Idea #10: Attract additional flights at Spokane International Airport

Spokane International Airport serves three million passengers yearly, but a majority of these passengers are routed through hubs like Seattle, Denver, and Las Vegas. (PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons)

As a blog focused on solutions, #spokanerising is committed to developing ideas to help develop Spokane into a top-tier urban-designed, thriving, vibrant city of the same class as Portland or Seattle. Whether or not you agree with his politics, this dovetails nicely with Mayor David Condon’s stated goal of transforming our city into one of “choice.”

Yesterday, KXLY reported on their Facebook page that Delta would be adding seasonal flights to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International AirportToday, we suggest that the Spokane Airport Board and the Spokane City Council prioritize adding new domestic nonstop flights at Spokane International Airport.

While the Spokane market is indeed well-served by the combination of Alaska/Horizon shuttle flights to Seattle and the vast array of international and domestic flights available from there, it would behoove local government officials to look for ways to stimulate or subsidize additional nonstop flights to in-demand locations. Having a good number of domestic flights correlates with strong local business activity and economic growth. One can imagine the possibilities. Currently, a large number of barriers prevent companies from locating in Spokane. But new flights could eliminate some of these. For example, add nonstop flights to San Jose (which is closer than Oakland or San Francisco to Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook) and suddenly a world of technology investment becomes more possible. Add additional flights to Houston or Atlanta (the current Delta plan only adds one weekly Saturday flight) and international destinations become more in reach.

Somewhat arbitrarily, we believe that the region’s top priorities for increased air service should include the following:

  1. The conversion of seasonal service to Minneapolis and Chicago to full-time service.
  2. The addition of service to Dallas, Houston, and/or Atlanta.
  3. The addition of service to San Jose.
  4. The exploration of additional service to Los Angeles.
  5. The exploration of service to Canadian cities like Vancouver and Edmonton.
  6. The exploration of service restoration to Reno/Tahoe.

What about you? What’s on your wishlist for destinations? Where should Spokane International Airport be focusing its energy?

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3 thoughts on “Idea #10: Attract additional flights at Spokane International Airport

  1. Spokane needs to concentrate efforts to restoring “Full Jet” , all year service to Chicago. Spokane was able to support two Non-stops a day, full jet, flights to Chicago in the past, when the airport serviced less people. Southwest needs to add a flight to Chicago Midway airport also. Service to San Francisco needs to return. A flight to San Diego, Sacramento and San Jose would be nice. Calgary and Vancouver should be a stable route with at least a flight a day. Horizon needs to re-establish service between Spokane and Montana to promote tourism for both areas. It used to be all service from Montana had to go through Spokane to reach Seattle and Portland. Atlanta would be great. Maybe a charter flight from Spokane to Orlando/Tampa loop flight on Allegent , once/twice a week!

    • All great points. The other thing that I can particularly attest to, being a college student in San Jose, is that it is nearly impossible anymore to fly to Spokane from anywhere on the West Coast in under four hours if you don’t take Alaska. Ever since Southwest eliminated Seattle-Spokane and Portland-Spokane flights, Alaska is the only real option across the west coast flying to Spokane. Sure, you can use Oakland International, but no one in the Bay Area–and especially in the South Bay, closer to Google and Apple and Facebook–uses Oakland International.

      Alaska provides great service, but their west coast monopoly to/from Spokane means that they can jack up prices at will.

  2. So you want to oppose coal trains but your all for dumping jet fuel on my head? wow dude….how about close the airport and come up with real innovation that is not based on toxic 20th century expansion ideas?

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