Horizon Air adds Saturday flight to Seattle

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Horizon Air is making a second landing in Walla Walla on Saturdays.

The Seattle airline has added another flight to Seattle to serve the community on the weekends, Port of Walla Walla officials said.

The new two-flight schedule for Saturdays matches the current weekday schedule, said Port Commissioner Paul Schneidmiller, who owns World Wide Travel Service.

In addition to the early morning flight, the new one will depart Walla Walla at 2:35 p.m. The final flight into Walla Walla on Saturdays from Seattle arrives at 8:55 p.m.

"It's good news," Schneidmiller said. "It especially helps us in our community with the three colleges."

He said news of the additional flight came as a surprise. Though a local air travel coalition has worked with the airline to advocate for additional flights in the past, there had been no particular push for a second Saturday trip.

Passenger loads in January and February were up compared to last year, Port officials have said. For the first two months of the year -- the timeline for which information was available -- passenger loads were up 6.9 percent over 2010.

In January, 2,268 people left Walla Walla for Seattle, up from 2,179 the same month in 2010. The number in February was down slightly at 2,167 but up from 1,970 in February 2010.

The comparison is the first time Port and airport officials can get a true read on the two-flight schedule that started in 2010.

Numbers last year were down from the first quarter of 2009 when Horizon operated a three-flight schedule in the community.

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