Alaska to open San Diego flight attendant base

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Alaska Airlines will open a flight attendant base at San Diego International airport on 1 April.

The move comes as the Seattle-based carrier continues to grow in San Diego. It will launch nonstop flights to Boston from 29 March and Kauai, Hawaii, from 7 June - for 24 daily peak season departures - and began service to Fresno, Monterrey, Orlando and Santa Rosa in 2012.

The new base will employ between 150 and 200 flight attendants, which are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA). Alaska anticipates that the base will save it about $1 million annually in travel costs.

"This is an exciting time for us," says Andy Schneider, vice-president of inflight services at Alaska. "As one of our fastest-growing cities, the time was right to open a base in San Diego."

The airline increased capacity at San Diego by more than 62% to 1.6 billion available seat kilometres in December 2012 compared to the same month in 2000, according to Flightglobal/Innovata data.

Alaska has flight attendant bases in Anchorage, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle.