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Airport celebrates inaugural flight between SLO and Seattle 

The San Luis Obispo Airport.

The San Luis Obispo Airport.

The County of San Luis Obispo and community partners celebrated the start of nonstop service between San Luis Obispo and Seattle on Thursday morning.

A cheering crowd of well-wishers and eager travelers joined the County to greet passengers of the first arriving flight connecting the two cities. Prior to the flight’s arrival, guests gathered at the airport for remarks from Airport Director Kevin Bumen, County of San Luis Obispo District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill, Visit SLO CAL President and CEO Chuck Davison, and Alaska Airlines Sales & Community Marketing Manager Eloisa Valdez.

“San Luis Obispo County is thrilled to have these flights for business travelers and visitors alike,” Supervisor Hill said. “Let this be but the beginning of a great and growing relationship with Alaska Airlines.”

This important new destination, announced last summer, will connect San Luis Obispo to Alaska’s network, increase accessibility to Seattle’s tech industries, and carry visitors into the Central Coast’s thriving wineries and beaches.

“This is an exciting day for our community,” said Bumen. “There were a lot of partners who were involved in our effort to bring Alaska Airlines to our market and we’re seeing the results of that hard work.”

This new service is the result of regional collaboration and years of persistence by several key community leaders and organizations. The County Board of Supervisors voted to form the Tourism Marketing District in 2015, providing critical marketing funding needed to establish and sustain new air service. Additionally, with the Board’s approval of a Small Community Air Service Development Grant, the County was able to incentivize Alaska Airlines to begin service here.

The Economic Vitality Corporation and Visit SLO CAL partnered with the County to prove the importance of the region to the airline, as both a destination and a steady source of passengers. The culmination of these programs and many other meetings, sponsorships and collaborative efforts, is a new airline and its more than 100 connecting markets.

“Increasing air service into San Luis Obispo County is vital to the growth of our tourism economy,” Davison stated at the inaugural event. “This Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle allows us to introduce our destination to new travelers, and our recent consumer research study tells us that Seattle is an ideal new market for San Luis Obispo County. For those arriving from Seattle, welcome to SLO CAL!”

Alaska Airlines was equally as enthusiastic about the new service.

“We are excited to add San Luis Obispo as our 16th destination served in California,” said John Kirby, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of capacity planning. “This new service will provide convenient access between our Seattle hub and SLO County and all that the Central Coast has to offer.”

Alaska Airlines’ flights between San Luis Obispo and Seattle will operate daily. Arrivals are scheduled to land at 10:42 a.m. and departures leave at noon. The flight will operate on a 76-seat, two-cabin Embraer 175.

To book travel to Seattle, visit https://www.alaskaair.com/.

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or follow his blog.

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