Update, January 22: You may have heard that there’s a federal government shutdown on—and it’s affecting Everett’s Paine Field opening to commercial passenger flights. Alaska Airlines has decided to delay service out of Everett until March 4, the company announced on its blog Tuesday, because several groups within the Federal Aviation Administration that complete required certification and oversight work are on furlough.
Most scheduled flights out of Paine Field—and all tickets already booked—have been moved to Sea-Tac Airport. Passengers can opt to have their flights refunded (or changed to a later date out of Paine Field) instead with fees waived.
If the shutdown continues past March 4, the opening could be delayed farther, said Alaska, but the date was chosen to “allow time for a resolution, but not too far out in case the shutdown suddenly ended.”
“It’s a tough decision, but we believe the responsible action is to postpone the start of service at Paine Field,” said the blog post.
United, the other airline set to run flights out of Paine, wasn’t set to start service until later, anyway. Those flights are scheduled to start March 31.
Original article, November 20:
There’s currently one major, public airport running commercial flights out of Seattle, and it’s about 13 miles south of downtown in SeaTac. Come February, though, there will be second, slightly smaller option to the north: A two-gate, public-private airport at Everett’s Paine Field (IATA: PAE). Propeller Airports and launch carrier Alaska Airlines announced earlier this month that flights will start February 11, 2019, pending government approval—and United announced Monday that it will launch its operations from Paine Field on March 31.
Alaska Airlines plans on running 18 flights per day to eight destinations from Everett—the majority of the airport’s capacity. While Southwest came on board in January, Alaska acquired its gate times to add five extra flights. Alaska said in a press release that flights start at $39 one-way. The airline plans to run nonstop flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose from the airfield.
United signed on last year, too, and will operate six daily flights departing from Everett: four to San Francisco and two to Denver, both major hubs for the airline with transfer options.
The airport, which broke ground in June 2017, is being built by Propeller Airports in partnership with Snohomish County. The commercial facility evokes a midcentury vibe, with large window banks, modern wooden fixtures, a stone fireplace, and a warm, exposed-wood ceiling. Renderings show a bar stretched along one wall and lots of soft seating. Beecher’s will manage food and beverage concessions. Parent company Sugar Mountain will operate a wine bar and coffee kiosk.
Sea-Tac Airport, according to the Port of Seattle, has had the fastest-growing number of passengers out of every major airport in the country for five years now, with passenger traffic increasing 43 percent from 33.2 million to 46.9 million between 2012 and 2017. While new facilities at Sea-Tac certainly help alleviate the crunch, Paine Field provides one more alternative.
This article has been updated to include information on United’s operations at Paine Field.