Posted on: 12 April 2016 by Mark Howells
Horizon Air has placed an order for 30 new three-class Embraer 175s plus 33 options – the largest order since the airline was founded in 1981 – all of which will fly exclusively for Alaska Airlines.
Deliveries will begin in the second quarter of 2017 and run over three years. The E175 will allow the carrier to fly ‘long, thin routes’, those which are too far for the carrier’s Q400 turboprops, but which currently do not have enough customer demand to fill a mainline jet.
“The E175s position Horizon for growth beyond our current West Coast destinations while providing better customer utility in the growing Alaska Airlines network,” explained Horizon Air president David Campbell. “The spacious E175 offers a passenger experience that’s on par with much larger jets. This aircraft opens up tremendous new opportunities to fly to new places that would not have been feasible with our existing aircraft.”
Horizon plans to begin flying the jets exclusively for Alaska Airlines under a capacity purchase agreement (CPA) beginning in Spring 2017 on select longer routes originating from the Pacific Northwest. Over time, the jets will replace 15 of the airline’s leased Q400s, which are due for return in 2018.
Horizon Air confirmed that it will fly both the E175 and the Q400 for the foreseeable future. The Embraer aircraft is not new for Alaska customers, who may have flown on the type in 16 markets operated by CPA partner SkyWest Airlines (pictured). Nor are jets new to Horizon, which previously operated Bombardier CRJ200s and CRJ700s.
The 76-seat E175 will feature 12 seats in first class, 16 in premium class and 48 in the main cabin. Onboard amenities will include Wi-Fi internet access, and Alaska Beyond Entertainment, which includes free and premium entertainment direct to customer devices and power outlets throughout the cabin. Depending on length of flight, food and beverage will include fresh meals for purchase in addition to locally-sourced craft beers and premium wines.
The deal takes Embraer’s sales in North America since January 2013 to 332 E175s, equating to more than 80% of all orders in this class. The E175s for Horizon Air willfeature the aerodynamic enhancements introduced by Embraer in 2014, such as new wingtips and other technical improvements that reduce fuel burn.