Business

Horizon Air cuts 1 Walla Walla to Seattle flight

WALLA WALLA -- Horizon Air is cutting one of three daily round-trip flights on its Walla Walla-Seattle route.

The 11:55 a.m. flight from Walla-Walla, which is routed via Pasco, doesn't have the passenger traffic to keep it going, said Dan Russo, Horizon's vice president of marketing and communications.

"It hasn't proven to be successful. The flight usually is less than half-full," he said.

The flight will be eliminated effective Jan. 6, Russo said.

Horizon will retain the existing morning and evening nonstop flights from Walla Walla to Seattle, Russo said.

The cut and the current flight schedule will make it harder for passengers, particularly professionals and wine tourists looking for a day trip, to travel to Walla Walla, said Port of Walla Walla Commissioner Paul Schneidmiller, who also owns World Wide Travel Service in Walla Walla.

There will be no 9:50 a.m. flight from Seattle to Walla Walla, he said. And that means Walla Walla-bound passengers will be limited to taking either the 3:40 p.m. or the 7:50 p.m. flights, or perhaps landing in the Tri-Cities and driving to Walla Walla, he said.

"We need those two flights to be spread out a little," Schneidmiller said.

The port plans to meet with Horizon Air officials next week to tweak the schedule, he said.

The port's short-term strategy should be to have a two-flight schedule with convenient times, he said. "We're optimistic about our meeting with Horizon."

Russo said the airline will consider adjusting flight times at some point.

* Pratik Joshi: 509-582-1541; pjoshi@tricityherald.com; Business Beat blog at www.tricityherald.com

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