Posted on: 25 February 2011 by Ross McSweeny
Alaska Airlines has announced that from 14 May, SkyWest Airlines will begin flying six West Coast routes currently operated by Horizon Air, using five 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700s which it is acquiring from Horizon.
Alaska’s partnership with SkyWest for CRJ700 flying will enable Horizon to focus on flying the Bombardier Q400 turboprop exclusively.
"While it is technically feasible for the Q400 to operate on all routes now served by CRJ700s, it would result in longer flight times," explained 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 CRJ700 has proven to be a better fit in these markets."
From 14 May Fresno will get one CRJ flight a day from Seattle to rotate the regional jets through SkyWest’s maintenance base in Fresno, while Horizon Air will continue to offer one daily flight in this market, as well as a daily flight between Portland and Fresno.
Also from Seattle, Long Beach, CA, will get two flights a day starting on 14 May, increasing to four flights a day on 16 June, while Santa Barbara will get one CRJ700 roundtrip a day. SkyWest will operate one daily flight from Seattle to Portland to position aircraft for maintenance, with Horizon continuing to operate the Seattle–Portland shuttle with 22 roundtrips a day.
From Portland, three daily roundtrips will begin to 14 May to each of Burbank and Ontario in California.
"We are very pleased to begin a new partnership with Alaska Airlines," remarked 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 capacity purchase agreement (CPA) means SkyWest will operate and maintain its aircraft while Alaska is responsible for the scheduling, pricing and marketing of the flights.