SEATTLE – Alaska Airlines today announced that SkyWest Airlines will begin flying six West Coast routes currently operated by Horizon Air, starting May 14. The Utah-based carrier will fly the routes using five 70-seat Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jets it is acquiring from Horizon.
Alaska’s partnership with SkyWest for CRJ-700 flying enables Horizon to fly the Bombardier Q400 turboprop exclusively.
“While it is technically feasible for the Q400 to operate on all routes now served by CRJ-700s, it would result in longer flight times,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Air Group’s vice president of planning and revenue management. “For example, it can take up to 35 minutes longer for a Q400 to fly from Seattle to Southern California, which is longer than we’d like. Most of these routes were formerly served with Alaska Air Group jets, and the CRJ-700 jet has proven to be a better fit in these markets.”
Summary of new roundtrip SkyWest flights operated on behalf of Alaska beginning May 14, 2011:
Long Beach, Calif.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
*SkyWest will operate one daily flight to rotate the regional jets through its maintenance base in Fresno. Horizon Air will continue to offer one daily flight in this market, as well as a daily flight between Portland and Fresno.
**SkyWest will operate two flights per day starting May 14, and increase service to four flights a day beginning June 16, 2011.
*** SkyWest will operate one daily flight to position aircraft for maintenance. Horizon will continue to operate the Seattle-Portland shuttle with 22 roundtrips a day.
Onboard food and beverage service will resemble what Horizon currently offers, including complimentary Northwest microbrews and wine for all passengers 21 years and older, and picnic packs for purchase. SkyWest will also offer Horizon Air’s popular planeside Ala Carte baggage service. Boarding passes and a decal next to the aircraft boarding door will clearly indicate the flights are being operated for Alaska by SkyWest Airlines. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members flying on SkyWest-operated flights will continue to earn Mileage Plan credit.
“We are very pleased to begin a new partnership with Alaska Airlines,” said Chip Childs, SkyWest Airlines president and chief operating officer. “Customers flying these routes will receive continued access to the Alaska brand and the quality service they’ve come to expect from both Alaska and SkyWest Airlines.”
The partnership between the two airlines, known as a capacity purchase agreement, means SkyWest will operate and maintain its aircraft while Alaska is responsible for scheduling, pricing and marketing the flights. SkyWest is the third carrier to fly for Alaska Airlines under a capacity purchase agreement, joining Horizon Air in the Lower 48 and PenAir in Alaska.