United Airlines will offer flights from Everett’s Paine Field in 2018

United announced it will join Alaska Air in operating passenger service from Paine Field in Everett.

United Airlines plans to begin commercial passenger service from Paine Field airport in Everett in fall 2018 with six daily flights to its hubs in Denver and San Francisco, the airline is announcing Thursday.

United follows Alaska Air Group in committing to scheduled flights out of the Snohomish County airport, ensuring that the planned passenger terminal will operate almost at full capacity as soon as it opens next year.

The airport will offer air travelers north of Seattle an alternative to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when flying to some popular Western U.S. destinations.

Dave Hilfman, United’s senior vice president of worldwide sales, said in a statement that “North Seattle and northwest Washington area travelers will now have easy access to our hubs in Denver and San Francisco and to opportunities to connect to business centers around the world.”

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers welcomed the prospect of “daily connections to United’s hubs with international service.”

United offers connecting flights to about 120 destinations from those two cities.

In May, Alaska Air Group said it will begin passenger service, also in fall 2018, with tickets going on sale early next year for nine daily departures to destinations along the West Coast from Oregon to California.

The planned services by Alaska and United combined should almost fully occupy the two airport gates planned at the new terminal.

Propeller Airports, which is owned by New York-based private equity firm Propeller Investments, is developing and will operate the terminal, which had its groundbreaking in June.

With typical turn times, the terminal’s two gates mean a peak capacity of roughly 16 passenger flights per day, or 32 takeoffs and landings.

“As far as capacity goes we are getting pretty close,” said Propeller Chief Executive Brett Smith. “Our focus is now entirely on getting the terminal built and open.”

When airport was built

Paine Field, named in honor of hometown hero Topliff Olin Paine, an Army Air Corps pilot during World War I, was constructed during the Great Depression to create jobs and economic growth in the region by the…

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