It’s been a quiet summer at the Bellingham International Airport, but that could change this fall as several flights are brought back.
Alaska Airlines announced it will bring back its Las Vegas, Honolulu and Maui flights out of Bellingham starting Nov. 1. The Las Vegas and Honolulu flights will happen once a day, while the Maui flights will be available four times a week, said Bobbie Egan, spokeswoman for Alaska Airlines.
The Bellingham-Maui flights will operate through March 2016, while the Bellingham to Honolulu and Las Vegas flights will last through May 2016.
Allegiant Airlines is not making any significant changes to its flights out of Bellingham compared to last fall, said spokesman Justin Ralenkotter. From Bellingham, Allegiant offers trips to San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs and Phoenix.
With fewer seats available, airline passenger traffic out of Bellingham was much lower this summer compared to a year ago. Last month, 34,901 people flew out of the Bellingham airport, a 26 percent decrease compared to July 2014, said Mark Leutwiler, acting director of aviation at the Port of Bellingham. In June, the year-to-year decline was 30 percent.
Last summer, Alaska offered flights out of Bellingham to Hawaii and Las Vegas, while Frontier Airlines was offering flights to Denver. Those routes were not available this year.
The port is looking for ways to attract travelers to park at the airport, Leutwiler said. That could include cutting prices during the slower periods, but that has not been decided yet.
“We are exploring different options to add value and amenities for our travelers,” he said.
Trying to attract more airlines to the airport is an ongoing effort, but nothing new has been finalized.
“It’s a long process and there are many factors for an existing or new airline to consider,” Leutwiler said.