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Horizon Logo

 Founded 1981

Horizon Metro

Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner

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Horizon Fokker

                                  Fokker F28, first purchased in 1985 and also flew through the mid 90's

Horizon D8200

 Dash 8-100

Horizon CRJ 700

                           CRJ 700, Phased out in 2011, when the contract was given to Skywest



Horizon Q400

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Horizon Air was formed in May 1981 by Milt Kuolt, and started operations on September 1, 1981 with three Fairchild F-27 aircraft. Its headquarters were in an area that is now within SeaTac, Washington.   Horizon Air's first route was from Yakima to Seattle, and one week later, Pasco to Seattle. The general offices of Horizon Air were operated out of an old house behind Sea-Tac airport. Horizon acquired Air Oregon on June 17, 1982, after both airlines were losing hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly, in order to consolidate and reduce their operating deficit. Horizon agreed to purchase Transwestern Airlines of Utah in September 1983, once again to try to reduce operating deficit of the airline. A single Fokker F28, purchased in July 1984 from an African carrier, was the first jet owned by Horizon Air; however their first jet was a wet leased Douglas DC-9. Additional Fokker 28s were leased from US Air during the mid-1990s.   An initial public offering occurred in 1984 to secure operating capital, which after only one profitable year since founding, was needed to keep the airline afloat. On September 8, 1985 Horizon signed an agreement with de Havilland Canada to begin purchasing the airline's first brand new aircraft, the de Haviland Dash 8. In the summer of 1985, Horizon entered into its first codeshare agreement with United Airlines, which attracted the attention of Alaska Airlines who finally purchased Horizon in 1986. Late in 1985 Horizon entered into an agreement to purchase their chief competitor in Washington, Cascade Airways, but by early 1986 were released from the agreement. In 1988 Horizon signed a codeshare agreement with Northwest Airlines. In 1989, Horizon became an international carrier when it began service to Vancouver, BC and Victoria, BC in May of that year using both Dash-8-100s and Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner.


Horizon was the launch customer for the Dornier 328 turboprop, intending to replace the Fairchild Metroliners with this new aircraft which promised jetliner speed and comfort. Prototype#2 was painted in Horizon colors. Twelve were delivered between November 1993 and November 1995, but they were quickly phased out in 1997 in favor of fleet standardization around the Dash-8. 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[citation needed] 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 and 1995 motion picture Georgia At the beginning of 2011, Alaska Airlines' management took over decisions about Horizon's route choices and marketing. Alaska Airlines announced that it would retire the Horizon Air brand. All Horizon planes are being repainted with Alaska Airlines' livery.


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