Category Archives: Horizon Air

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.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees receive nearly 3.5 weeks extra pay in bonuses

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N268AK (msn 36365) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 945414.

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

Employees of Alaska Air Group companies Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are receiving $120 million in incentive bonuses today. For most employees, this equates to more than 6.5 percent of their annual pay in 2018.

The company’s annual bonus, called Performance Based Pay (PBP), is determined by meeting or exceeding specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control, customer loyalty and profit.

“After a year of hard work, we’re incredibly grateful for our 22,000 fantastic employees who go the extra mile to put safety first and deliver the kind-hearted service we’re known for,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines’ president and COO. “For the 10th year in a row, our employees have earned bonuses by exceeding targets for meeting our annual and monthly goals. On behalf of the entire leadership team, thank you for another incredible year.”

The PBP bonus is in addition to the approximately $15.7 million in monthly operational bonuses that employees earned over 2018 for achieving monthly on-time and customer satisfaction goals. The combined monthly, annual and one-time bonuses paid to employees total $136 million.

Geographic breakdown:

  • About $66 million in annual bonuses — nearly 55 percent of the total — is being paid to Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees across Washington
  • $28 million — or 24 percent of the total — is going to employees throughout California
  • $12 million is being paid to employees in Oregon
  • $8 million is going to employees throughout the state of Alaska

The employee bonuses come two weeks after the airline announced its 2019 jobs forecast and Washington economic impact study, highlighting the $7 billion Alaska has contributed to the state economy.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Alaska): Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N268AK (msn 36365) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 945414.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Boeing):

Video:

Horizon Air Q400 (N449QX) is stolen by an employee at SEA and crashed in Pierce County, WA

Horizon Air Q400 (N449QX) is stolen by an employee at SEA and crashed in Pierce County, WA on August 10, 2018

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air issued this statement:

A STATEMENT FROM ALASKA AIR GROUP CEO BRAD TILDEN AND HORIZON AIR CEO GARY BECK

Brad Tilden: “There was an incident late yesterday involving the unauthorized operation of one of our aircraft that took off from Sea-Tac around 8 p.m.

“We are still gathering facts, but at this point we understand there was only one person aboard, an employee of Horizon Air, who was operating the aircraft. I want to share how incredibly sad all of us at Alaska are about this incident. Our heart is heavy for the family and friends of the person involved.

“We’re working to find out everything we possibly can about what happened, working with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Transportation Safety Board. We are giving those investigators our full support and cooperation.

“With these investigations underway, our focus will remain on supporting the family of the individual involved, the broader Alaska and Horizon family, and our communities and guests.

Brad Tilden

CEO, Alaska Air Group


Gary Beck: “I want to echo what Brad said about how incredibly sad all of us are about what happened last night.

“Our first priority is always the safety and care of our people and guests. Our hearts are with all of our employees at Horizon Air, and the larger Alaska Airlines community, and the family of the individual involved.

“The Horizon Air Q400, which was taken from Sea-Tac International Airport, was not scheduled to fly at the time of the incident. While we have not yet confirmed the identity of the employee, we have confirmed that all crew and passengers are accounted for. Air Traffic Control was in contact with the individual during the brief flight before it crashed on Ketron Island about an hour after it left Sea-Tac. No ground structures were involved in the crash.

“We are working closely with the authorities and our own safety teams to thoroughly understand this incident.

“I want to thank the employees of Horizon Air and our guests. Our primary objective is to do everything possible to support all of you.”

Gary Beck, President and CEO, Horizon Air

Update: 1:15 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2018
View today’s press conference with our CEO, Brad Tilden, Horizon Air CEO, Gary Beck, the FBI and the Port of Seattle.

  • All of us at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are saddened by last night’s unauthorized flight of a Horizon Q400 aircraft that resulted in the loss of life of the individual involved.
  • Our top priority is the safety of our guests and employees. Simply put there is nothing more important to us.
  • We are working closely with the FBI, the NTSB and the FAA to better understand the circumstances of this unauthorized flight. The FBI is the lead investigator for this incident.
  • Yesterday’s events will push us to learn what we can from this tragedy so that we can help prevent it from happening again at our airline or any other.

Update: 12:15 a.m. on Aug. 11, 2018
A toll-free hotline has been established for anyone who believes they may know the person involved in the Horizon Air incident. The number is 1-888-283-2153.

Update: 11:54 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2018
Alaska Airlines believes a ground service agent employed by Horizon Air was the individual responsible for flying the Horizon Q400 without clearance from Sea-Tac International Airport around 8 p.m. tonight.

The plane, which was taken from a maintenance position and was not scheduled for passenger flight, crashed about an hour later in a wooded area on Ketron Island in rural Pierce County. No ground structures were involved at the crash site.

Military jets were scrambled from Portland, but it does not appear that these jets were involved in the crash of the Horizon aircraft.

This individual who took the aircraft, who has not yet been positively identified until remains are examined, is believed to have been the only person on the plane when the plane was taken from a maintenance position at Sea-Tac.

First responders are at the crash site. Appropriate government agencies, including NTSB, FAA and FBI, have been notified.

Update: 10:55 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2018
A brief statement from Constance von Muehlen of Horizon Air regarding tonight’s incident:

“Good evening, I’m Constance von Muehlen, Horizon Air chief operating officer. I’m sorry to share with you this evening that at approximately 8 p.m., one of our Q400 airplanes made an unauthorized takeoff from Sea-Tac Airport. We believe it was taken by a single Horizon Air employee and that no other passengers or crew were onboard. Shortly thereafter, it crashed on Ketron Island by South Tacoma. Our hearts are with the families of the individual aboard as well as all of our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees. We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Update: 10 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2018 
Alaska Airlines has confirmed that a Horizon Airlines Q400 that had an unauthorized takeoff from Sea-Tac International Airport around 8 p.m. has gone down near Ketron Island in Pierce County.
Alaska is working to confirm who was on board, but it is believed that there were no passengers or crew on board other than the person operating the plane. NTSB has been notified.

Original post: 9:32 p.m. on Aug. 10, 2018
We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400. We believe there are no passengers on board. More information as we learn more.

Video:

Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N449QX (msn 4410) SEA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 928195.

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