October 2, 2008

Horizon Air Announces Intention to Fly From Paine Field

Horizon Air is pursuing plans to introduce daily air service from Paine Field near Everett, Wash., before next summer.

The announcement comes after a 6-0 vote last month by the Everett City Council in favor of a resolution supporting scheduled commercial flights at Paine Field.

Horizon is considering flights to Portland and Spokane, with schedules timed to facilitate same-day business trips between the cities. Snohomish County travelers could also fly out of Paine Field and connect in Portland to many popular destinations on the West Coast and beyond.

"Rather than suffer on the I-5 slog or endure tedious hours on I-90, Snohomish County residents would be able to travel between these three Northwest regions much more quickly with Horizon Air from Paine Field," said Dan Russo, Horizon's vice president of marketing and communications.

Mindful of community concerns, Horizon would operate the flights with its 76-seat Bombardier Q400 high-speed turboprops, among the quietest commercial aircraft in the world today. This neighborhood-friendly aircraft is 10 decibels quieter than a similar-size jet and more than 20 decibels quieter than an MD-80 jet. Even city center airports where stringent noise limitations are in effect -- such as those in London and Toronto -- have accepted Q400 flights.

The Q400 is also among the most environmentally friendly aircraft today, burning 30 percent less fuel and producing 30 percent lower emissions than a similar-size jet.

Horizon's service from Paine Field would also have the potential to aid commercial development of the Snohomish County region by making it easier and less time-consuming to get there.

Horizon last considered Paine Field-Portland flights in 1998, at that time using 37-seat Q200s. The airline eventually opted not to pursue the plan and instead focused on building more flight activity at its Seattle hub with the larger Q400s.

Before making a final decision on whether to provide the new service, Horizon needs to secure a cost-effective lease agreement at the airport related to the terminal facilities necessary for check-in, screening of passengers and baggage, and flight boarding.

Horizon serves 50 cities throughout Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Baja California Sur (Mexico), and British Columbia and Alberta (Canada). Together, Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines serve 95 cities and are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK).