Image Courtesy of Embraer

MIAMI – Paine Field is becoming more of a focus for United Airlines (UA) as the carrier announces nonstop services to Denver (DEN) and San Francisco (SFO). The carrier is to operate two daily flights from DEN and four daily services from SFO to the new passenger terminal at Paine Field, offering significant confidence into Snohomish County’s new undertaking.

Services will begin on March 31 next year and is still subject to governmental approval at this time. 

Ankit Gupta, United’s VP of Domestic Network Planning said that the carrier is “excited to offer our Seattle and Northwest Washington area travelers new opportunities to easily access our hubs in Denver and San Francisco.”

“With United’s six daily flights from Paine Field beginning this spring, our new service will conveniently connect customers from the Northern
Seattle, Snohomish, and Northern King County areas to the world’s largest business and leisure destinations with just one stop”, Gupta added.

Flight NumberDeparture PointTimeArrival PointTimeAircraft
5460Denver0925LPaine Field1130LE175
5528Denver1915LPaine Field2122LE175
5871San Francisco1100LPaine Field1324LE175
5880San Francisco1245LPaine Field1407LE175
5898San Francisco1615LPaine Field1839LE175
5883San Francisco2130LPaine Field2354LE175
Image Courtesy of Embraer

Aircraft of choice for this route will be with the Embraer E175. Based on current configurations, these flights will provide over 150,000 seats per year, on average.

The carrier already provides up to 40 flights per day from neighbouring Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). 

United currently operates 400 flights per day to 139 destinations from Denver alone, 12 of which include daily nonstop flights to Asia, Europe, Latin America and Canada.

From the likes of San Francisco, over 300 daily flights to 40 airports across the U.S. operate as well as 26 daily nonstop international flights to 22 destinations.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers expressed gratitude over these route links stating that the area is “excited about the business and travel opportunities that will come with these services.”

A rendering of the commercial airport terminal at Paine Field in Everett. (Photo: Propeller Airports)

Somers continued to say that these new services are “part of this very exciting story in commercial aviation”.

This shows extended confidence in the route, and on that basis, the route should do well.

The sheer amount of frequencies and seats on offer would suggest United’s confidence as well on being able to sell the vast majority of those seats. 

It will be interesting to see how popular this route is and whether this extends the passenger number count from Paine Field. 

The Alaskan Question

United is the second carrier to announce operations into Paine Field. In early November, Alaska Airlines announced several routes out of the new terminal.

Passenger operations at the airport are not due to commence until February 11, 2019 pending final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The first carrier to launch there will be Alaska Airlines who are launching services to the following:

  • Las Vegas – February 11.
  • Los Angeles – February 12.
  • Orange County – March 12.
  • Phoenix – February 18.
  • Portland – February 14.
  • San Francisco – February 14.
  • San Diego – February 18.
  • San Jose – February 12.
PHOTO: Alaska Airlines.

No doubt there will be price wars, but more importantly, Alaska has a one month advantage to get its customer base well-established. 

Ultimately, United will be making up for lost ground and trying to establish a reputation at Snohomish where they can then try and go into battle with Alaska.