Sonoma County Airport ridership rises despite Alaska Airlines dip

Baggage is unloaded from an Alaskan Airlines flight arriving from Portland at the Sonoma County Airport. (BETH SCHLANKER / The Press Democrat)


A decline in Alaska Airlines ridership on its Sonoma County flights continued in January for the fourth straight month.

The airline carried 18,781 passengers on its Sonoma County flights in January, down 10.5 percent from a year ago, the Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport reported Monday. Ridership has been lower each month, compared to a year ago, since October wildfires destroyed more than 5,200 homes in the county.

Overall airport ridership in January increased 14.3 percent to 26,327 passengers from a year earlier.

The increase was because of the addition last year of American Airlines, which began service to Phoenix in February 2017, and United Airlines, which began flights to San Francisco last June. Sun Country Airlines in December halted its seasonal service from Minneapolis-St. Paul. A spokesman said the company intends to resume service this year but has yet to announce a date.

Alaska offers daily service from the county to San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle.

The airport last year served a record 397,787 passengers, an increase of 17.3 percent from 2016.