MORGANTOWN, W.Va.¬†—¬†Southern Airways is looking to expand their operations out west.

In an agreement with Alaska Airline, Southern will be able to make connecting flights from Morgantown Municipal Airport to various locations across the West Coast.

“Southern believes that the new partnership between Southern Airways and Alaska Airlines, it’s going to open up a lot of new exciting new destinations for folks in Morgantown and the vicinity,” said Southern Airways Cheif Commercial Officer Mark Cestari.

In this partnership, anyone looking to fly out of Morgantown Airport, will have to also have a connecting flight to either Pittsburgh International or Baltimore/Washington International (BWI). They then would catch a connecting flight, courtesy of Alaska Air, to fly to one their West Coast destinations. Cestari, said one benefit of taking this route, is the ability to not have to claim your bags during your connecting route and have them at whichever airport you land at, whether it be Seattle, Los Angeles, or even Portland, San Diego or San Francisco.

“Both to their non-stop Seattle destination but also to about 50 other destinations in that part of the world, whether it’s Alaska or the Pacific Northwest,” he said. “So it opens up a lot of new easy, connecting possibilities.”

According to Cestari, the discussions over a potential partnership between Southern and Alaskan Air started about a year and a half ago. Southern, looking to expand upon their flight opportunities spoke with Alaskan Air officials and after seeing some of the perks of partnering with Southern could provide, aside from an expanded customer base. One of those benefits, especially in Morgantown, is considered very convenient.

“The other benefit of this arrangement is that in the event that there is inclement weather, or a delay, you are automatically rebooked on either airline for no additional charge, no fuss and no muss,” said Cestari.

While this just the second major carrier agreement made by Southern AIrways, this is by no means a stopping point in expansion. According to Cestari, there are several goals that Southern hopes to achieve over the next year or so. Aside from improving enplanements at the Morgantown Municipal Airport, Southern is hoping to add on to their web of collaborative partners, with conversations already underway to double their partnering base.

“We are talking to two or three other airlines, the Legacy Airlines and a couple of low costs carriers,” said Cestari. “But hopefully getting signed up with them in 2020,” he said.