Horizon Air introduces the SDSU Aztecs logoplane

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today (May 31) unveiled a specially painted Aztec plane with San Diego State University’s logo and hallmark scarlet and black colors before a crowd of cheering students, alumni, faculty and people traveling through San Diego International Airport. The unveiling of the Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N414QX (msn 4061) was timed to celebrate the start of Alaska Airlines’ new San Diego flights to Fresno, Monterey and Santa Rosa, California, which will begin on June 4 and 5.

Like other university-themed aircraft operated for Alaska Airlines by its sister carrier, Horizon Air, the Aztec aircraft was painted at no cost to San Diego State University.

Following the unveiling in Terminal 1, fans, students and 15 radio contest winners will depart on the Aztec plane’s inaugural flight along the Southern California coast, and over the Coachella Valley and Salton Sea.

Aztec plane trivia:

  • The Bombardier Q400 has a wing span of 93 feet, 3 inches, and measures 107 feet and 9 inches in length.
  • The plane accommodates 76 passengers and four crew members.
  • With a cruising speed of 414 mph, the plane can fly at a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet.
  • A crew of eight people worked around the clock for seven days at Associated Painters Inc., of Spokane, Wash., to paint the plane.
  • The painting required 32 gallons of white paint, 10 gallons of red paint and four gallons of black paint. In addition, about 2,000 sheets of sandpaper and 10,000 yards of masking tape were also used.
  • View a one-minute time-lapse video of the plane as it was painted at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffBDRW05lkQ.

The San Diego State University plane is the ninth university-themed aircraft flown by Horizon Air since 2008. Other paint themes include the universities of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, Boise State, Montana State, Oregon State and Washington State.

New San Diego – intra-California routes

In conjunction with the SDSU plane’s unveiling, Alaska Airlines is starting new nonstop daily service from San Diego to Fresno/Yosemite, Monterey and Santa Rosa/Sonoma County on June 4 and 5.

Summary of new service
San Diego-Fresno:
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 4 San Diego-Fresno 9:15 a.m. 10:50 a.m. Daily
June 4 San Diego-Fresno 8:45 p.m. 10:20 p.m. Daily
June 4 Fresno-San Diego 7:15 a.m. 8:42 a.m. Daily
June 4 Fresno-San Diego 6:45 p.m. 8:12 p.m. Daily
San Diego-Monterey:
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 4 San Diego-Monterey 6:55 p.m. 8:37 p.m. Daily
June 5 Monterey-San Diego 7:30 a.m. 9:12 a.m. Daily
San Diego-Santa Rosa:
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 5 San Diego-Santa Rosa 9:45 a.m. 11:50 a.m. Daily
June 4 Santa Rosa-San Diego 4:25 p.m. 6:22 p.m. Daily
All times are based on local time zones

The three new routes will be served by Horizon Air’s twin-engine Bombardier Q400 turboprops.

Along with the new intra-California routes and Aztec plane unveiling, Alaska Airlines also announced today it will operate five flights a week between San Diego and Orlando, starting on October 11, 2012.

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air.

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Bottom Copyright Photo: James Helbock. N414QX arrives from Portland at San Diego today for the ceremony.