Alaska Airlines today was awarded authority to add a second daily non-stop roundtrip between Seattle and Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport (DCA), the U.S. Department of Transportation announced. The flight, set to commence on June 6, will be routed to provide same-plane, one-stop service between Fairbanks and DCA.
"The competition was intense, but with the support of people throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, we were able to put forth a very compelling case. This is great news," said Alaska CEO Bill Ayer.
Nine carriers, counting Alaska, applied for a collective 27 new daily roundtrips at DCA. DOT awarded slots for just six of them. Alaska had applied for four -- two each from Seattle and Los Angeles. Called "beyond- the-perimeter slots," they are highly coveted because Reagan National has a limited number of them available to serve markets more than 1,250 miles away.
"With the odds of getting even one new flight being very long, getting these two new flights is a huge victory," said Ayer.
He credited the grassroots efforts of business, community and political leaders throughout the region, as well as the thousands of letters of support received from customers and employees for the success of the airline's application.
"We're sincerely grateful to the Alaska and Washington Congressional Delegations including House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as well as Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell and Rep. George Nethercutt of Washington for their tremendous support," Ayer said. "We also very much appreciate the efforts of the many other Members of Congress from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana that supported our application."
He also saluted Governors Gary Locke of Washington, Frank Murkowski of Alaska, Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho and Ted Kulongoski of Oregon for their efforts.
Alaska plans to use 120-seat Boeing 737-700 aircraft on the flight. Timed to complement Alaska's existing service to Washington, D.C., the flight will depart Fairbanks at 2:35 a.m. and Seattle at 8:40 a.m. arriving in the nation's capital at 4:38 p.m. Westbound flights will depart Reagan at 5:30 p.m., arriving in Seattle at 8:08 p.m. and Fairbanks at 11:58 p.m. All departure times are subject to government approval.
SOURCE: Alaska Airlines
CONTACT: Lou Cancelmi, +1-206-392-5170, or Greg Witter, +1-206-392-5799,
both of Alaska Airlines
Web site: http://www.alaska-air.com/