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Horizon Air Retiring Its Public Brand And Adopting Alaska Airlines' Eskimo


1/25/2011 5:04:36 AM

SEATTLE — Horizon Air announced today it is retiring its public brand and will adopt the trademark Eskimo of its sister company, Alaska Airlines, on its fleet. The change follows a shift made earlier this year to a new business model that aligns more closely with the rest of the regional airline industry.

"While our livery is changing, many other important things won't," said Horizon Air President Glenn Johnson. "Horizon will remain focused on meeting customers' needs and providing a memorable experience, including our genuine, personal service and free onboard Northwest wine and microbrews."

As part of the brand change, Horizon's Bombardier Q400 fleet will be repainted with a new paint scheme prominently featuring "Alaska" across the fuselage and the Eskimo on the tail. The plane will continue to include the Horizon logo on the sides of the aircraft, which will now appear in Alaska's dark blue color. A high-resolution image of the new paint scheme is available at Alaska Airlines' online image gallery at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.

While the brand change has no direct effect on customers, travelers will begin to see changes to airport signage, advertising and planes starting next month. The brand transition will be completed as soon as is practical. During this time, some new Q400s being delivered to Horizon may fly without color until painting can be scheduled. Horizon expects to unveil its first Q400 featuring the new look in February.

Horizon has had a separate brand since Alaska Air Group acquired the airline in 1986. Its existing brand, a stylized sun, has been featured on Horizon planes and at airports since 1991.

What's not changing

Although Horizon's brand will retire, many aspects of the airline will not change, including:

•Onboard service, including complimentary Northwest wine and microbrews for passengers 21 years and older, and snacks and liquor for purchase

•Ala Cart planeside baggage service

•Flight crew and airport employee uniforms

•Horizon will continue to operate as a separate airline within Alaska Air Group

New business model: Capacity purchase agreement

Starting Jan. 1, Horizon transitioned to a new business model called a capacity purchase agreement (CPA). Under this arrangement, Horizon operates and maintains its aircraft while Alaska is responsible for scheduling, marketing and pricing all flights. Horizon markets, most of which provide feed traffic to Alaska Airlines, will continue to be served under the new CPA business model.

The changes to Horizon's brand reflect a common industry practice followed by regional airlines that conduct all of their flying for a major carrier partner. Horizon operates an average of 350 flights a day in 45 cities in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Baja California Sur (Mexico), and British Columbia and Alberta (Canada).

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008, 2009 and 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction StudiesSM. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com.

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