Browsing Tag: Horizon Air

In April, passengers didn't have to spend a lot of extra time inside Seattle-Tacoma International Airport since many flights were on-time.

In April, passengers didn't have to spend a lot of extra time inside Seattle-Tacoma International Airport since many flights were on-time.

Happy news for Seattle and on-time performance. During April 2011, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) had the most flights departing on-time than any other airport in the US, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

SEA had 84.97% of their flights leave on time, which puts them at the number one spot. Even when looking at all of North America, SEA comes in second, with Vancouver, BC (just north of Seattle) beating them out with 86.07% of their flights on-time.

Not only did Seattle’s airport do well, but Seattle’s hometown airline, Alaska Airlines did very well too.

Alaska was number 2 in April for most on-time flights with 89%, where Horizon Air (Alaska’s sister carrier) was number three with 86.33%. Not surprisingly, Hawaiian Airlines (which has a history of being the #1 carrier for on-time performance in the US) was first with 92.35% of their flights on-time.

Congrats to all those based in Seattle who work hard to make these results possible!

Image: Benji Stewart


Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 ready to go.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 ready to go.

Sometimes when things go wrong, it is an opportunity to show what you are made of. On Saturday, Alaska Airlines computer system, used to plan flights, went offline due to a blown transformer. It took over 24 hours to get the system fully running again and there are still passengers who are trying to get to their destination.

From the media’s perspective, Alaska was on their game. During the outtage they posted four different press releases, allowing the media to update passengers. When this sort of thing happens with most other airlines, the media is lucky to get one press release after everything is said and done.

For passengers, both Alaska and Horizon effectively used their social media outlets to not only keep customers informed, but to apologize for the inconvenience. Alaska alone had about 25 tweets about the outage, either providing updates or talking directly to customers who needed assistance. Alaska Air President Brad Tilden and Horizon Air President Glenn Johnson also made a video apologizing for the delay, something that I have never seen an airline do, especially in the middle of the situation.

Now realize, this is all going on over the weekend. All these airline folks were working diligently to get the system back up and keep their customers informed. For me, that is true dedication.

Most airlines are too afraid to have such a public voice when something goes wrong. It takes a risk to be so public when things go wrong, but I think it seperates the good airlines from the great. Even though the computer crash only affected 18% of their flights, it is still a huge impact. Alaska did have to cancel 150 flights, affecting 12,000 passengers. Sure, for many passengers this outreach didn’t mean much help them feel better about not seeing grandma, but just like every other industry out there, airlines are prone to things going wrong. The airline business is extremely complicated and this just goes to show how something relatively minor can have such a large impact.

Cheers to Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air for being so open with the issues and getting them solved.

Alaska gets more kudos from Dan Webb via his blog Things in the Sky Blog and Brett Snyder on


The Alaska Airlines livery on a Bombardier Q400 (N441QX) seen in Portland this week.

The Alaska Airlines livery on a Bombardier Q400 (N441QX) seen in Portland this week.Click for larger.

It is one thing to see a computer generated drawing of a new (well I guess kind of older) livery on a brand new plane versus seeing it in the flesh. Russell Hill, a photographer based in Portland, was lucky enough to catch the first Bombardier Q400 with the new Alaska Airlines livery. Although the plane was spotted in Portland, it was painted by Associated Painters in Spokane, WA.

Not too long ago, Alaska Air Group announced that the Horizon livery would be replaced by the Alaska livery on the Horizon Air Q400’s. However, the Horizon brand of service (aka free beer and wine on the plane) will stay. This is only the third aircraft type (Boeing 737 and MD-80 being the others) to see this Alaska Airlines livery.

Other than the “Horizon” looking a bit odd, I really like this livery on the Q400. I am wiling to bet we will see the “Horizon” after the “Alaska” leave after people become more aware of the change (update: I have been told there is no plan to get rid of the “Horizon” next to the “Alaska”). It is sad to see the old Horizon livery being retired, but at least it is being replaced by Alaska and not some other outside company. The plane is not assigned to any one route and you should start to see it throughout the Horizon route system.

Thanks to Russell for getting this photo and be sure to check out his second photo of the Q400 as well. You can also catch more photos on Horizon Air’s Facebook page.

Allegiant Air MD-83

Allegiant Air MD-83

If you follow Allegiant Airlines on Twitter, you noticed a lot of announcements for new routes recently. I have been talking a lot about their Boeing 757’s getting painted in their livery, but I wanted to talk about all the new action their MD-80’s will be seeing. Here is a list of new routes they announced that will be starting next week:

Some of the new Allegiant routes start next week

Some of the new Allegiant routes start next week

Just in time for the winter to allow people in colder climates to get to warmer ones. All these new flights will be flown by Allegiant’s MD-80 aircraft. This means (hopefully) there should be some more announcements here in the near future that involve Allegiant’s new Boeing 757s.

One destination I am disappointed not to see is Paine Field. As I discussed earlier in the year, Allegiant Air and Horizon Air were looking to fly into Paine Field, which is located about 20 miles north of Seattle. At this point, everyone is still waiting and no decision has been made.

Image: Silenus81
Two Horizon Air Q400's at Seattle

Two Horizon Air Q400's at Seattle

Last week I wrote a post about regional airlines and their legacy counterparts and explained how Horizon and Alaska Airline’s relationship is different. Some flights Alaska does pay Horizon to fly, called capacity purchase agreement (CPA), but other flights Horizon flies under its own brand and not being paid by any outside airlines.

Now, it looks like things are changing and Horizon Air will stop flying under its own brand and only fly under CPA. By January 1, 2011 all Horizon brand flights will be converted over to CPA under Alaska.

I spoke with Jen Boyer with Horizon Communications told me, “This is mainly behind the scenes change and do not anticipate any visible changes on the customer facing side.”

I asked if Horizon will be looking for other airlines to fly for and Boyer told me that Horizon will only be working with Alaska at this time and their main goal is to work on increasing profitability. When I asked if the Horizon brand might one day be changed to Alaska, Boyer told me, “the Horizon brand will be on the planes still and out there in the marketplace, no decision has been made to change that aspect at this time.”

Thanks to Dan Webb over at Things in the Sky for pointing out this story!