IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – Beginning Sept. 7, Alaska Airlines will transition to a regional jet on its route between the Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) and Seattle, Washington.
Since Alaska launched the route in 2021, the airline utilized the Bombardier Q400 turboprop but will now upgrade to the Embraer 175. The regional jet provides passengers with premium seating on regional routes. Configured with no middle seats, the airplane offers 12 seats in first class, 12 in premium class and 52 in the main cabin.
“The success and reception of the Idaho Falls to Seattle route over the past year has been incredible,” Idaho Falls Regional Airport Director Rick Cloutier said. “The E175 has been operated by multiple carriers at IDA and we have seen its success in providing a more enjoyable travel experience for passengers.”
Earlier in 2022, Horizon Air, the regional airline for Alaska, announced it would begin the process of moving to a single fleet of all E175 jets. The spacious E175 offers a passenger experience on par with much larger jets.
“The E175 aircraft is extremely efficient and well suited for markets like Idaho Falls. Customers love flying in it and we think that’ll be the case for our guests in eastern Idaho, ”Horizon Air President Joe Sprague said. “By early next year at Horizon, the E175 jet will be the only aircraft type we’ll fly as we transition to a single fleet. It’s one of the most important things we’re doing to stabilize our future. “
On the Alaska Airlines E175, passengers will find various levels of legroom options. All passengers will also enjoy a window or aisle seat and large overhead bins. The ever-popular regional jet across North America flies at a maximum cruising altitude of 41,000 feet at 494 mph.
Alaska anticipates also adding the E175 on the route between IDA and Boise sometime in 2023. The flight opened new opportunities for travelers connecting to other destinations or seeking to conduct business between Idaho’s two economic hubs. Instead of spending an entire workday driving back and forth between the cities, the flight connects Idaho Falls and Boise in about an hour.
“The new route has had a lot of positive reaction from passengers,” Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper said. “For years, people have asked for the route to come back to our airport and through the hard work of staff and many others, it has become a reality. With a faster and more comfortable aircraft, this new route will continue to wow travelers. “
IDA is currently in the middle of another record-setting year as more travelers take to the skies from the premier airport destination in the region. The airport recently completed a $ 12 million 38,000-square-foot expansion project. The expansion project, funded entirely by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Improvement Program, has added two new terminal gates, an improved Transportation Security Administration screening area and expanded restaurant space.