EL PASO, Texas - The City of El Paso and Alaska Airlines announced Thursday new, daily non-stop flights from El Paso International Airport to Seattle and San Diego.
The flight service is scheduled to begin February 19, 2019, the City said in a news release.
Deputy Director of Aviation Jeff Schultes told ABC-7 the deal securing Alaska Airlines's service to the Borderland took seven years to negotiate; something he's been working on personally all those years.
"Alaska Airlines is excited to add El Paso to our growing list of destinations, and connect it to two of our largest West Coast gateways: Seattle and San Diego," said John Kirby, vice president of capacity planning at Alaska. "We believe the region's travelers will love our low fares, industry leading customer service and loyalty program."
The City said flights to San Diego and Seattle will run daily with connections available to destinations worldwide.
"The addition of Alaska Airlines to El Paso is wonderful news and we share in the celebration with our traveling community," said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, "We welcome Alaska Airlines to El Paso and the additional connection to the west coast, as well as more options for travel for all El Pasoans."
El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said growing the core business of air transportation is one the City's strategic goals and will help strengthen the region's economy.
"We are continuing to deliver results for our traveling public," Gonzalez said, "We continue to work on additional flights to demonstrate that El Paso continues to grow and prosper as an international airport."
In the past four years, Gonzalez said, the City has announced 15 new flights and added two new airlines at El Paso International.
The non-stop flights to the new destinations provide less stress for travelers.
“It is fast. There’s no connecting. You don’t have a chance of losing your bags," Jeff Schultes said. "If there’s a delay, there’s no chance of missing the connection flight. And it just saves time.”
Alaska Airline will provide El Paso's first non-stop flight to the Pacific Northwest.
"[It's good] for the whole region because this provides new service to the Northwest that we've never had before," Schultes said.
According to the City, Alaska Airlines is the fifth-largest U.S. airline based on passenger traffic. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and serves 115 destinations with 1,200 daily departures in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica.
The airlines' major hubs include Seattle, Anchorage, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland.
El Paso International Airport now offers non-stop flights to 14 cities throughout the United States. Airport officials also said at least three more destinations could be added in the near future.