Alaska To Drop Plans For Temporary Service To Long Beach


SEATTLE-Alaska Airlines yesterday withdrew its request to provide temporary
service to Long Beach Airport until permanent take off and landing slots are
available.
In the interim, Alaska`s regional affiliate, Horizon Air, has filed an
application with the City of Long Beach to begin service to Seattle on
October
6.
Horizon will operate three daily nonstop flights using quiet, 70-passenger,
state-of-the-art CRJ-700 jets under a separate authority. Horizon is the
first
airline in North America to operate the CRJ-700, one of the world`s quietest
commercially operated jet aircraft. The CRJ-700 has far less noise and fuel
emissions than allowed by even the most environmentally sensitive airports.
Alaska officials said they decided to forego operating at this time in favor
of
Horizon because of a continuing inability to secure temporary slots
allocated
to large jet operators from local authorities. The airline had hoped to be
able
to provide service to Seattle with 120-seat Boeing 737-700 jets.
“We regret to have to inform the people of Long Beach that we won`t be
returning in September, but rest assured we`re hopeful we`ll be back in the
near future,” said Gregg Saretsky, Alaska`s executive vice president of
marketing and planning. “Meanwhile, passengers flying between Long Beach and
Seattle will have the opportunity to experience what travelers elsewhere
repeatedly say is the best regional service in the nation, offered by our
sister carrier, Horizon Air.”
Saretsky also said Alaska would continue to work cooperatively with the City
of
Long Beach and federal officials in its pursuit of permanent slots at Long
Beach.
“Long Beach has played an important role in Alaska`s past growth in Southern
California, and our company is committed to the community and to the
market,”
Saretsky said. “Providing service to Long Beach is vital to our long-term
strategy for continued growth in the region.” Alaska last served Long Beach
in
1995 after 13 years of operation at the airport.
Currently, only 41 daily flights are permitted to and from Long Beach by
larger
carriers such as Alaska due to noise restrictions at the city-owned airport.
Meanwhile, 25 daily flights are permitted for other carriers such as
Horizon.
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