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. This has forced many airlines to make tough decisions when it comes to flight frequencies in smaller communities. While some airlines have completely exited smaller regional markets, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, Alaska’s long-time regional airline sister company, have maintained at least minimal service to all the communities we serve.
This November, Alaska Airlines will add an additional flight between Seattle and all three cities, due in part to a partnership between Alaska and community leaders.
“We’ve seen regional air service change over the last few years,” said Kirsten Amrine, VP of revenue management & network planning. “To ensure smaller cities remain connected, we have to think creatively. Small communities are extremely important, so working collaboratively with community leaders is key to ensure we’re able to continue providing the service for which we are known.”
This fall, the airline is also excited to share that it will resume service between Portland and Redmond. Horizon exited the market toward the end of the pandemic due to regional capacity constraints. The regional carrier will operate the route from November 29 through April 10, when the roads between Portland and Redmond can be especially tough to travel due to winter weather.
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,” said Kevin Lemme, general manager of airline planning & network performance. “We’re excited that we can resume service on a winter-seasonal basis.” Last fall, Alaska and Horizon temporarily reduced flight frequency in Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima, Washington to single daily roundtrip service.