Everett's Paine Field to suspend passenger service until Aug. 1

EVERETT, Wash. -- Everett's Paine Field announced it will suspend passenger service from May 22 through July 31 after passenger volume dropped drastically because of coronavirus.

The airport plans to use the time to perform ramp maintenance and repairs.

“The travel industry has never faced an economic challenge of this magnitude,” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports, which operates the terminal through a public-private partnership with Snohomish County. “We are going to use this temporary disruption to the advantage of Paine Field and our airline partners by completing necessary infrastructure improvements faster than we would have been able to while the terminal was open and flight operations were taking place.”

More than one million people flew through Paine Field during its first year of commercial passenger service.

Paine Field began commercial service in 2019 as a travel alternative to Sea-Tac Airport for people who live on the north end of Puget Sound.

Passenger service is expected to resume on Aug. 1.

Earlier Friday, Alaska Airlines had said it only planned to operate one route out of Everett due to the lack of demand.

Paine Field left out of significant federal coronavirus relief

Government grants of $10 billion were awarded across the country. Washington state airports were bolstered with money as an effort to save jobs and keep those facilities running.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport got $129 million, but Paine Field in Snohomish County was awarded only a fraction of what officials anticipated.

The airport is publicly owned but supports an array of private enterprises, supporting more than 150-thousand jobs and an annual economic impact of $60 billion. The methods used to determine how much Paine Field would be awarded was based on out-dated information, the airport got little more than $150,000.