New Horizon Air service will connect Spokane directly to the Silicon Valley for the first time, Spokane International Airport officials said Wednesday.
The twice-daily flights to San Jose, which will also connect to Sacramento, will strengthen Spokane ties to the high-tech industry and its financiers when it launches on March 26, airport Director Neal Sealock said.
Adding flights when domestic airlines are canceling service to many airports also shows confidence in the Inland Northwest economy, he said. “Spokane is very fortunate.”
One daily flight from Spokane will operate nonstop to Sacramento and continue on to San Jose, while a second flight will operate nonstop to San Jose and continue on to Sacramento, Horizon announced Wednesday.
The new service also includes a second daily roundtrip between San Jose and Sacramento, facilitating same-day business trips in each direction between the two California cities.
Travelers now can fly direct from Spokane to Oakland, Calif., on Southwest and to San Francisco on United.
All flights will be operated with 76-seat Bombardier Q400s, which are high-speed, twin-engine turboprop planes.
Bill Kalivas, a frequent traveler to San Jose, said the direct connection will eliminate trips through Boise, Seattle or Portland that could take as long as five hours, and get him back to Spokane at midnight.
“It was a pain,” said Kalivas, who has been a regional sales representative for San Jose-based Force 10 Networks.
By substantially reducing travel time, airport spokesman Todd Woodard said, a trip to Spokane becomes more attractive to the venture capitalists clustered in Silicon Valley who do not like to waste time on airplanes.
Also, he said, “A lot of companies are being priced out of the Bay Area.”