With Inspections Completed, Horizon Air Operations Returning to Normal



    SEATTLE, September 20 /CNW/ - Horizon Air confirmed today that it will
return to its normal flight schedule starting Tuesday, Sept. 25, having
successfully completed the inspections of the Bombardier Aerospace Q400
turboprops in its fleet, as per Transport Canada and Bombardier
specifications. Currently, the airline is running 95 percent of its regular
schedule.

    The aircraft inspections were in response to a Transport Canada
airworthiness directive (AD) issued Sept. 12. Transport Canada's AD was
produced in the wake of two landing gear failure incidents involving
SAS-affiliated airlines in Europe. Horizon, which has operated the
Canadian-manufactured Q400 since 2001, has never experienced any issues like
those SAS encountered.

    On Friday, Horizon is running an open letter from Jeff Pinneo, president
and CEO, in newspapers in most of the cities it serves to thank customers for
their understanding and patience as Horizon completed the precautionary
inspections. Below is the complete text.

    

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear customers and friends of Horizon Air,
    While the past 10 days have been among the most challenging we've ever
     faced, the finish line is in sight, thanks to the tireless and
     skilled efforts of our amazing team. With tremendous support from
     manufacturers Bombardier and Goodrich, we've completed the
     inspections on all our Q400 aircraft and have returned them to
     service. As of today, we're operating 95% of our scheduled flights
     and are on track to return to normal operations this coming Tuesday.

    Please accept our sincere apologies for any resulting disruption to
     your plans, and our heartfelt thanks for your flexibility, patience
     and understanding. We know you count on us to meet our schedule, so
     you in turn can follow through on your commitments to others, and
     we're very sorry that these unplanned inspections in some cases
     prevented us from fulfilling that obligation. With safety as our
     preeminent concern, there was really no question about which course
     of action to take in the wake of the two recent Q400 landing gear
     incidents in Europe. Even though our Q400s had never encountered
     events like these, we simply had to take the steps necessary to
     ensure that no such problem existed on our fleet.

    Completing this work promptly required the highest levels of teamwork
     and initiative, some of which many of you witnessed first-hand: Our
     reservations agents working around the clock to re-accommodate those
     of you on affected flights. Our friends at sister company Alaska
     Airlines adjusting their own schedule to fill gaps in ours. Our
     airport staff working diligently to meet your needs with the options
     available to them. Our flight crews unhesitatingly adjusting to the
     hour-to-hour changes in their schedules and volunteering to do
     whatever was needed. Our management team only taking catnaps during
     the first few days to stick with their responsibilities in service to
     their teams and you. And behind the scenes, Horizon's maintenance and
     flight operations teams, who with skill and speed met the tremendous
     technical challenges this situation posed. I couldn't be more proud
     of the character and commitment our people displayed every step of
     the way.

    We're also very grateful for the outpouring of support we received
     from so many of you, which lifted our spirits when we needed it most.
     Typical of this was an e-mail I received earlier this week. It said:
     "The clear and unequivocal way Horizon has dealt with this potential
     threat is refreshing...We know we'll be on the safest airline money
     can buy!"

    On behalf of all 4,000 of us here at Horizon, our heartfelt thanks to
     you all for your understanding and support during this challenging
     period. It is, indeed, our privilege to serve you, and we look
     forward to welcoming you on another of our flights soon.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Pinneo
    President and CEO
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    Horizon currently has a fleet of 74 aircraft, 33 of which are 74/76-seat
Q400s. Horizon operates two other aircraft types in its all-Bombardier fleet,
neither of which was subject to these inspections: 70-seat CRJ-700 regional
jets and 37-seat Q200 turboprops.

    Horizon serves 48 cities throughout California, Colorado, Oregon,
Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and British Columbia and Alberta.
Together, Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines serve 92 cities and are subsidiaries
of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:  ALK).




For further information:

For further information: Horizon Air Dan Russo, 206-431-4513

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