Name change: Everett’s Paine Field officially stakes its claim as Seattle’s 2nd airport

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Paine Field (PAE) is getting a rebrand.

As of Wednesday, the airport will officially be known as Seattle Paine Field International Airport in an effort to make travelers more aware of the second-busiest airport in the city’s metro area.

PAE hopes the name change will attract more passengers to the smaller airport in Everett, Washington, which already sees around 1 million passengers yearly.

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“We have always viewed Paine Field as a second gateway to the Seattle metro area and are excited that the County has rebranded the airport,” Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports, the private company that operates PAE, said in a statement. “‘Seattle Paine Field International Airport’ better captures the market that our airport serves.”

The name change also signals the airport’s ambitions to grow its presence in the Seattle area. PAE has made a major comeback in recent years after decades of no commercial air service.

A partnership between Snohomish County and Propeller Airports revived the small airport in 2019 to give travelers in the area another option. Commuters to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) — one of the busiest airports in the U.S. — face some of the worst traffic in the country, making PAE an appealing alternative. (PAE also happens to sit on the same airfield as Boeing’s assembly plant.)

Since Alaska Airlines first entered PAE in 2019 with flights to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Portland, Oregon, the carrier has expanded its presence in the market. Now, the carrier also flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Anchorage, along with other cities in the western U.S.

As the smaller airport has become a popular alternative to SEA, PAE expects to see its passenger traffic quadruple by 2040. This means it would see approximately 4.3 million passengers make their way through the airport annually. Analysts have predicted that the airport will need to expand its two gates and build four more in order to meet that growing demand.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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