Horizon Air History
Horizon Air was formed to satisfy the need created when, after the
Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, larger airlines abandoned routes
within the Northwest. To fill this market niche, entrepreneur Milt Kuolt
and a group of venture capitalists founded Horizon in Seattle in
September 1981. Horizon brought together 36 enthusiastic employees and a
fleet consisting of two leased Fairchild F-27 turboprop aircraft to
begin service between Yakima, Pasco and Seattle.
In the early 1980s, Horizon grew rapidly.
In 1982, Horizon acquired Air Oregon, which had served Oregon for a
number of years. In 1983, Horizon acquired Utah-based Transwestern
Airlines, which served the intermountain West, including Boise. Both
these acquisitions expanded Horizon's system map considerably.
In early 1984, Horizon became a public company with an initial stock
offering of 750,000 shares. The stock sale was an immediate success and
was used to retire debt and provide funding for future aircraft
Growth within Alaska Air Group
By 1986 the company's proven track record attracted the attention of
larger airlines. In the end, Horizon was acquired by Seattle-based
Alaska Air Group, Inc., a holding company that included Alaska Airlines.
While remaining independently managed, Horizon gained the competitive
advantage of connections with sister carrier Alaska Airlines and
partnership in the Mileage Plan frequent flier program. Along with
Alaska, Horizon also code-shares with a wide range of other airline
Today, Horizon is about 4,000 employees strong and serves more than
45 cities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada,
Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alberta. The company is
recognized as one of the leading regional airlines in the country and
holds the highest rank of all regional airlines in Condé Nast Traveler
Magazine's Readers Choice Awards list.
Horizon has a general office in Seattle, its primary maintenance base
in Portland, and additional maintenance facilities in Boise, Seattle,
Pasco and Spokane.