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Airline studies Everett service

Horizon wants two daily flights

Horizon Airlines may launch service between Spokane and Everett by next summer, spokesman Dan Russo said Thursday.

He said the airline, which has been reducing service to many markets, must negotiate an agreement for ground facilities that could accommodate flight check-in, security and boarding at Everett’s Paine Field.

The field adjacent to Boeing Co.’s mammoth manufacturing plant does not have a commercial passenger terminal.

Russo said Horizon, which also is studying Everett-Portland service, wants to provide at least two flights daily so travelers could return the same day.

Traffic between Everett and Sea-Tac Airport has become so “nasty” many drivers choose to drive to their final destination rather than fly through Seattle, he said.

“It’s almost creating a market, putting people in a plane,” he said, adding that the city of Everett has done surveys that indicate there is a market for the new routes.

Snohomish County owns the airport. There has been no commercial airline service from Paine Field since San Juan Airlines bowed out in the 1980s.

Christopher Schwarzen, spokesman for Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon – who opposes commercial air service – said federal law requires airports to hold good-faith negotiations with potential service providers or risk having to return money used to make improvements. Paine Field has received $60 million since the 1940s, he said.

Another airline, Allegiant, approached the airport in May about potential service to Las Vegas, Schwarzen noted.

Russo said Spokane service, if approved, will be provided using 76-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop airplanes.