Southwest Airlines will start a new daily flight from Spokane to Sacramento on Aug. 1, the company announced Thursday.
The flight was announced at a news conference at Sacramento International Airport.
The service is among a group of cities linked to Spokane this year with new nonstop service. The other new destinations are San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas and Chicago.
“We are ecstatic,” said Todd Woodard, spokesman at the Spokane airport.
The city at one time had direct service to Sacramento, but that was discontinued in 2008 during the recession.
Spokane has important economic connections to the Sacramento area, especially in agriculture and specifically in the wine industry, Woodard said.
Sacramento is a logical jumping off point for trips into Northern California wine country, he said.
“On the leisure side, you have access to Napa,” Woodard said.
Marketing data over the past two years showed sufficient demand to fill the daily nonstop flight, he said.
And the time of the flights is good for business travel. It will originate in Sacramento at 9:05 a.m. and arrive at 10:45 a.m. The return flight departs Spokane at 11:25 a.m. and gets to Sacramento at 1:20 p.m.
From there, travelers can connect to airports in Burbank, Los Angeles, Ontario, Long Beach, San Diego, Las Vegas and Phoenix, Woodard said.
Connectivity to Los Angeles is a goal at the Spokane airport, where marketing data shows that more than 300 people a day travel by air between Spokane and LA.
The new Sacramento flight will be aboard the Boeing 737-700 with 143 seats.
Southwest said it also is expanding daily service from Sacramento to Long Beach, California, along with the Spokane flight.
The airline said it is offering an introductory fare of $49 each way from Spokane to Sacramento for tickets purchased by April 13 on flights from Aug. 1 through Nov. 2.
Collins Sprague, chair of the Spokane Airport Board said in a news release, “There is a strong relationship between the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene region and Northern California, which generates significant travel demand for both business and leisure sectors. Nonstop service to Sacramento was among our highest strategic air service development priorities.”
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