Alaska Airlines plans to boost regional air service in the USA’s Pacific Northwest by increasing flight frequencies to three cities and resuming service to another.
The Seattle-headquartered carrier said on 20 July that its regional subsidiary Horizon Air would operate twice-daily flights from Seattle to three smaller communities in Washington – Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima – starting in November.
Horizon had reduced its flight frequency to the trio of cities to once daily last fall. ”Since the end of the pandemic, the entire airline industry has been affected by unprecedented pilot attrition causing an industry-wide reduction in flying by regional airlines,” Alaska says. “This has forced many airlines to make tough decisions when it comes to flight frequencies in smaller communities.”
Also in November, Horizon will resume flights between Portland and Redmond, Oregon, which is on the eastern side of the Cascade Range – though only seasonally. Regional capacity constraints had previously forced the regional carrier from that market, Alaska says.
The carrier will fly the route from 29 November to 10 April, “when the roads between Portland and Redmond can be especially tough to travel due to winter weather”, the carrier adds.
”This route has been the top ask from both communities and will be highly impactful to the business population that commutes between the two cities,” says Kevin Lemme, Alaska’s general manager of airline planning and network performance. “We’re excited that we can resume service on a winter-seasonal basis.”
After retiring their last De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s earlier this year, Horizon exclusively operates Embraer 175 regional jets and has 39 of the type currently in service, according to Cirium fleets data.