Tri-Citians will be able to fly directly to Portland from the Tri-Cities Airport starting Aug. 27.
Alaska Airlines will be adding a daily Portland-to-Pasco flight, replacing one of the Pasco-to-Seattle flights.
"Our goal is to provide access to cities that our customers in the Tri-Cities area want to get to, and Portland is certainly one of those," said Bobbie Egan, spokeswoman for Alaska Airlines.
Egan said the company hasn't added any other new cities out of Pasco in 10 years.
The flight will give the Tri-Cities back some of the service lost in 2008 when Alaska Airlines retired its Bombardier Q-200 aircraft, which had 37 seats, Egan said.
At that time, there were three flights daily to Portland, said Ron Foraker, Tri-Cities Airport director. The morning flight especially was popular.
"We are very appreciative that they have re-evaluated the Tri-Cities Airport and will once again provide us with Portland service," Foraker said.
The Bombardier Q-400 that will be used for the new Portland-to-Pasco flight seats 76 people, Egan said.
This brings the Tri-Cities Airport up to nine destinations, Foraker said. The last destination to be added was Los Angeles, which Allegiant Air started offering in 2010.
The new flight will help in marketing the Tri-Cities as a destination, said Kim Shugart, senior vice president of the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau.
"We are really fortunate," she said.
The Portland piece was missing considering the business the Tri-Cities does in the Northwest, Shugart said. Having it should help attract businesses, conventions and leisure travelers.
The new flights will be Flight 2124 to Pasco and Flight 2125 to Portland, and will be operated by Horizon Air, Alaska's sister company, Egan said.
The year-round flight will leave Portland at 11:05 a.m. and arrive in Pasco at 11:57 a.m., Egan said. The flight will leave Pasco at 12:30 p.m. and arrive in Portland at about 1:25 p.m.
Egan said the company decreased flights between Pasco and Seattle to five, and the sixth flight has now become the new Portland flight.
Foraker said the new Portland flight will be able to feed into a number of flights out of Portland.
Hopefully, it does well enough that the Tri-Cities Airport has another Portland flight added back, he said.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org