STEPHEN MURNANE | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
Alaska Airlines announced Thursday nonstop flights from Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport to Boise Airport begin August 17 for the first time in about a decade.
The new year-round route between Pullman-Moscow and Boise offers a crucial connection to the University of Idaho and WSU, according to an Alaska Airlines news release.
UI and Alaska Airlines entered an agreement lasting for three years, said Jodi Walker, UI senior director of communications.
UI is guaranteeing Alaska Airlines a 10 percent profit from the new flight availability. If the airline is unable to meet the 10 percent profit, UI will make up the difference of up to $500,000, Walker said.
UI will use general university expenses to make up any difference in profits to Alaska Airlines, but the difference is not expected to be large if any at all, she said.
“We are a statewide institution, a land grant [institution]. We have a mission to work across the entire state, and so being able to easily access those areas is a huge benefit to the university and to those who work here,” Walker said.
The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport board of directors has discussed adding a nonstop flight to Boise for several years, according to a UI news release.
Nonstop flights from Pullman-Moscow to Boise stopped about a decade ago. Flights have been rerouted through Seattle since 2018 when Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport canceled flights to Boise as well, according to the UI release.
This new flight path provides an easier way for students, families, alumni and researchers to come to campus, Walker said.
“Not only does the University of Idaho have business in Boise,” Walker said, “but the entire region has business in Boise; it’s the capital. It’s where we do our governmental relations.”
The drive from Pullman to Boise is about five hours long. Nonstop flights make the trip to Boise much quicker, said Cherri Gentry, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport administrative assistant.
“What it means for the community is better connectivity, there [will be] more connections that people can get through Boise,” she said.
In addition to flights between Pullman-Moscow and Boise, Alaska Airlines is offering flights between Boise and Chicago, Illinois, Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. The new flights add up to 30 daily departures and 14 destinations out of the Boise airport, according to the Alaska Airlines release.
Tickets for flights between Pullman-Moscow and Boise are available for purchase on the Alaska Airlines website.