Flying comfortably with new wings

Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport introduces embraer 175 jets



An Alaska Airlines jet rests on the tarmac of Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, Nov. 6.

GABRIELLE BOWMAN, Evergreen news co-editor

Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport has transferred from using their Q400 Turboprops to using Embraer 175 jets on Nov. 1.

The reasoning behind the Embraer 175 jets coming to the airport is a Horizon air decision, however, what the airline has communicated to the airport is that it minimizes their maintenance costs and pilot costs because having one aircraft versus two makes it more simple, said Tony Bean executive director of Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport.

The Embraer 175 jets have become more accommodating to passengers, specifically, the new jets do not have propellors which the past Q400 planes did, Bean said.

The new jets are quieter inside, customers stated that they were not comfortable with the Q400 because it was a propeller aircraft, it is a perfectly safe aircraft, but people prefer the jet and are considering flying  out of the Pullman-Moscow Airport because of the new jets. With the new jets, they run smoother and with less noise which passengers have complained about, Bean said.

“The airport put 154 million dollars into moving the airport’s runway to be able to keep commercial service,” Bean said. “There will also be a brand new terminal, brand new parking, brand new aircraft everything will be brand new and it is all toward Pullman.”

However, students who fly back home for breaks became concerned with possible price hikes in ticket sales with the new jets.

Reilly Lanford-Byers,  freshman majoring in civil engineering and accounting said, the price is a little bit of a concern, with going home on holiday weekends or short notice it is pretty expensive.

Getting newer planes would not be a bad idea when taking a flight home the plane was noticeably old and with new planes being used at the airport it would not be a bad thing, but the price would be a little bit of a concern, she said.

However, a possible price hike in tickets is not the case. There will be four different fare prices for the aircraft. There is a saver fare, an economy fare, business class fare and a first-class fare; where the Q400 only had the saver fare and the economy fare. What the airport is seeing with the new jets is not indicative of a large price hike. There are still choices as a consumer, Bean said.

With the new jets coming into the airport and upgrades made to the airport to comfort them there have not been any major setbacks on the airport. It has just been about exercising communication between the airport and the airline.

To make sure they are communicating to the airport what they need from them and that the airport is able to install the equipment so they can do their job which includes handling the aircraft and taking care of customers, Bean said.