018.  Both the airline’s Boeing 737s and Embraer 175s will operate flights at Paine Field.  No destinations have been announced.  Alaska Airlines plans to announce future routes and sell tickets later this year.

Alaska Airline’s Vice President of Capacity Planning, John Kirby said the following in a press release;

We’re not quite ready to share details of the routes.  But I can tell you they won’t be limited to short, regional flights. We’re talking daily, nonstop flights to some of our most popular destinations.

One major benefit of passenger service to Paine Field is that the airport is more convenient for Seattleites living in northern King County and Snohomish County.  Seattleites living in northern King County and Snohomish County have to take the I-5 either south to Seattle-Tacoma Airport (up to an hour drive) or north to Bellingham Airport (up to an hour and a half drive).  Passenger flights at Paine Field are expected to reduce traffic on I-5 and create an easier commute for some Washingtonians.

Full Press Release

What do you think of today’s announcement?