Alaska Airlines will open a flight attendant base in San Diego on April 1. The airline also said it will begin a new San Diego-to-Boston service on March 29 and flights to Lihue, Kauai, on June 7.
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.
"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," said Andy Schneider, Alaska Airlines' vice president of in-flight services.
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 also is 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.
In addition to San Diego, Alaska Airlines has flight attendant bases in Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and Seattle.
By this summer, Alaska Airlines will operate 24 departures a day from San Diego during the peak season.
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 95 cities.