SEATTLE, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Alaska Airlines will open a flight attendant base in San Diego on April 1. Between 150 and 200 flight attendants are expected to fly out of San Diego, Alaska's fifth base in its network, which will save the carrier more than $1 million annually in travel-related costs.
"This is an exciting time for us," said Andy Schneider, Alaska Airlines' vice president of inflight services. "As one of our fastest-growing cities, the time was right to open a base in San Diego—a city where many of our flight attendants already live."
Schneider said about 15 percent of the flight attendants needed at the new base already live in San Diego and commute more than two hours to Los Angeles and other airports in the area. She expects the sunny Southern California location will easily attract the additional employees needed to staff the base.
In addition to reducing the company's employee travel costs, the new San Diego base is also expected to help with on-time performance since flight attendants will be living in the San Diego region rather than commuting to a different airport for departures.Carolyn Ward, a 20-year Alaska Airlines flight attendant and lifelong resident of San Diego, commutes 90 minutes each way to her crew base in Los Angeles. "Having my crew base located right in my hometown will literally change my life," Ward said. "I'm really looking forward to working a single roundtrip flight in one day, which will allow me to leave in the morning and return in the evening so that I can spend time with my family." In addition to San Diego, Alaska Airlines has flight attendant bases in Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and Seattle. "Opening a flight attendant domicile in San Diego demonstrates Alaska Airlines' commitment to serve the region," said Jeffrey Peterson, Master Executive Council president for the Association of Flight Attendants at Alaska Airlines. "We're thrilled to have a presence in such a beautiful location. San Diego truly lives up to its nickname as 'America's Finest City.' " By this summer, Alaska Airlines will operate 24 departures a day from San Diego during the peak season. Last year, the carrier inaugurated nonstop flights to Fresno, Monterey, and Santa Rosa, Calif., and to Orlando, Fla. Alaska will begin new San Diego- Boston service on March 29 and flights to Lihue, Kauai, on June 7. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction Study SM for five consecutive years from 2008 to 2012. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom. SOURCE Alaska Air Group