PENDLETON - It's official. Starting Feb. 8 Horizon Air will offer three flights between Pendleton and Seattle.

Two of the flights will make brief stops in Walla Walla each way while the third flight will be nonstop in each direction.

Service from Pendleton to Portland - which is the current Horizon connection - will only be available by connecting in Seattle. Some of the Pendleton-Portland flights now stop in Pasco.

Horizon's schedule change is subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, but that's expected. The Pendleton City Council approved the schedule change this week, following the recommendation of the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport Commission.

A potential addition to Horizon's flight schedule out of Walla Walla could have benefits for Pendleton travelers as well.

A fourth flight would not land in Pendleton, but it would free up seats on other flights. Currently Walla Walla is filling 65 percent of the seats on most its flights and 80 percent on others, Eastern Oregon Regional Airport at Pendleton Manager Larry Dalrymple said.

"By adding a flight a day it frees up seats for both of us," he added.

Dalrymple sent a letter to Pat Zachwieja, vice president of market and planning for Horizon Air, supporting the addition.

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