After loading passengers, San Juan Airlines pilot Rebecca Watson pulls chocks before piloting a Cessna 207 for an early morning flight to the San Juan Islands from Bellingham International Airport on Tuesday. The little airline	will begin twice-daily scheduled flights from Everett to the San Juan Islands on May 1. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

After loading passengers, San Juan Airlines pilot Rebecca Watson pulls chocks before piloting a Cessna 207 for an early morning flight to the San Juan Islands from Bellingham International Airport on Tuesday. The little airline will begin twice-daily scheduled flights from Everett to the San Juan Islands on May 1. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Paine Field lands a 3rd airline, but this one flies Cessnas

San Juan Airlines begins scheduled passenger service from Everett to Friday Harbor on May 1.

EVERETT — A third airline is offering scheduled service at Paine Field.

San Juan Airlines, a commuter and charter carrier with a fleet of single-engine Cessnas, will begin regular weekday passenger service starting May 1.

“We’ll start with two daily flights to and from Friday Harbor,” said Jason Douglass, the airline’s CEO and owner. Round trips start at $135.

The schedule from Everett is intended to sync with service by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines — to get passengers to Paine Field for morning departures to Phoenix, Denver, Portland and San Francisco, Douglass said.

Boarding will be at Castle and Cooke Aviation, a stone’s throw from the new Everett terminal, where Alaska and United offer 24 daily departures.

“We’re not using the new terminal,” Douglass said. “We don’t use the Transportation Security Administration to screen passengers.”

San Juan Airlines operates propeller-driven Cessna 172, 206 and 207 planes — three- and five-passenger aircraft. “No seaplanes,” Douglass said.

From Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, passengers can connect to flights to Orcas Island, Lopez Island, Anacortes and Bellingham. Charter flights are available to other islands, Douglass said.

Douglass hopes the service will become popular with island dwellers who want to fly from Everett instead of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

“If it’s popular, if the demand is there, we could add additional flights, or on weekends,” Douglass said.

The little airline already operates scheduled service to the San Juan Islands from Bellingham, its home base, and Anacortes.

Flights to and from the islands average about 15 to 20 minutes. But San Juan also boasts a 90-second freight run from Center Island to Decatur Island. “It’s just take off and get ready to land,” Douglass said.

Like Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, Douglass said San Juan Airlines sought regulators’ approval to begin scheduled flights at Paine Field. Scheduled passenger service differs from charter flights, Douglass said.

San Juan was already operating charter flights from the Snohomish County-owned airport and will continue to do so.

“With scheduled service you’re purchasing a seat. With charter service, you’re renting the entire plane,” he said. The Federal Aviation Administration has different rules governing scheduled service.

San Juan Airlines was founded in the 1950s, said Douglass, who took over the business two years ago.

For flight information, go to sanjuanairlines.com.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter:JanicePods.

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