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Alaska Airlines delays Paine Field service due to government shutdown

Originally scheduled to begin service Feb. 11, Alaska Airlines won't start flying out of Paine Field in Everett until March.

Alaska Airlines is postponing the start of service out of Everett's Paine Field by nearly a month due to the government shutdown. 

The airline says the delay comes as FAA workers, who are responsible for certification and oversight work required for the start of commercial service, remain furloughed. Airlines planning to fly out of Paine Field cannot start commercial service until final government approval is made. 

Alaska planned to start service on Feb. 11. The airline is now scheduling service to begin on March 4 - subject to government approvals. 

If the shutdown continues, it's possible service will be delayed further. 

Alaska Airlines and United, have announced daily flights out of Everett. Destinations include Las Vegas, San Francisco, Portland, and several cities in southern California. Southwest, which had plans to fly from Everett, abandoned its plan in November. 

Tickets for service went on sale in November. Alaska says people who purchased tickets for travel between Feb. 11 and March 4 will receive an email notification that they will be able to fly from Sea-Tac Airport at a time that's closets to that of their Paine Field flight. Customers will be able to keep Paine Field as their airport of arrival or departure on March 4 or later. Full refunds will also be available. More details can be found here

Service out of Paine Field was already delayed. It was expected to begin in the fall when the new two-gate passenger terminal was complete. After it was announced that the terminal was doubling the number of daily flights, the FAA launched a new study to determine any additional impacts. The previous study was done in 2012, when fewer airlines were involved and only 12 daily flights were proposed. The FAA again did not find any significant issues in its latest assessment.  

The shutdown entered its 32nd day on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. President Donald Trump's proposal to reopen the government was headed to the Senate for action. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of federal workers could miss another paycheck as the shutdown continues and Democrats say they won't negotiate border funding. 

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