This is big news for politicos that regularly make the trip from Portland to Washington, DC. Two months ago, Alaska Airlines kicked off a campaign to win federal approval for a daily nonstop flight from PDX to Washington National Airport. And now, they've got it.
The O's Charlie Pope has the story and the reaction:
“Greater access means greater economic opportunity for the region," Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement.
"Right now, the demand for flights from Oregon to Washington, D.C. far exceeds the current capacity and with these increased flights between the two destinations will come greater economic growth for Oregon and the Pacific Northwest," he said.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., was equally pleased.
“Getting additional airline slots in the FAA reauthorization bill in February was a huge victory and today all that hard work by the Port of Portland and Alaska Airlines has paid off," he said in a statement. "In today’s global economy, getting quickly across the country is an important tool for any business wanting to locate or expand in Oregon."
"It’s great news for Oregonians and businesses to finally have a convenient nonstop flight to the nation's capital," said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who like other lawmakers from the Northwest has been urging the federal government for years to expand service to Portland.
"As the Pacific Northwest’s home airline and with their strong Portland hub, Alaska Airlines is perfectly suited to serve this route and I applaud DOT for recognizing that fact," he said.
Flights are required under the law to start September 8, but expected to be much sooner.