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Horizon Air Announces Flight Schedule Changes Starting Aug. 25


Horizon Air today announced several changes to its fall flight schedule. The airline is aiming to improve its financial performance by cutting weaker routes and by adjusting flight frequencies and capacity to better match demand.

ďWith fuel prices hitting record highs, itís never been more important to ensure every single Horizon flight is as productive as possible,Ē said Dan Russo, Horizonís director of marketing and communications.

All of this is occurring within the context of Horizonís transition to a single-type fleet. To help cope with escalating fuel prices and reduce operating costs, Horizon is phasing out its 37-seat Q200s and its 70-seat CRJ-700 jets in favor of a single fleet of more fuel-efficient 76-seat Q400 high-speed turboprops. The Q400 is one of the most technologically advanced regional aircraft in the world and is also the most environmentally friendly aircraft in its class, burning 30 percent less fuel and producing 30 percent less CO2 than a comparable jet.

As its Q200s are replaced with Q400s, Horizon expects that additional frequency adjustments will be necessary to compensate for the higher Q400 capacity.

Hereís a list of Horizonís schedule changes. All changes take effect on Aug. 25, unless noted otherwise. The Butte change will appear in central reservations systems (CRS) by June 1, and the other changes will appear by June 15.

Routes being discontinued

* Butte-Seattle: Horizon is discontinuing all service to Butte, where the airline currently offers two daily flights to Seattle. ďItís with great regret that we leave Butte, where weíve been part of the community since 1989,Ē said Jeff Pinneo, Horizonís president and CEO. ďThis was not an easy decision, and it was arrived at only after a great deal of thought and a thorough analysis of possible alternatives. I would like to thank the customers who have flown with us to and from Butte these last 19 years, and our Butte employees, who have dedicated themselves to providing such outstanding customer service.Ē After Horizonís last flight from Butte on Aug. 24, the nearest Horizon nonstop service to Seattle will be via Helena (68 miles from Butte) or Bozeman (76 miles from Butte). Horizon currently employs nine employees in Butte, and they are all being given the opportunity to apply for openings elsewhere in Horizonís route system.

* Billings-Portland: Horizon is discontinuing its once-daily nonstop service between Billings and Portland. Service to Portland will be available via connections from Horizonís current twice-daily Billings-Seattle nonstop service or on a new third flight between Billings and Seattle that will make an intermediate stop in Helena. All Billings flights will be operated with Q400s.

Routes where frequency is being reduced

* Portland-Seattle: Horizon is trimming five flights each way from its current weekday schedule of 31 flights each way between Seattle and Portland. Flights will continue to operate every half-hour during the higher-demand morning and afternoon commute periods, with one-hour intervals between flights during some periods spanning the middle of the day. Sixteen of the 26 flights each way will be operated with Q400s or CRJ-700s.

* Pasco-Seattle: The current seven daily flights (five Q400 and two Q200) are being reduced to six (all Q400). The net result will be the same number of seats in the market.

* Kelowna-Seattle: The current four daily flights (three Q200 and one Q400) are being reduced to three (all Q400). This will result in a 20 percent increase in seats in the market.

* Idaho Falls-Boise: The current two daily Q400 flights are being reduced to one starting Oct. 12. The early morning flight from Idaho Falls and evening return will make connections in Boise to Horizon flights to Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose and Seattle. From Aug. 25 and continuing through Oct. 11, Horizonís only service to Idaho Falls will consist of four daily Q200 flights to Boise, covering a period when the longer of the airportís two runways will be closed for repairs. Horizon will be the only carrier serving Idaho Falls between Sept. 2 and Oct. 1.

* Lewiston-Boise: The current two daily Q400 flights are being reduced to one. The remaining flight will originate and terminate in Pullman.

* Medford-Portland: The current five daily flights (two Q400 and three Q200) are being reduced to four (two Q400 and two Q200).

* Redmond/Bend-Portland: The current five daily flights (four Q200 and one Q400) are being reduced to four (three Q200 and one Q400).

* Redmond/Bend-Seattle: The current four daily Q400 flights are being reduced to three.

New routes (redeployments from other routes)
* Billings-Helena: This once-daily nonstop Q400 service will depart Billings in the morning and return in the early evening, connecting Montanaís largest city with its capital.

* San Jose-Sacramento: This once-daily Q400 service is going to connect one of Californiaís most important business centers with its state capital.

* Idaho Falls-Seattle: This twice-daily direct Q400 service begins Oct. 12. One of two westbound flights will operate nonstop to Seattle and the other will make an intermediate stop in Boise. Of the two eastbound flights, one will stop in Boise and the other in Sun Valley before continuing on to Idaho Falls.

Other schedule changes
* Boise-San Jose and Boise-Sacramento: These flights are being combined into one routing that will continue to give Boise twice-daily flights to both San Jose and Sacramento, but with a combination of nonstop and one-stop, same-plane flights.

* Wenatchee-Seattle: The current four daily Q200 flights are being converted to three Q400 flights and one Q200 flight.

* Seattle-Sun Valley: One daily Q400 flight is being combined with the new Seattle-Idaho Falls service during the off-season starting Oct. 12.


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