In domestic route developments, Alaska Airlines will start flying out of a new Seattle-area airport; JetBlue kicks off its newest transcontinental Mint route from San Francisco; Southwest adds some Milwaukee routes and drops one; Delta will enter a New England market from JFK; and Blackbird starts flying seaplanes from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe.
Travelers who live in Washington State’s northern Puget Sound region will get a new air travel option starting next year when Alaska Airlines begins operating out of Paine Field in Everett, Wash., also known as Snohomish County Airport. The carrier hasn’t yet announced routes, but said it expects to begin flying at Paine Field by the fall of 2018, operating nine flights a day with 737s and E175s. Alaska, which will be the first carrier to offer commercial service from Paine Field, said construction of a passenger terminal there will begin next month.
In other news, Alaska last week started service on the newest spoke from its Seattle hub, operating one daily 737 roundtrip to Indianapolis.
JetBlue this week deployed a Mint-equipped A321 on another transcontinental route: San Francisco-Ft. Lauderdale. According to the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, advance-purchase one-way fares on the route are in the $599 range, but can be found as low as $499. Two months ago, JetBlue introduced Mint service on its Los Angeles-Ft. Lauderdale route, and more Mint expansion will come later this year, including San Diego-New York JFK, San Diego-Boston and Las Vegas-JFK.
Southwest Airlines will make some changes to its Milwaukee operations starting November 5. The carrier will begin new service in two markets: Milwaukee-Nashville, with two flights a day; and Milwaukee-Cleveland, with two daily flights Sunday-Friday and one on Saturdays. At the same time, Southwest will boost Milwaukee-Denver frequencies from three a day to four, and will add a second daily Milwaukee-St. Louis flight. However, Southwest’s two daily Milwaukee-Minneapolis flights will be eliminated.
Delta plans to add another spoke to its New York JFK hub later this year, according to Routesonline.com. On September 10, the carrier is planning to begin one daily roundtrip between JFK and Portland, Maine, operated as a Delta Connection flight by Endeavor Air with a CRJ-900.
Who needs an airport? Blackbird Air, which offers small-plane service on several intra-California routes from the Bay Area, will introduce something new and totally different this summer: seaplane service from Sausalito to Lake Tahoe. Or as the company puts it, “Take off on the bay and land in the lake.” Blackbird has a downloadable app that can be used to book the service, which it says will start June 16 with fares from $124.