Pangborn Airport had a record-breaking 2019 for flight passengers

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Pangborn Memorial Airport had a record-breaking year in 2019 as more passengers than ever passed through the terminal.

Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority CEO, Jim Kuntz says that’s cause for celebration and could mean more flights to SeaTac.

Currently, Alaska Airlines has a four-flight flex schedule in and out of Pangborn, meaning there sometimes can be fewer than four flights a day.

“We’re seeing more and more of the four-flight schedule being implemented. I think that bodes well for the greater Wenatchee Valley,” Kuntz said.

There have been few weather-related flight disruptions in both East Wenatchee and Seattle this winter and the flight traffic showed it.

“We closed 2019 with a very strong year, about 127,000 boardings total, that’s people getting on or off the Alaska flight,” Kuntz said. “We had an in particularly strong December. It’s the best on record for December.”

Kuntz says it continues a strong three-year run of traffic growth at Pangborn.

Alaska/Horizon reported their flights to from Pangborn to Seattle are averaging about 74 percent capacity.

Bay Area flights aren’t in the near future

On another front, Kuntz said efforts to secure commercial air service to San Francisco have stalled. Part of the reason for that is related to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max planes, Kuntz said.

“With all those airplanes grounded, the regional jets are now out in markets that used to be served by 737s,” Kuntz said. “Our problem is there’s not a regional jet to be had.”

Kuntz said, though delayed, it’s not a matter of if, but when, those flights will be added.

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.