Port of Seattle Welcomes Virgin America to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Fourth New Airline to Announce Service in 2007

(Seattle — December 12, 2007) — The Port of Seattle is pleased to announce that Virgin America will begin serving Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with seven new daily non-stop flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles starting in March of 2008.

Virgin America’s new routes will begin on March 18, 2008 with three daily non-stop flights between Seattle and San Francisco International Airport. On April 8, 2008, three daily non-stop flights will begin between Seattle and Los Angeles International Airport. A fourth daily flight between Seattle and L.A. is scheduled to begin on May 11, 2008.

“We are pleased to welcome Virgin America to Seattle,” said Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton. “Virgin America will offer Puget Sound travelers an additional airline choice with some unique, tech-driven features and flight amenities.”

Virgin America’s new planes feature mood lighting, custom-designed leather seats, and an advanced in-flight entertainment system which allows passengers to order food, watch one of 25 movies or satellite TV, play videogames, create an MP3 playlist, and access air-to-ground broadband internet service.

“The addition of Virgin America to Sea-Tac Airport will help further economic development and tourism for the Seattle region and the state,” said Creighton.

This is the fourth new airline to announce service to Sea-Tac in 2007; earlier this year, Air France started non-stop service to Paris, AeroMexico started non-stop service to Mexico City, and Lufthansa announced non-stop service to Frankfurt. And, earlier this week, Northwest Airlines announced new non-stop service to London.

–Source: The Port of Seattle

Major Paving Complete for Sea-Tac’s Third Runway

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, December 10, 2007 – Major paving of the third runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is now complete. This visual milestone is an opportunity for area media to take aerial shots of the new runway, which is scheduled to begin operations in November of 2008.

The major paving completion includes the main 150-foot wide, 17-inch think runway that stretches 8,500 feet long. Additional hand paving of the aprons and connections to the adjoining taxiways and construction of asphalt shoulders are still to be completed, along with painting, FAA certifications, signage and other preparations.

— Source: Port of Seattle

Northwest Airlines Announces New Non-Stop Service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to London Heathrow

Fourth new international service added this year

The Port of Seattle and Northwest Airlines today announced the start of new international daily non-stop service between Seattle and London, to begin June 1st. Northwest Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world; together with its partners, the airline provides service to more than 1,000 cities in 160 countries on six continents.

“We are very excited to announce additional non-stop service to London,” said John Creighton, Port of Seattle Commission president. “International routes offer increased trade, travel, and tourism to and from their destinations – so this is good news to our entire region.”

The announcement was made at a press conference today in the Sea-Tac Airport Conference Center. This is the fourth new international route announcement for Sea-Tac Airport this year. This brings the total number of non-stop European destinations from Sea-Tac to six: Air France to Paris; British Airways to London; Lufthansa to Frankfurt; Northwest Airlines to Amsterdam and London; and SAS to Copenhagen. Other international service from Sea-Tac includes six airlines with non-stop service to Asia, two to Mexico, and four to Canada.

Source: The Port of Seattle

All paved up

The King County Road Services Division took advantage of dry fall weather to wrap up the 2007 countywide paving program for 2007 in October.

This year, more than 103,000 tons of asphalt were used to overlay 52 miles of roads in unincorporated King County and the local cities that contract with the Roads Division. Even through the cost of asphalt increased about 17 percent over last year, the division was able to meet its paving goals by adjusting the thickness of the overlay on the less-traveled roadways.

In conjunction with the paving, the division also built 143 ramps at intersections in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

King County Road Services Division

Ferries might not be fixed until next year

Washington State Ferry officials reported today that “It could be the first or second week in February before the Port Townsend-Whidbey Island ferry routes offer vehicle service again.”

WSF has pulled the 80-year old Illahee and Klickitat from service for hull inspections after “serious metal pitting” was found on one of her sister ships, the Quinault, while it was in dry dock.

The Quinault is expected to return to service in February, 2008 and the Illahee might return in January depending upon what issues are uncovered during inspection. Dry dock for the Klickitat has not been scheduled as of yet.

Responding to WSF officials who claimed that the more serious problems were obfuscated by the hull’s paint, State Representative Lynne Kessler (D-Hoquiam) asked why the ferries had been “continually repainted without looking for problems underneath.”

State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond explained that certain inspections were not performed on these vessels because until 18 months ago WSF was planning on replacing all four 1927-era Steel-Electric Class boats (including the Nisqually, also out of service). However, the decision to keep the smaller Keystone Terminal changed all of WSF’s plans, leaving them without any short-term options.

Troubled Nichols Bros. Boatbuilders has reportedly offered to construct a 216-foot-long 54-car ferry for $20 million using an already-developed design, however it could take upwards of 4 years to produce a ferry using a brand-new design.

Chief Executive Matt Nicholshas stated the new boat “would be maneuverable in the narrow Keystone ship channel, carry up to 325 passengers, and would travel at about the same speed as the older vessels do on the run now.”

The Steel-Electric Class boats carry 75 cars and more than 600 passengers.

State Representative Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor) has questioned whether a smaller boat would be able to accommodate planned and future traffic growth and no decision was made by the end of the meeting.

State Senator Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camino Island), chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee, as well as State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond have both expressed interest in the quicker solution suggested by Nichols Bros. Boatbuilders.

International Air Service Changes for Seattle (Pax/Cargo)

The following international airlines have applied to offer service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

AEROFLOT Cargo: Khabarovsk, Russia – Seattle
Application filed 14NOV07.

China Airlines (Taiwan): Taipei, Taiwan – Seattle

China Airlines once will again will increase Seattle service from 3 to 5 weekly from 09JAN08.

CI016 TPE1640 – 1130SEA 343 257
CI022 TPE2235 – 1725SEA 343 13

CI021 SEA0015 – 0600+1TPE 343 24
CI015 SEA0055 – 0620+1TPE 343 136

CI016/015 extends to/from Houston.

Hainan Airlines: Beijing, China – Seattle
Application filed 09NOV07.

In the application, it plans to operate either Boeing 767-300 or Airbus 330 on this route, effective June 2008. Eventually it’ll be operating Boeing 787 on this route, which its own configuration will be between 184 – 215 seats.

Lufthansa: Frankfurt, Germany – Seattle

Lufthansa is continuing to expands its global coverage when service to Seattle, Lufthansa’s 17th US gateway, will be launched on 30MAR08.

LH490 FRA1005 – 1120SEA 333 D
LH491 SEA1430 – 0925+1FRA 333 D

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Wins Overall Griesbach Award of Excellence in ACI-NA Concessions Contest

While most people will never equate food and airports, the delays caused by our nation’s antiquated Air Traffic Control system have made this relationship all the more important. ¬†Anyone who has had to spend more time in an airport than originally planned will appreciate a good selection of concession options, be they shopping, food, or drink.

Therefore it is good news that our local International Airport, Sea-Tac, has won the Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence for its’ concession options by the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA).
At the 2007 Concessions Conference Awards luncheon today, Richard White, Director of Properties for the Memphis-Shelby International Airport, winner of the 2006 Griesbach Award, presented the Griesbach award to SEA-TAC.

SEA-TAC’s excellent mix of national, regional, and particularly local brands in the areas of food and beverage, retail, and consumer services, has created a dynamic new experience for its passengers. The positioning of the retail and food service outlets throughout the terminal maximizes visibility and passenger movement. The design and fixtures contribute to establishing a unique Pacific Northwest sense of place. The store fronts are eye catching and the financial performance is superbRichard White
Director of Properties for the Memphis-Shelby International Airport

More …

Entries for this year’s contest were judged by an independent panel comprised of high-level professionals from each of the various disciplines reflected in the contest (i.e. food and beverage, retail mall development, consumer groups, architecture and academic communities). In addition to the independent panel, one representative from the previous years’ overall winner was also involved in the judging process.
The contest, which began in 1998, is named for Richard A. Griesbach, a long-time industry professional in airport concession programs from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.