The Biz Buzz

Get the most up-to-date news, insights and analysis of Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound business.

NOTICE: The Biz Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved The Biz Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Category: Aerospace


Aerospace Summit set for Wednesday at Clover Park Technical College

What are state and local governments and private businesses doing to ensure that Washington remains a hub of the aerospace industry?

Get a briefing Wednesday on that aerospace retention effort at Pierce County’s annual Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Summit at the McGavick Center at Clover Park Technical College.

Alex Pietsch, director of the governor’s office of aerospace, is one of several speakers on the agenda. Pietsch will discuss Washington’s aerospace strategy and the Evergreen State’s recruitment efforts at the recent Paris Air Show.

Other speakers include: Dr. Amit Bandyopadhyay, professor at Washington State University’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.  He will

Read more »


Sea-Tac gets second daily Dreamliner flight

Sea-Tac Airport,  the second U.S. airport to host the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a regularly scheduled flight, will see more Dreamliner service beginning this fall.

According to schedules published this week, United Airlines will begin using a Dreamliner for its Sea-Tac-Tokyo flight beginning Nov. 5.

The Chicago-based airline now uses a larger Boeing 777-200ER for the flight to Tokyo’s Narita Airport.  All Nippon Airways began flying a Dreamliner from Sea-Tac to the the Japanese capital last fall.

Those ANA flights were interrupted in early winter when all Boeing Dreamliners were grounded to solve battery fire problems.

ANA has resumed it

Read more »


Alaska Airlines adding Colorado ski town to wintertime route structure

Alaska Airlines, which historically has provided air service to such ski towns as Sun Valley, Idaho, and Mammoth Lakes, Calif.,  and Kalispell, Mont.,  will add a Colorado ski destination to its route map for the first time this winter.

The SeaTac-based airline will begin new service between Sea-Tac Airport and Steamboat Springs/Hayden, Colo., this winter. The twice-weekly flights will operate from Dec. 18 through March 29, 2014. The flights will make the roundtrip to Steamboat Springs on Wednesdays and Saturdays during that period.

“This will be Alaska Airlines’ first Colorado ski destination, giving our customers in the Pacific Northwest the

Read more »


Alaska Air Group board answers Wall Street’s incessant request with a dividend

SeaTac-based Alaska Air Group Thursday announced it will begin issuing a quarterly cash dividend next month.

The airline holding company will pay shareholder of record on Aug. 6 a 20-cent-per-share dividend on Aug. 22.

The holding company owns Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air.  The dividend will be in addition the multi-year stock repurchase program the airline company has initiated.

Wall Street analysts, noting the airlines’ growing pile of cash in recent quarters have repeatedly quizzed the airline when it will begin distributing that money to shareholders in the form of a dividend.  Until Thursday, Alaska’s answer has

Read more »


And Boeing’s featured airline of the month is — Asiana Airlines

Of the dozens of airlines that Boeing counts as its faithful customers, which did the company single out for accolades  in the July issue of its slick Frontiers magazine?

You’d be right if you said Asiana Airlines, the airline whose Flight 214, a Boeing 777,  crashed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday while attempting to land.  Two passengers died.

Boeing had picked Asiana for its July customer profile weeks before the accident.  The magazine was distributed July 1 through July 5.

If the ties that bind Boeing and Asiana weren’t public enough before the landing incident, they are now

Read more »


SeaTac’s Alaska Air Group passenger traffic up 7.5 percent in June

Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, is reporting its passenger traffic rose by 7.5 percent in June.

That percentage increase matched the two airlines’ change in capacity exactly yielding a load factor (the percentage of seats filled by paying passengers) of 87.1 percent last month, an identical figure to that the airline holding company saw in June of 2012.

Alaska Airlines’ capacity increase of 8.6 percent was greater than its increase in passenger traffic of 8.1 percent decreasing the load factor on the long-haul carrier’s planes from 87.9 percent in June 2012 to 87.4

Read more »


Alaska Airlines adding two new non-stop destinations from Sea-Tac, two from San Diego

Alaska Airlines will add Colorado Springs and Omaha to its repertoire of non-stop destinations from Sea-Tac Airport beginning next fall.

The SeaTac-based airline will also augment its Portland schedule with non-stop flights from there to Reno and Tucson.

The non-stop service from Sea-Tac to Colorado Springs begins Nov. 1.  Omaha will join Alaska’s route structure Nov. 7.

Alaska last operated from Portland to Reno in 2009 and from Portland to Tucson in 2003.

At least two airlines, Frontier and Western Pacific, have tried providing non-stop service from Seattle to Colorado Springs.  Both discontinued the service.  Frontier had made Colorado Springs

Read more »


Boeing begins building first 767-based tanker for Air Force

Boeing workers at the company’s Everett plant have begun building the first major piece of the company’s new KC-46A airborne tanker for the Air Force.

Those workers have begun building the wings for the twin-engine tanker, which is based on Boeing’s 767 airliner.

Final assembly of the first KC46-A will begin in November at the plant with the first aircraft due to roll out of the factory early next year.  The plane will fly to Seattle’s Boeing Field in late spring next year to be outfitted with military equipment.

The first fully equipped tanker is expected to fly for the

Read more »