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Published by the Port of Walla Walla
Horizen Air introduces new plane to Walla Walla, Port teams with Valley businesses to help build passenger counts
Photos by Donna Lasater

“Fly Walla Walla First” promotion encourages local travelers to utilize Q400 service for convenient, comfortable travel between Walla Walla and Seattle

WWV Chamber of Commerce Air Travel Coalition members
WWV Chamber of Commerce Air Travel Coalition members welcome arrival of Horizon Air’s Q400. Pictured left to right – Doug Bayne (Banner Bank), Michael Davidson (Tourism Walla Walla), Dave Warkentin (Walla Wallla Valley Chamber of Commerce), Kip Kelly (Coffey Communications), Dan Russo (Horizon Air), Elizabeth Martin-Calder (WW Valley Wine Alliance), Tim Larkin (Tumac Outdoor Equipment), Paul Schneidmiller (Port of Walla Walla & World Wide Travel) and not pictured, John Boutsikaris (Key Technology)

    Which comes first...the plane or the passengers?
    Port of Walla Walla officials and business partners in the Valley are hoping they’ll come together to build a base for improved air service between the Walla Walla Regional Airport and Seattle.
    A renewed emphasis on the value of Horizon Air’s local service started on October 27, 2008 with the Monday morning arrival of the airline’s new Q400 passenger plane.
    More than 100 people representing local businesses and community support groups were on hand to greet the sleek new aircraft that is now the “standard” for Horizon’s service in Walla Walla.
    The Q400 turboprop replaced the Q200 with a plane that offers more seating capacity, 76 versus 37; faster speeds, 414 mph versus 334; and while consuming 30 percent less fuel than similar-sized jet craft.

    It’s the increased passenger capacity that has captured the focus of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Air Travel Coalition, which includes participation from and support by the Port of Walla Walla.
    While use of the larger plane will have no affect on Walla Walla’s current three-a-day flight schedule, the added passenger capacity does create a need to “fill more seats.”
    Chamber CEO Dave Warkentin reminded the welcoming audience that the airline needs at least 125 daily boardings to maintain its present schedule. That’s an increase of about 50 percent, he said.
    Kip Kelly, chair for the Air Travel Coalition and senior vice president of business development for Coffey Communications, said the group initiated a Fly Walla Walla First promotion and is working with Horizon to encourage and ensure its future here.

(more airport on page 2)

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