Horizon Air History

Horizon Air was formed in response to the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. One of the results of this act was that many larger airlines abandoned routes within the Northwest. To fill this gap in the market, 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.

Rapid Growth

In the early 1980s, Horizon grew rapidly and in 1982, Horizon acquired Air Oregon, which had served the state of 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 acquisition.

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 includes us, Alaska Airlines. While remaining independently managed, Horizon gained the competitive advantage of connections with us, her sister carrier, and partnership in our Mileage Plan frequent flier program. Along with Alaska, Horizon also code-shares with a wide range of other airline partners.

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.