Horizon Air to phase out turboprop aircraft in Alaska
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Horizon Air and its Bombardier turboprop Q400 aircraft will be phased out of Alaska in March and replaced with Boeing 737s, an Alaska Air Group official said.
Horizon Air is a component of the group, which includes Alaska Airlines.
Horizon’s Anchorage base will close March 10, 2018, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported .
Alaska Airlines Regional Vice President Marilyn Romano said on Tuesday that Horizon “has struggled to operate cost-effectively in such a remote environment with limited resources.” Horizon started flying in Alaska in 2014.
“Employees have been notified of the closure, and resources are available for those employees who will be impacted by this decision,” Romano said. “Horizon’s 51 Anchorage-based employees have provided great service to our guests and have been offered opportunities to relocate to other Horizon bases in the Lower 48.”
The Q400 was primarily used in the Anchorage-Fairbanks and Anchorage-Deadhorse routes, Romano said. The most notable change for Fairbanks residents is the jet size, she said.
The Boeing 737 seats at least 144 people depending on the jet’s size, compared to the Q400′s 76 seats. The 737 also offers first-class seating.
The Q400s were expected to reduce the cost per departure by 30 percent and increase the flight frequency to eight per day, an Alaska Airlines official said in 2013.
Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com