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Oct-21-2008 17:50printcomments

Horizon Air Will End Pendleton, Oregon Service

More bad news for Oregon's economy stems from a government decision to award a contract to another airline.

A view from the window of a Horizon Air Q400 Bombardier aircraft.  Courtesy:
A view from the window of a Horizon Air Q400 Bombardier aircraft. Courtesy:

(SEATTLE, Wash.) - Horizon Air will discontinue flights from Pendleton, Ore., after December 1st following the Department of Transportation’s decision to award an Essential Air Service (EAS) contract to another airline.

"We're very disappointed. We went to great lengths to craft a bid that offered multiple air service options – each addressing specific needs expressed by the community, and doing so with our state-of-the-art 76-seat Q400s," said Dan Russo, Horizon’s vice president of marketing and communications.

Horizon currently offers daily flights from Pendleton to Portland and Pasco. Starting October 28th, Horizon will serve Pendleton with flights to Seattle -- through Dec.ember 1st, the last day it will provide service to Pendleton.

Travelers from Eastern Oregon will be able to continue to use Horizon to connect to the national transportation system by taking the airline’s Seattle-bound flights from nearby airports at Walla Walla (48 miles away) or Pasco, Washington (69 miles away).

With this, travelers will retain the convenience of traveling to destinations beyond Seattle with one ticket, one check-in, and one fare, and of having their luggage automatically transferred to their final destination without having to reclaim it and recheck it. In addition, travelers will be able to continue earning miles in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan on Horizon, Alaska, and their numerous airline partners.

“We look forward to continuing to serve our Pendleton customers from Walla Walla or Pasco, where they will enjoy the same warm welcome they’ve experienced since we began service to Pendleton in 1982,” Russo said. “Our three daily flights from Walla Walla and six from Pasco will offer plenty of convenient options.”

Horizon operates the Bombardier Q400 from Pasco and, starting October 27th, Walla Walla. This 76-seat, high-speed, twin-engine turboprop is one of the most technologically advanced regional aircraft in the world. It's as quiet and comfortable as a jet – thanks to its special technology that suppresses noise and vibration, its generously sized overhead storage bins, its unobstructed under-seat space, and its ample headroom (6 feet, 5 inches). The Q400 is also among the most environmentally friendly aircraft today, burning 30 percent less fuel and producing 30 percent lower emissions than comparable jets.

Horizon currently has seven employees in Pendleton, and they are all being given the opportunity to apply for openings elsewhere in Horizon’s route system.

“They have worked tirelessly to provide the very best service to the people of Pendleton,” Russo said. “We are deeply grateful for their years of dedicated service and will do all we can to find other opportunities in the company for those who'd like to stay with Horizon.” Horizon’s fleet serves 47 cities throughout Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Baja California Sur (Mexico), and British Columbia and Alberta (Canada). Together, Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines serve 90 cities and are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK).

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eric October 23, 2008 12:35 pm (Pacific time)

How is this bad news for Oregons economy when an Oregon based airline will now be flying from portland to pendleton?

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