TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Alaska Airlines is returning to Tucson after seven years, partly because of the area's growing technology industry.
The Seattle-based airline will provide nonstop service to San Jose, Calif., once a day and to Seattle twice a day beginning Oct. 1.
Other connections between Tucson and those cities, 14 each daily, aren't nonstop, local officials noted Tuesday.
''Direct air service is a competitive advantage,'' said John Grabo, vice president of business development with the Greater Tucson Economic Council. ''(Companies) want to be able to conduct business in a day and get back to the (San Francisco) Bay.''
Southern Arizona's strongest high-tech fields are aerospace, optics and information. Officials say there is a strong overlap with businesses in the San Francisco and Seattle metropolitan areas.
Frank Woods, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce export assistance center in Arizona, said the new service will make it easier to place international shipments on direct overseas flights.
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