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Sun Nov 18, 2018, 06:04 PM

How will a commercial airport in Everett impact Bellingham?

BELLINGHAM — Alaska Airlines’ plan to start its 18 daily flights out of Everett likely will impact traffic at Bellingham International Airport, but officials here are trying to attract more destinations — including Mexico — for local and Canadian travelers.

Alaska Airlines announced in a news release Thursday it is now selling tickets for flights from Everett’s Paine Field beginning Feb. 11. The airline is kicking off ticket sales with special fares as low as $39 one way.

In an unexpected move, Southwest Airlines also sent out a news release saying that it has decided not to fly out of Paine Field, transferring its slots to Alaska and keeping all of its area flights at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The Alaska flights out of Everett will be to eight western U.S. cities: Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego and Orange County, California.

When Alaska first announced plans for Everett in January, Port of Bellingham Aviation Director Sunil Harman said he expected passenger traffic at the Bellingham airport to drop by about 5 percent.

Given the air service demand and the infrastructure constraints in the north Seattle area, Harman said in an email Thursday, he believes this new capacity will quickly be saturated and by 2020, Bellingham will resume growing.


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