Alaska Airlines will expand its presence in Fresno, offering nonstop flights between Fresno and San Diego starting in June, the airline announced Wednesday.
The twice-daily round trips are part of a slate of new routes that Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Alaska Air Group, will launch this summer. Other routes include San Diego-Monterey, San Diego-Santa Rosa, and San Jose-Reno.
The Fresno flights will leave Fresno Yosemite International Airport at 7:15 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. The flights are approximately 90 minutes. Flights from San Diego will arrive at 8:42 a.m. and 8:12 p.m. The service will begin June 4.
The Alaska Air Group already is represented at Fresno Yosemite International: Horizon has flights from Fresno to Portland, Ore.; and Alaska Airlines flights to Seattle are provided by SkyWest under a contract arrangement.
Fresno airport spokeswoman Vikkie Calderon said Horizon’s flights will mark a return of service to San Diego after more than three years. ExpressJet was the last airline to fly between the two cities, from May 2007 to September 2008.
Houston-based ExpressJet blamed high fuel prices for financial problems that forced it to ground six daily flights from Fresno to San Diego, Ontario and Long Beach.
While Fresno is gaining service to San Diego, two airlines that provide international flights between Fresno and Guadalajara are making seasonal reductions to their schedules.
Aeromexico has cut back its schedule from flights seven days a week to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of January and at least through February, said Russell Widmar, the city’s airports manager. Widmar said the airline informed the airport of its plans about a month ago, and added that he expects Aeromexico will resume its full schedule in March.
Aeromexico representatives in Mexico City, where the airline is headquartered, did not respond to requests for comment on the airline’s Fresno service.
Widmar said Volaris, another Mexican airline with flights to and from Guadalajara, also informed Fresno Yosemite International Airport that it will temporarily reduce its schedule from seven days a week to four days in February.
Aeromexico and Volaris both launched their Fresno flights last April. Through the end of December, the two airlines combined to carry 105,992 passengers to or from Fresno.
“According to the Mexican government, we were the second-busiest boarding airport in Nevada and California putting people on flights to Guadalajara, only behind Los Angeles International,” Widmar said.
By By Tim Sheehan