Cantwell Joins Spokane Airport to Announce New Nonstop Service to Los Angeles

Delta Air Lines to start nonstop flights between Spokane and Los Angeles on June 10

SPOKANE, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined members of the Spokane Airport Board, an executive from Delta Air Lines and community leaders in Spokane to announce that Delta would begin nonstop flights between Spokane and Los Angeles on June 10, 2013.

In August 2011, Cantwell urged Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to support a Small Community Air Service Development Grant for Spokane International Airport to establish this new air service, which could boost business and tourism-related travel between the two regions. In September 2011, Cantwell announced that the airport would receive a $950,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. She is chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security.

“The Inland Northwest continues to grow as a hub for innovation,” Cantwell said at today’s press conference in downtown Spokane. “And the announcement that Spokane will have a new flight to LAX on a daily basis helps this area accommodate continued economic growth. As these new flights are put into place it will be just like a new highway or a new rail track giving new economic opportunity to Spokane. We intend to take this inaugural flight and build on it.”

The Small Community Air Service Development Grant enabled Spokane International Airport to recruit Delta by offering short-term risk-offsets while the Spokane-L.A. air service market fully establishes itself. The airport must raise $200,000 of outside support to match the federal investment.

Currently, Spokane air service between Los Angeles and Southern California is completed entirely via connecting flights, yet there is very strong passenger demand for this route. In 2010, about 250,000 passengers traveled from Spokane to the Los Angeles Basin, making it the second most-travelled destination after Seattle. The Spokane-Coeur d’Alene region is the largest population center in the Pacific Northwest without nonstop air service to any of the major commercial centers of Southern California.