Horizon Air to expand in Alaska with Bombardier Q400

A model of plane new to Alaska skies touched down in Juneau yesterday, but didn’t have time to linger long.

A Bombardier Q400 passenger plane operated by Horizon Air stopped by Juneau on Sunday for less than 24 hours on its way to Fairbanks from Portland, Ore. The plane will be one of three Q400s used when Horizon Air, the sister company of Alaska Airlines, expands to serve Alaska starting in early March, Horizon Air President Glenn Johnson said. Representatives from Horizon Air are touring the state in the plane to showcase it as well as meet with Alaska Airlines Community Advisory Boards, he said.

Once in service, the planes will make trips between Anchorage and Fairbanks and Anchorage and Kodiak. Flights in and out of Juneau will not be affected by the new planes. However, Horizon does plan to use Juneau’s airport as a fueling station regularly, Johnson said. The plane was fueling up at Juneau International Airport late Sunday afternoon in anticipation for its Monday morning flight to Fairbanks.

Using this model of plane in Alaska comes with some perks, Johnson said. Flights will be more frequent and cost less. These planes don’t have the begrudged middle seat — it seats only two on each side of the aisle. And the Q400 is more fuel efficient than the 737, the traditional passenger plane, he said. The Q400 uses 5.8 fuel gallons per passenger, according to an Alaska Airlines fact sheet. The 737 uses 12.7 gallons per passenger.

The Q400 seats 76 passengers, and is almost 108 feet long — about 12 feet shorter than a 737. The three Alaska Q400s are part of Horizon’s 51-plane fleet, making the company the world’s largest Q400 operator, according to a company release. Horizon’s presence in the state will increase daily trips from Anchorage to Fairbanks from seven to nine starting in March, the release stated.


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