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Yakima City Council to decide on expanded air services between Yakima and Seattle

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(The Center Square) – Alaska Airlines is willing to provide more scheduled air service between Yakima and Seattle, but the Yakima City Council needs to approve an air service agreement first.

The air service agreement consists of a minimum revenue guarantee not to exceed $500,000. The agreement would be administered by the Yakima County Development Association, with payments coming from Yakima’s Minimum Revenue Guarantee Airline Fund.

The agreement would extend from Nov. 17 of this year through Nov. 17, 2024, with a second additional daily flight from the Yakima Airport to Seattle. Alaska Airlines would provide the additional air services, but flights would be operated by SkyWest Airlines or Horizon Air Industries, according to the resolution.

The City of Yakima is looking to expand its Yakima Air Terminal services. Recently, the city conducted a survey from late April through the end of May to gauge what flight destinations Yakima residents support. The top two voted flight destinations were Las Vegas and Seattle.

While Seattle is typically a two-hour drive from the Yakima region, Yakima Air Terminal-McAllister Field Director Rob Hodgman previously said that historically 86% of Yakima Valley residents connect through Seattle to other destinations. Many of those trips are for business purposes.

As part of the agreement, the guaranteed $500,000 revenue is defined as the actual passenger revenue Alaska Airlines receives for a scheduled flight. This includes any revenue stemming from frequent flier program award tickets, revenues derived from baggage fees and on-board food and beverage sales and cargo.

The Yakima City Council will vote on the agreement at the July 5 meeting.

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