Wenatchee Finally Getting Second Airline Flight To Seattle
Pangborn Airport is getting an additional flight to Seattle under an agreement approved by the Chelan Douglas Port Authority Tuesday.
The new service from Alaska Airline's regional carrier Horizon will begin by the middle of September.
Port CEO Jim Kuntz says the airline is offering the service after recovering from a pilot shortage.
"They are getting some pilots back I guess, and have a chance to expand in several markets," said Kuntz. "And they've come to us saying that they're willing to expand in our market."
The new service means there'll be two flights a day to Seattle, which is still one less than Alaska provided before the pilot shortage forced cutbacks in the months after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kuntz says the plane will spend the night at Pangborn after a late-night arrival, and then leave early the next morning.
"Late night will be something after 8pm," Kuntz said. "And early morning will be something before 8am, which is great."
The new service will give travelers from Wenatchee much more time to make connections to and from their destinations. The service will be provided seven days a week.
The new flight will also likely show up in the reservation system for consumers by this Sunday.
Port Commissioners approved the contract with Alaska Airlines after accepting a condition that the Port will have to guarantee revenues of $500,000 for the carrier.
Kuntz said Alaska was following a trend among regional carriers that are getting communities around the country to help with minimum revenue guarantees to provide additional service.
The contract provides for the additional flight for one year. The Port will be given monthly reports on airline revenues.
Port commissioners speculated whether Alaska Airlines would drop airfares to keep traffic up, thereby dropping revenues and increasing the likelihood the Port would be on the hook for the guarantee.
Kuntz said it would be safe to assume the Port will be writing the airline a $500,000 check at the end of the year.
The current midday service to and from Pangborn/Seattle will remain unchanged.
There will be no flights to or from Pangborn from August 21-28 because of construction to expand the airport's taxiway.