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Image: Alaska Airlines jet
Based on its direct-flight service, Alaska Airlines should be all smiles no matter which city Amazon chooses for HQ2. (Alaska Air Photo)

In addition to the big boost to the local economy of whichever city Amazon selects for its second North American headquarters, there’s also going to be another big economic winner: airlines. Hundreds (or even thousands) of workers are likely to travel back and forth between HQ1 in Seattle and HQ2.

So which city has the most direct flights to and from Seattle?

We gathered flight data for each of the 20 cities from the newly released shortlist (17 metro areas) to see if any of them might have a travel edge in landing the tech giant and its growth plans.

Although it is considered an underdog in the race by most measures, Los Angeles (which ranked dead last in GeekWire co-founder John Cook’s analysis of the top 20 HQ2 finalist cities) lands at the top of the list when it comes to direct flights to Seattle — not surprising since it is the only West Coast city in the final 20.

With 45 direct flights to Seattle, Los Angeles has over three times as many as the next-closest city. Chicago has 13 direct flights, while Dallas and New York each have 12.

Here’s the full list:

Metro AreaFlightsAirlines
Los Angeles456
New York125
Washington DC73

No matter which metro area Amazon selects for HQ2, the big winner when it comes the boom in air traffic is likely to be another Seattle-based company: Alaska Airlines.

Of the 20 cities on Amazon’s list of finalists, Alaska has direct flights to 17 of them. Toronto is the only city with direct flights that aren’t flown by Alaska. Plus, Alaska will also be starting a new direct flight to Pittsburgh International Airport starting this September, bringing their total count to 18.

The only other airline that serves more than half of Amazon’s top 20 HQ2 cities with direct flights is Delta, with 11. United has direct flights to eight of the cities, and American serves seven.

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