Image Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

MIAMI — Alaska Airlines is set to expand its footprint in Seattle. The carrier has just announced today plans to serve Paine Field in Everett, Washington, starting by fall 2018.

Paine Field, located about 25 miles north of Seattle, does not have commercial passenger service. Instead, it serves Boeing’s assembly line where the airframer carries out the final assembly of its 747, 767, 777 and 787 widebodies.

While the carrier has not disclosed specific destinations or schedules, as the current Paine Field expansion plans are still subject to government approvals, the carrier said it expects to offer nine daily departures.

In a blog post on the airline’s website, John Kirby, vice president of capacity planning said the service out of Paine Field “won’t be limited to short, regional flights,” fueling speculations on possible flights to California and Oregon.

“We’re talking daily, nonstop flights to some of our most popular destinations,” Kirby said.

Alaska Airlines has been the dominant carrier in Seattle. But Delta has expanded greatly in Seattle this decade, helped in part by its ended partnership with Alaska Airlines, which ended on May 1. This competition between the former partners has been good for Seattle, which has faced soaring passenger numbers, jumping ahead of Houston, Phoenix, Miami and Charlotte to rank as the ninth busiest in the United States in 2016.