Updated January 2018
Horizon Air was formed to satisfy the need created when, after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, larger airlines abandoned routes within the Northwest. To fill this market niche, entrepreneur Milt Kuolt and a group of venture capitalists founded Horizon in Seattle in September 1981. Horizon brought together several dozen enthusiastic employees and a fleet consisting of two leased Fairchild F-27 turboprop aircraft to begin service between Yakima, Pasco and Seattle.
In the early 1980s, the airline grew quickly, acquiring Air Oregon and Utah-based Transwestern Airlines. In 1984, Horizon went public. By 1986, the company's proven track record attracted the attention of larger airlines. That year, Horizon was acquired by Seattle-based Alaska Air Group, Inc., a holding company that included Alaska Airlines.
On Jan. 1, 2011, Horizon shifted to a capacity purchase agreement (CPA) business model, which is the regional airline industry standard. Under this arrangement, Horizon operates and maintains its aircraft while Alaska is responsible for scheduling, marketing and pricing all flights. The change also included the rebranding of all Horizon aircraft to feature the Alaska brand.
Today, Horizon Air maintains an operational fleet of 52 Bombardier Q400 aircraft with an average age of 11 years. In 2016, the airline announced the purchase of 33 Embraer E175 aircraft, and have taken delivery of 10 E175s over the last year.
Horizon serves 45 cities in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Alberta and British Columbia (Canada).
The regional airline has a general office in Seattle and a primary maintenance base in Portland, Oregon, with additional maintenance facilities in Boise, Idaho; Seattle; Medford, Oregon; Redmond/Bend, Oregon and Spokane, Washington.
- Type of airline: Regional airline
- Founded: 1981 in Seattle, Washington
- Headquarters: Seattle
- Corporation type: Alaska corporation
- Ownership: Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK)
- Chairman: Brad D. Tilden
- President and Chief Executive Officer: Gary Beck
- Hubs: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Portland International Airport
- Total destinations: 45
- Number of Employees: 3,661
- Average daily flights 2016: 363
- Total flights 2017: 118,458
- Total passengers enplaned 2017: 7 million
- Average miles stage (route) length 2017: 327
- Total available seat miles (ASMs) 2017: 2.9 billion
- Total revenue passenger miles (RPMs) 2016: 2.3 billion
- Passenger load factor 2017: 79.6%