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Southwest to Join Alaska, United With New Flights To Paine Field

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Southwest to Join Alaska, United With New Flights To Paine Field

Southwest to Join Alaska, United With New Flights To Paine Field
January 25
13:08 2018

MIAMI — Southwest Airlines (WN) announced its plans to operate five flights a day from Paine Field’s (PAE) new commercial terminal that is currently under construction.

The carrier’s disclosure was made on today’s fourth-quarter earnings presentation. “As a complement to our more than forty flights a day to 15 cities nonstop from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, today we announce our commitment to launch up to five daily flights at a new commercial aircraft facility at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, scheduled to be completed later this year.”

This fall, Southwest will become the third airline to launch Paine Field service with total daily departures of 24 flights. The airline will provide details on destinations and schedules in the spring.

READ MORE: Alaska Airlines to Begin Service from Paine Field in 2018

“We’ve wanted to grow in the Seattle metro market for quite some time. But Sea-Tac airport is constrained,” said Southwest Chairman and CEO, Gary Kelly in an interview. “Paine Field will be a wonderful alternative for our customers.”

Alaska Airlines and United Airlines already announced their intentions to operate flights in and out of PAE. With the daily operations of the three carriers, the airport will perceive 50% more departures than the expected when introducing the future passenger terminal, with a total of 48 daily takeoffs and landings.

READ MORE: United Airlines Returns to Paine Field With New Services

Brett Smith, Propeller Airports CEO (the developer of the passenger terminal), anticipated 16 departures per day from the airport. United will have six daily departures to Denver (DEN) and San Francisco (SFO) and Alaska Airlines (AS) will launch 13 daily operations to eight new destinations.

READ MORE: Alaska Airlines To Start Flying From Paine Field

Kelly said he initially expected to fly his smallest aircraft, the 737-700 or the 737 MAX 7, on the route. “If demand is greater than what we’re thinking, then we can up-gauge to the MAX 8 or the 737-800,” he added.

Southwest will be the launch customer of the 737 MAX 7 that is expected to enter service in 2019.

PHOTO: Southwest Airlines.

However, Kelly admitted that Southwest “could add service over time,” even though the airport said they would not add more gates to the terminal.

READ MORE: High Flyer Interview: Southwest Airlines CEO, Gary Kelly

PAE Airport officials said small planes averaged 285 operations per day in 2016, but the preliminary approval the FAA gave for commercial flights out of Paine Field in 2012 was based on the airport’s own statistics.

Arif Ghouse, PAE’s Director, said the FAA “will look at the full impact” before issuing operating certificates to the airlines and to the airport. That approval is expected for the terminal to open this fall.

READ MORE: This Month in the Airways: Farewell 737 — Southwest Retires ‘The Classic’

Southwest Airlines has scheduled flights to 100 destinations in 40 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It operates an all-Boeing fleet of 707 aircraft with 512 737-700, 184 737-800 and 13 737 MAX 8.

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Alvaro Sanchez

Alvaro Sanchez

Online Executive Editor. Journalist and Certified Radio Host. Studying for a Specialization in Public Opinion and Political Communications. Even though I love politics I've found myself fascinated by the Aviation World. I'm also passionate by economy, strategic communications, my family, my country, and dogs. mc@airwaysmag.com

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