Category Archives: Alaska Horizon

Horizon Air celebrates 40 years of flying in the Pacific Northwest

From the Alaska Airlines blog:

On September 1, 40 years ago, Horizon Air, our sister airline in the Pacific Northwest, flew its first flight between Seattle and Yakima, Washington.

If you’re from the PNW there’s a strong chance you’ve flown with Horizon. They’re the regional airline for Alaska Airlines and help connect our guests in the West with the world.

“Horizon connects us all to the Pacific Northwest’s incredible outdoor communities and amazing small cities and enables our connection to the country and world. Horizon Air employees make travel feel personal and bring incredible heart and care to every guest,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska CEO.

Meet Travion Smith, a ground service agent in Seattle who stays “grounded” through kindness and awareness. Read more

Did you know?

  • Horizon flies to more than 50 destinations in our route network.
  • First airline to serve Starbucks coffee in the sky.
  • Are always looking for great new team members. Check out current job openings!
  • Known for delivering performance with excellence and developing industry leading innovations to create safe, incomparable flying experiences.
  • Flies 32 Bombardier Q400 aircraft—perfectly suited for serving smaller communities in the PNW—and 30 Embraer E175 aircraft.
  • Well known for offering FREE beer + wine to guests 21 years young on Q400 flights!

To commemorate Horizon’s momentous day, a special flight will fly the same route that started it all on Sept 1, 1981. This time, it will be flown on Horizon’s “Meatball” plane, a custom-painted retro-themed aircraft, which will fly some of its beloved employees and guests from Seattle to Yakima.

“We’re flying our meatball livery on the same route Horizon flew 40 years ago,” said Capt. Perry Solmonson, 40th Anniversary Committee Chair. “This is a huge milestone for us and this anniversary flight recognizes not only the hard and successful work accomplished to date, but also celebrate our up-and-coming team members of the future.”

40 years of history

Founded in 1981 by entrepreneur Milt Kuolt and a group of venture capitalists in Seattle, Horizon had fewer than 100 employees at that time and operated a fleet of two Fairchild F-27 propjets.

Kuolt believed that every guest deserved more than just a ride from point A to B, which turned into the superior service that Horizon is still known for today.

“Service began with complimentary wine then blossomed into other little but much-appreciated amenities such as free newspapers handed out at the gate, complimentary coffee, and baskets on board filled with munching snacks that included all kinds of goodies,” wrote Robert J. Serling in the chapter on Horizon Air in the book, Character & Characters: The Spirit of Alaska Airlines.

The service created a culture, a way of life and a state of mind that was “firmly embedded in the work ethic and attitude of every Horizon employee,” wrote Serling.

Today, Horizon has more than 3,500 employees and operates a fleet of 62 aircraft.

Reaching 40 years is a huge milestone. Despite the ups and downs of the industry, it’s been the people of Horizon who have carried the company forward. Our 40th anniversary is all about our people.

First Officer Perry Solmonson waves from the cockpit.

“What I love most about Horizon is our family unit. I have never seen a group of people come together more for the good of a company or each other as I have witnesses during my time with QX. The commitment to our values, the love and respect we show each other and the service to our guests across all work groups is unmatched. I look forward to seeing my colleagues who I consider extended family.” – Natalie Razor, Flight Attendant. SEA

“I love the opportunities to travel around the world on behalf of Horizon Air. I love the opportunities I’ve had to mentor the next generations of Maintenance Technicians. I love the opportunities to travel through the system and assist in new station openings. I love the dynamics of the business, always learning the new aircraft, working through the highs and lows, (9-11, the pandemic). Raising my family.” – Willard Clark, lead technician, GEG

“Being a part of the Horizon family is exactly that. Like any family, we have our ups and downs, highs and lows. We support our Horizon family members and help each other overcome our problems. Some say you can’t pick your family; Horizon is the exception.” – Bill Bowling, Q400 Captain, PDX

“Growing up in the tiny town of Connell, WA; Horizon Air was the airline I trusted to get me to the nearest major airport. It is always the airline I flew on my voyage outside of home and back to my home. Now I am living in Seattle and Horizon still connects me to my parents in my hometown that I love flying to! I am proud to be part of the airline that keeps us connected through the years. #PSC” – Jaime Chavez, passenger service agent, SEA

“I love the loyalty and dedication the employees have and flying with a regional airline I see that same loyalty with our customers. In the short 10 months I have already seen several of our elites on a regular basis and it feels good to be able to build that relationship with them.” – Catherine Alder, Flight Attendant, PDX 

Updated 2021 University of Washington college livery

Above Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N435QX (msn 4232) (Huskies – Go Dawgs) SEA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 954699.

Horizon Air aircraft slide show:

Alaska Horizon aircraft slide show:

Horizon Air pilots pass vote to amend labor contract

Horizon Air pilots, represented by the Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224 (IBT), have voted to ratify a new wage agreement. IBT represents Horizon’s more than 800 pilots.

The agreement, which passed with 74% of the vote, includes competitive wage increases aimed to attract and retain pilots.

Airline employees are covered by the Railway Labor Act, so labor agreements do not expire; they become amendable and remain in effect until a new contract is ratified.

Horizon Air is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group and flies to 63 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Alaska Airlines grows in Boise, Idaho

Alaska Airlines made this announcement:

Boise is booming! And Alaska Airlines keeps growing in the dynamic city where we’ve long been the largest carrier. We’re flying our guests in Idaho’s Treasure Valley to the places they’re eager to visit. Starting today, we’re launching daily nonstop service between Boise and Chicago O’Hare, and Boise and Austin. Also today, we’re announcing new nonstop flying between Boise and Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport in Washington, and Boise and Phoenix.

Newly added flights

Start
Date
End
Date
City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
Aug. 17 Boise –

Pullman-Moscow

11:10 a.m. 11:15 a.m. 5x/Weekly Q400
Aug. 17 Pullman-Moscow –
Boise
11:55 a.m. 1:34 p.m. 5x/Weekly Q400
Nov. 19 April 18 Boise – Phoenix 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Daily E175
Nov. 19 April 18 Phoenix – Boise 1:10 p.m. 4:15 p.m. Daily E175

Flight times based on local times.

Alaska Airlines to resume full schedule at Paine Field by spring 2022

"Honoring those who serve"

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

With increasing confidence that air travel is on a steady climb to return to pre-pandemic levels in the coming year, Alaska Airlines is planning to resume our full schedule of 18 daily nonstop departures at Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport by spring 2022, possibly earlier. The airport in Everett, north of Seattle, remains very popular with our guests.

As part of the path to recovery, we’ll have 13 daily departures at Paine Field later this fall – up from five now – as we bring back more destinations, increase flight frequencies and even add an exciting new route to Tucson, Arizona.

On June 17, Alaska will fly to five destinations from Everett: Las Vegas, Orange County, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco. Here’s more of what’s ahead at Paine Field:

  • On Sept. 8, we’ll jump to 11 daily departures to seven destinations as we add two flights a day to both Boise and Spokane, along with second daily flights to both Las Vegas and Phoenix.
  • On Oct. 7, we bring back our seasonal flight to Palm Springs.
  • On Nov. 19, we’ll launch our new seasonal service to Tucson, another popular getaway for wintertime warmth in the desert.

That means, just in time for the holiday travel season, Alaska will have 13 daily departures to nine destinations from the north Puget Sound airport that’s easy to get in and out of.

Horizon Air provides the all-jet service for our flights that serve Paine Field with the Embraer 175 aircraft, which features First Class and Premium Class, and only window and aisle seating – there are no middle seats. Guests can enjoy hundreds of free movies and TV shows available for viewing on personal devices; free texting on most flights; and Wi-Fi connectivity for purchase.

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N651QX (msn 17000812) (Honoring those who serve) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 947388.

Alaska Horizon aircraft slide show:

Alaska Air Group orders nine new E175 aircraft for operation with Horizon Air

Embraer has agreed the sale of nine new E175 jets to Alaska Air Group and its subsidiary Horizon Air. The E175 aircraft will fly exclusively with Alaska Airlines under a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA).

Alaska Airlines, a new member of the oneworld Alliance, currently has 62 Embraer E175 jets in their fleet, operated by Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines. The 76-seat aircraft will be delivered in Alaska’s livery and three-class configuration, starting in 2022.

Alaska to grow its fleet by 30 aircraft, will add Belize City

First MAX 9 for Alaska Airlines, in service March 1, 2021 SEA-SAN

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

With recovery on the horizon, Alaska Airlines is taking advantage of strategic opportunities by adding 30 mainline and regional aircraft to fulfill capacity needs in the years ahead. And as more travelers search for additional leisure getaways, Alaska will begin flying to Belize City, Belize.

Growing the Alaska Air Group fleet

Alaska expects domestic travel to return to pre-COVID levels by the summer of 2022, which will require more aircraft across Air Group. To prime the airline for growth, Alaska is taking the following actions:

  • Adding 17 new Embraer 175 jets to the regional fleet in 2022 and 2023 – nine to be operated by Horizon Air and eight by SkyWest.
  • Exercising options for 13 Boeing 737-9 MAX deliveries in 2023 and 2024.

"Honoring Those Who Serve"

Above Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N651QX (msn 17000812) (Honoring those who serve) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 947748.

The 17 regional aircraft additions grow Air Group’s regional fleet to 111 planes: 71 at Horizon and 40 with SkyWest. Horizon will receive its nine additional E175s in the next two years: five scheduled for delivery in 2022 and four in 2023. This is in addition to three existing firm E175 orders to be operated by Horizon. All eight SkyWest aircraft will enter service for Alaska in 2022.

Photo: Alaska Airlines. In order to fly the 737-9, pilots are required to take eight hours of flight simulator and computer-based training that focus on the operation of the MAX. The pilot training program for the MAX is more extensive than what’s required by the FAA.

Alaska announced a restructured agreement with Boeing in December 2020 to acquire 68 737-9 MAX aircraft between 2021 to 2024, with options for another 52 deliveries between 2023 and 2026. The airline will accept the first 13 options over two years: nine in 2023 and four in 2024.

Alaska adds Belize to its international destinations

Alaska also announced today new nonstop service to Belize City, Belize, in Central America from the West Coast. Belize will be the fourth country Alaska flies to from its West Coast hubs, joining Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Routes and schedules to Belize will be announced when ticket sales begin in early June.

Video:

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N915AK (msn 44080) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 947423.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

Alaska Airlines expands Pacific Northwest service with four new routes

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

With an eye on recovery and growth, Alaska Airlines continues to strengthen its Pacific Northwest connections with the announcement today of four new routes, which includes linking Boise to Chicago O’Hare and Austin and two new destinations from Seattle/Tacoma.

On June 17, 2021 Alaska will begin daily nonstop service between Boise and Chicago, and between Boise and Austin. Both routes will be flown year-round with Horizon Air’s Embraer 175 jet and its three-class cabin. With these new flights, Alaska will have 28 daily departures to 12 cities from Boise this year.

The flights between Idaho’s largest city to the Windy City will allow Alaska’s guests to connect to American Airlines’ domestic and international network. With Alaska joining American in the oneworld alliance on March 31, guests can expect a seamless travel experience.

Two new destinations are coming to Alaska’s schedule this summer: Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Redding, California. Both locations offer excellent outdoor opportunities, especially this summer as more and more travelers search for open spaces to spread their wings. Idaho Falls is the western gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and Redding in Northern California provides easy access to Mt. Shasta and the Redwoods.

The year-round service will connect both Idaho Falls and Redding to Seattle/Tacoma on Horizon’s Q400 turboprop aircraft starting on June 17. Idaho Falls currently does not have a year-round flight to any West Coast airport, and this new service will be the only nonstop flight between Seattle/Tacoma and Redding.

Start Date City Pair Frequency Aircraft
 June 17, 2021 Boise – Chicago O’Hare Daily E175
 June 17, 2021 Boise – Austin Daily E175
 June 17, 2021 Seattle – Idaho Falls Daily Q400
 June 17, 2021 Seattle – Redding Daily Q400

The new departures from Boise will be on the E175 aircraft.

Alaska Air Group reports fourth quarter 2020 and full-year results

Alaska Air Group has released its 4Q and 2020 financial results:

Financial Results:

  • Reported net loss for the fourth quarter and full year 2020 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $430 million, or $3.47 per diluted share, and $1.3 billion, or $10.59 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2019 net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, and full year 2019 net income of $769 million, or $6.19 per diluted share.
  • Reported adjusted net loss for the fourth quarter and full year 2020, excluding payroll support program wage offsets, special items, and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments, of $316 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, and $1.3 billion, or $10.17 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, and full year 2019 adjusted net income of $798 million, or $6.42 per diluted share.
  • Reported adjusted net debt of $1.7 billion, flat from December 2019 despite a 59% decline in operating revenues for the year.
  • Reported a debt-to-capitalization ratio, including certain short-term borrowings, of 61%.
  • Held $3.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Liquidity and Fleet Updates:

  • Accessed approximately $5 billion in new liquidity in 2020, including $1.2 billion raised in the capital markets and approximately $600 million in bank financing.
  • Reached an agreement with the U.S. Treasury in January 2021 to receive an extension of payroll support totaling $533 million, $266 million of which was received on Jan. 15, 2021.
  • Extended the period available to draw funds under the CARES Act loan program from March 26, 2021 to May 28, 2021.
  • Announced plans to expand the mainline fleet and restructure the existing aircraft purchase agreement with Boeing. In total, Air Group will take delivery of 68 737-9 MAX aircraft between 2021 and 2024, inclusive of 32 previous purchase commitments and 13 aircraft to be leased from Air Lease Corporation. https://twitter.com/AlaskaAir/status/1341466170688466945?s=20
  • Took delivery of Alaska’s first 737-9 MAX aircraft on January 24, 2021, which is expected to enter revenue service on March 1, 2021.
  • Permanently removed an additional 20 Airbus A320 aircraft from the fleet in the fourth quarter, resulting in 40 Airbus aircraft removed in 2020. A total of 31 Airbus aircraft remain in the operating fleet as of the end of the year.
  • Held $3.4 billion in cash and marketable securities as of Jan. 22, 2021, and total liquidity of $5.2 billion.

Operational and Guest Safety Updates

  • Announced seven new routes in the fourth quarter, including three “fun and sun” destinations connecting Anchorage to Las Vegas, Denver and San Francisco, and expanded service from Southern California to Austin and New York.
  • Eliminated change fees and extended the flexible travel policy for tickets purchased through March 31, 2021.
  • Implemented Next-Level Care initiative, which includes more than 100 measures designed to create a safe experience for guests and employees.
  • Named the safest U.S. airline by AirlineRatings.com in their annual Top 20 Safest Airline report.
  • Launched the West Coast International Alliance with American Airlines on Jan. 1, 2021, which will unlock new benefits for Alaska Mileage Plan members in the spring.
  • Partnered with healthcare providers to offer rapid and standardized COVID-19 testing for those guests traveling to destinations that require a negative result.
  • Received diamond level certification from the Airline Passenger Experience Association for the health and safety standards Alaska and Horizon Air implemented to keep guests safe throughout their journey.
  • Launched pre-clearance program for guests traveling to the Hawaiian Islands from the West Coast with an approved negative COVID-19 test.
  • Announced a partnership with Microsoft to use sustainable aviation fuel to offset the environmental impact of certain business air travel.
  • Announced oneworld benefits for elite Mileage Plan members, providing tier status in the global alliance to Alaska’s elite members, as the company works toward joining oneworld on March 31, 2021.

Alaska Air Group Inc. today reported a fourth quarter 2020 GAAP net loss of $430 million, or $3.47 per diluted share, compared to net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share in 2019. Excluding the impact of payroll support program wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported a fourth quarter adjusted net loss of $316 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The company reported a full-year 2020 GAAP net loss of $1.3 billion, compared to net income of $769 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of payroll support program wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported an adjusted net loss of $1.3 billion, or $10.17 per diluted share for 2020, compared to adjusted net income of $798 million, or $6.42 per diluted share in 2019.

“We are not out of the woods, but we are seeing signs of brighter days ahead,” said Air Group CEO Brad Tilden. “The people of Alaska and Horizon have really shown their grit over the past year, and the rest of the leadership team and I could not be more proud of them. We’re positioned to come out of this crisis with our balance sheet unimpaired and our competitive advantages intact, and both of these set us up for a strong future and a long runway for growth.”

 

Alaska Airlines launches Embraer 175 jet service in the state of Alaska

Alaska Airlines added jet service on the Embraer 175 aircraft in the state of Alaska on October 18, 2020. The E175, operated by regional partner Horizon Air, now serves select markets in Alaska.

With the reduction of air service in Alaska earlier this year, the E175 jet gives Alaska Airlines the flexibility to increase daily frequency between Anchorage and Fairbanks, and to provide year-round service to King Salmon and Dillingham.

Photo: Alaska Airlines.

 

Alaska Airlines adds the Embraer 175 jet to state of Alaska flying

Alaska Airlines will start flying the Embraer 175 jet aircraft in the state of Alaska starting in October 2020. The E175, operated by regional partner Horizon Air, will serve select markets in Alaska.

“Alaskans who have flown the E175 jet in the Lower 48 have frequently asked when they might see the plane in the state, and we’re thrilled the time has come,” said Marilyn Romano, regional vice president. “This jet gives us the flexibility to increase daily frequency between Anchorage and Fairbanks up to seven times a day, and to provide year-round service to King Salmon and Dillingham. In time, the new mix of aircraft will unlock other markets in the state for future service.”

The E175 aircraft compliments the current Boeing 737 mainline flying in, to and from the state of Alaska and is perfect for many communities where larger jets are not the best option.

With no middle seats, the regional jet is configured with 12 seats in first class, 12 in premium class and 52 in the main cabin. Onboard amenities include Wi-Fi access, and Alaska Beyond Entertainment, which includes free movies and TV shows direct to customer devices and power outlets in first class.

“This has been an especially challenging time for Alaskans with the pandemic and reduction of air service hitting residents hard,” said Romano. “We’ve served the unique needs of the Great Land for 88 years and introducing a new aircraft to our in-state fleet supports additional flying and keeps Alaskans connected within the state and beyond.”

Alaska Airlines recently added Boeing 737 service to Cold Bay, and started service one month early to King Salmon and Dillingham. Alaska Air Cargo also began serving Unalakleet earlier this month with our 737-700 freighters.

Video:

Alaska Horizon aircraft photo gallery: