Category Archives: Horizon Air

Alaska Airlines officially joins oneworld

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

Marking a milestone in its 89-year history, Alaska Airlines today (March 31) celebrated its first day as a member of oneworld. Alaska becomes the 14th full member of the global alliance, just eight months after receiving a formal invitation from oneworld in July 2020.

N487AS is the first to wear the oneworld livery at AS.

With safety protocols in place due to the pandemic, Alaska and oneworld hosted a virtual celebration and news conference today in Seattle, the airline’s hometown. Fellow airline members from around the world welcomed Alaska to the alliance with video greetings and provided versions of employees performing the Alaska Safety Dance (see below), briefly renamed the Global Safety Dance.

Effective today, all Alaska Mileage Plan members can earn miles when they fly any of the other 13 member airlines. Mileage redemption for flights on airlines that Alaska did not have previous partnerships with will occur in the coming months.

The 14 full members of oneworld are: Alaska Airlines; American Airlines; British Airways; Cathay Pacific Airways; Finnair; Iberia; Japan Airlines; Malaysia Airlines; Qantas; Qatar Airways; Royal Air Maroc; Royal Jordanian; S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines. Fiji Airways is a oneworld connect partner offering select alliance benefits to frequent flyers from any oneworld member airline traveling on their flights.

Video:

In other news from Horizon Air:

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:

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air announce receipt of payroll support program funds under CARES Act

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air finalized agreements today with the U.S. Treasury Department and accepted full disbursement of funds through the Payroll Support Program (PSP) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, subject to terms that were previously disclosed.

Alaska and Horizon have received $992 million in the form of a $725 million grant and $267 millionloan, to be used exclusively toward continuing to pay employee salaries, wages and benefits. The funding will cover about 70% of budgeted payroll costs for both airlines through Sept. 30, 2020, and was based on similar costs reported by the airlines for the period of April through September 2019.

“We’re extremely grateful for the leadership of all federal government officials involved in enabling this direct support for aviation employees during this time of significantly suppressed demand and near-zero revenue,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska Air Group’s Chairman and CEO. “This support enables us to protect jobs and maintain critical transportation infrastructure while we work over the next few months to assess our business and make thoughtful decisions.”

Of the $992 million in PSP funding, $267 million is in the form of a loan and must be repaid to the government within a 10-year term. Additionally, the Treasury Department has received warrants to buy 847,000 non-voting shares of Alaska Air Group common stock at a price of $31.61 a share, which was the closing price of the stock on April 9, 2020.

Under this program, Alaska and Horizon have agreed to additional conditions such as no involuntary furloughs and no reductions to rates of pay or benefits through Sept. 30, 2020; to continue suspension of dividends and share repurchases until Sept. 30, 2021; limits on executive compensation through March 24, 2022; and to maintain the minimum levels of air service as required under a Department of Transportation rule.

Alaska and Horizon have separately applied for $1.1 billion in federal loan funding through a separate program authorized under the CARES Act. Funds loaned to both airlines through this program will support short-term liquidity needs and must be paid back in full. If finalized, the term of the secured term loan agreement would be five years, and provide for the Treasury Department to receive warrants to buy additional non-voting shares of Alaska Air Group common stock amounting to 10% of the loan value at a price of $31.61 a share. Discussions with the Treasury Department on this loan are still ongoing.

Alaska Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Boeing):

Alaska Airlines announces additional service from Monterey to San Diego

Alaska Airlines today announced a second nonstop flight between Monterey Regional Airport and San Diego, California beginning on September 9, 2020. The new flight will be in addition to the existing service Alaska provides between the two markets.

The new flight begins operation on September 9, 2020 and compliments the airlines existing daily flight between Monterey and San Diego. The flight will leave San Diego at 4:30 pm and will arrive Monterey at 5:58 pm. The flight to San Diego will leave Monterey at 6:40pm arriving San Diego at 8:03 pm.

The all-jet service between San Diego and Monterey will be provided by Alaska’s sister carrier, Horizon Air, flying the Embraer 175 aircraft featuring first class and premium class cabins. On the E175, every seat is either a window or an aisle seat, there are no middle seats. Guests will enjoy Wi-Fi connectivity, hundreds of free movies and TV shows that can be streamed on personal devices and free texting while onboard. It’s all part of Alaska’s award-winning service and focus on offering low fares and great value to our guests.

Alaska Horizon aircraft photo gallery:

Alaska Air Group reports fourth quarter 2019 and full-year results

Alaska Air Group reported its 4Q and full-year 2019 financial results:

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the fourth quarter and full year 2019 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, and $769 million, or $6.19 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2018 net income of $23 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, and full year 2018 net income of $437 million, or $3.52 per diluted share.
  • Reported adjusted net income, excluding merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedging adjustments for the fourth quarter and full year 2019 of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, and $798 million, or $6.42 per diluted share. These results compare to fourth quarter 2018 adjusted net income of $93 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, and full year 2018 adjusted net income of $554 million, or $4.46 per diluted share. This quarter’s adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.41 per share.
  • Paid a $0.35 per share quarterly cash dividend in the fourth quarter, bringing total dividends paid in 2019 to $173 million.
  • Repurchased a total of 1,192,820 shares of common stock for approximately $75 million in 2019.
  • Generated approximately $1.7 billion of operating cash flow, and used approximately $696 million for capital expenditures, resulting in approximately $1 billion of free cash flow in 2019, representing free cash flow conversion of 133%.
  • Grew passenger revenues by 8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, and by 6% compared to full-year 2018.
  • Generated full-year adjusted pretax margin of 12% in 2019, 3.1 points higher than the 8.9% in 2018.
  • Held $1.5 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Achieved the goal of 75% repayment on the $2 billion debt borrowed to fund the acquisition of Virgin America, driving our debt-to-capitalization ratio to 41% as of Dec. 31, 2019, from 47% as of Dec. 31, 2018 and 51% as of Dec. 31, 2016.
  • Reduced net adjusted debt to EBITDAR to 0.9x as of Dec. 31, 2019 from 1.7x as of Dec. 31, 2018.

2019 Accomplishments and Highlights:

Recognition and Awards

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers” in 2019 by J.D. Power for the 12th year in a row.
  • Named “Best U.S. Airline” by Condé Nast Traveler in their 2019 Readers Choice Awards for the second consecutive year, a continuation of the ten consecutive years that Virgin America received the recognition.
  • Mileage Plan™ ranked first in U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Travel Rewards Programs for the fifth time.
  • Ranked as top U.S. airline in Newsweek’s 2020 Best Customer Service awards.
  • Named “Best Mid-Size Airline” by TripAdvisor in their 2019 Travelers Choice awards.
  • Earned top spot for customer satisfaction on the American Customer Satisfaction Index Travel Report for 2018-2019.
  • Named “Best Airline” by Kayak in their 2019 Travel Hacker Awards.
  • Ranked the best U.S. airline in Money Magazine for the second year in a row.
  • Rated as one of only two U.S. airlines in the Top 20 safest airlines in the world for 2019 by AirlineRatings.com.
  • Ranked as the top U.S. airline in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the third consecutive year.

Our People

  • Ranked among Forbes’ 2019 global list for “World’s Best Employers” for the fifth year in a row.
  • Completed Flight Path, our leader-led program aimed at informing and engaging our employees, bringing over 95% of Air Group employees together to discuss our culture and future.
  • Awarded $163 million in incentive pay for 2019, an 11% increase over 2018.
  • Alaska technicians, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, ratified an integrated seniority list and a transition agreement, including a two-year contract extension, in July 2019. This completes a major integration milestone, in that all of our workgroups are under joint agreements, less than three years from our acquisition of Virgin America.
  • Alaska’s clerical, office, and passenger service, and Alaska’s ramp and stores employees, both represented by the International Association of Machinists, each ratified new five-year agreements in August 2019.

Our Guests and Product

  • Launched commercial service from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, to 10 West Coast destinations.
  • Finished painting the Alaska Airlines livery on all Airbus aircraft.
  • Completed cabin interior renovations on the 42nd Airbus aircraft, or approximately 60% of the Airbus fleet.
  • Installed high-speed satellite Wi-Fi on the 104th mainline aircraft, or approximately 45% of the mainline fleet.
  • Opened a new 15,000+ square foot flagship lounge in the North Satellite at Sea-Tac International Airport and announced plans to build a new lounge in Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport.
  • Added EL AL Israel Airlines as a new global Mileage Plan partner.
  • Added four Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and two Airbus A321neo aircraft in 2019.
  • Added four Embraer 175 (E175) aircraft to the Regional operating fleet in 2019.

Our Communities

  • Launched LIFT, Alaska’s newly renamed social and environmental impact program, complete with a week of employee volunteer events in eight cities across our network.
  • Donated over $15 million and contributed more than 41,000 volunteer hours to support nonprofits in our local communities, focusing on youth and education, medical (research/transportation) and community outreach.

Alaska Air Group Inc. today reported fourth quarter 2019 GAAP net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, compared to $23 million, or $0.19 per diluted share in 2018. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported fourth quarter adjusted net income of $181 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $93 million, or $0.75 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The company reported full-year 2019 GAAP net income of $769 million, compared to $437 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $798 million, or $6.42 per diluted share for 2019, compared to adjusted net income of $554 million, or $4.46 per diluted share in 2018.

“When we announced our intention to purchase Virgin America in the spring of 2016, we launched a body of work that was designed to make Alaska the ‘Go To’ airline for people living up and down the West Coast,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska’s CEO. “2019 was a fantastic year as we completed the majority of that work and began to see significant returns from our investment. We’re grateful to our people for pulling together to produce this strong financial performance, and proud that they are sharing in this financial success through our incentive pay program.”

Alaska Airlines to launch daily nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Monterey, California

Alaska Airlines announced today it will begin daily nonstop service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Monterey Regional Airport (MRY) in central California, further solidifying Alaska as the number one airline between the Pacific Northwest and the Bay Area. The new, year-round service is scheduled to begin June 18, and it will be the only nonstop flight offered between the two cities.

Alaska remains committed to offering the most nonstop flights from Sea-Tac, with Monterey becoming the 92nd nonstop destination this summer.

Alaska currently offers nonstop jet service between San Diego and Monterey. So, in addition to flyers along the Central Coast traveling south to sunny San Diego, they’ll soon be able to head north to the spectacular scenery of the Pacific Northwest.

The all-jet service between Seattle and Monterey will be provided by Alaska’s sister carrier, Horizon Air, flying the Embraer 175 aircraft featuring first class and premium class cabins. On the E175, every seat is either a window or aisle – there are no middle seats. Guests will enjoy Wi-Fi connectivity, hundreds of free movies and TV shows that can be streamed on personal devices and free texting while onboard. It’s all part of Alaska’s award-winning service and focus on offering low fares and great value to our guests.

 

Horizon Air celebrates its 1981 beginnings with this special livery on N421QX

"Alaska celebrates Horizon Air" in a 1981 livery

Horizon Air launched regional operations on September 1, 1981 as an independent carrier in the Pacific Northwest. Now the Alaska Airlines-owned carrier is celebrating its past with this Q400 now painted in a 1981-like livery.

Horizon Air made this announcement and photos on social media:

New paint, old-school. N421QX

In celebration of Horizon Air’s heritage, we’ve debuted a new themed-aircraft. N421QX flew on its inaugural flight from Yakima, WA to Seattle on Tuesday, which was also Horizon’s first flight ever in 1981.

The livery was the idea of Andrew S. (above), a Seattle-based crew scheduler. “I pitched the idea of a Horizon livery to Gary [Gary Beck, Horizon Air CEO] when he took over the helm of Horizon in January 2018,” Andrew said. “I was impressed with his genuine willingness to listen to employees, and he was keen on the idea.

“Creating an airline people love happens when we’re all working together as one team, valuing and appreciating each other’s contributions,” says Horizon President & CEO Gary Beck. “This livery celebrates the people of Horizon and the essential role the company has played in Air Group’s success.”

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N421QX (msn 4149) SEA (Royal S. King). Image: 945910.

Alaska Horizon aircraft slide show:

Horizon Air aircraft slide show:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Horizon Air Fairchild F-27 N271PH (msn 14) BFI (Christian Volpati Collection). Image: 934396.

Horizon Air Fairchild F-27 N271PH (msn 14) BFI (Christian Volpati Collection). Image: 934396.