Horizon Air is a regional airline based in SeaTac, Washington, United States. It is the eighth largest regional airline in the USA serving 52 cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Horizon Air is sister carrier to Alaska Airlines and both airlines are members of Alaska Air Group. It is also a substantial codeshare partner of Northwest Airlines, and American Airlines.
Horizon Air was formed in May 1981 by Milt Koult, and started operations on September 1
. Its first route was from Seattle
to Yakima, Washington
. The general offices were operated out of an old house behind Sea-Tac airport. Horizon acquired Air Oregon
in 1982 and Transwestern Airlines
in 1983 to become one of the largest regional airlines in the USA
. It went public in 1984 to raise money for expansion. In 1984 Horizon carried well over half a million passengers. It acquired its first jet, a Fokker F28
, in 1985 and began operating feeder flights on behalf of both Northwest Airlines
and Alaska Airlines
. Alaska Air Group
, parent of Alaska Airlines, bought Horizon in 1986 and continued to operate it as an independent carrier. The airline has since completely replaced the Fokker F28 with the Bombardier CRJ 700
. The airline shares its activities, bookings, and connection services with Alaska Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines
, and KLM
, and until December 2007, operated regional jet
services for Frontier Airlines
. The airline operates from its main hub in Seattle and has secondary hubs in Portland, Boise, and Spokane. In the spring of 2007, Horizon launched service from Los Angeles and Seattle to Santa Rosa, California to take advantage of the burgeoning wine and tourism industry. This was a significant coup for the Sonoma County region which had not had regularly scheduled air service in almost six years. The new routes proved so popular that in the fall of 2007, Horizon commenced non stop service from Portland, OR to Santa Rosa, and expanded the schedule for non stop flights between Los Angeles and Santa Rosa.
It is wholly owned by the Alaska Air Group and has 4,040 employees (at March 2007).
Horizon Air has been featured in several films, including the 1983 motion picture WarGames.
is the chief executive officer
and former head of the Regional Airline Association
. He has had 30 years of aviation experience and 25 of those with the Alaska Air Group. There are several senior vice presidents each in charge of specific divisions of the airline who round out the management staff.
Livery and Uniforms
At the start of the carrier, Horizon had a painted sunset with a small beach with capitalized words saying "Horizon". The current Horizon Air livery is very similar to its parent, Alaska, except for a dark red (rather than blue) cheatline, and the tail includes a stylized sun and sunset logo, rather than an Eskimo. There is also a Bombardier Q400 completely covered with the 25th anniversary design to celebrate 25 years of Horizon Air service. Some Dash 8's have names of Horizon destinations printed near the front left door. Starting in late December 2007, Horizon Air announced that four CRJ-700 jets would be painted in the colors and logos of the major public universities in Washington and Oregon: Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Washington State University, and University of Washington.
Horizon Air is a codeshare partner with Alaska Airlines, American Air Lines and Northwest Airlines.
Horizon Air's fleet includes the following aircraft (as of October 2008):
The average Horizon Air fleet age is 6.1 years old in April 2008. The CRJ-700 is a 70-seat, low-wing jet, while the Dash-8 is a 37 (Q200), 74 or 76 (Q400) seat, high-wing turboprop. Horizon Air recently converted its outstanding CRJ orders into Q400 orders.
Currently there are three special liveries on Horizon Air planes. Two CRJ-700s have been painted in University colors, one the University of Oregon
and the other Washington State University
. The other special livery is a Q400 pained in 25th anniversary colors.
Horizon Air is phasing out their existing Q200 and CRJ-700 planes, and will only operate the Q400 in order to save on fuel costs. The Q200s have been removed from Horizon Air service and are being dry leased to CommutAir. By April 2010 the CRJ-700s, including the 9 returned from Frontier JetExpress, will also be phased completely out of service.
All Horizon Air aircraft are operated in a single class configuration, in a 2 by 2 configuration. As such, there are no middle seats on Horizon, all seats are either window or aisle. Horizon Air features all leather seating in the Q200 and Q400 aircraft.
Since 1991, Starbucks coffee is served in-flight on all Horizon Air planes, and is brewed at the terminal and served in thermos containers onboard the aircraft.
Incidents and accidents
Since the founding, no fatal accidents have occurred.
- On April 15, 1988, a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 crashed after making an emergency landing in Seattle, Washington when the number two, right side, engine lost power after take-off (due to a manufacturer error). Loss of hydraulic pressure, due to the number two engine being shut down, caused the plane to roll into the B7 and B9 jetways and was destroyed by fire. There were no fatal injuries, however all 41 crew and passengers were taken to local area hospitals.
- On May 23, 1990, a Fairchild Metroliner III on a flight from Portland to Seattle had a window blow out at above Olympia. The flight continued as normal to Sea-Tac, and the one passenger next to the window was treated at a local area hospital.