Alaska Air drops Horizon brand

The Horizon Air brand will soon fly off into the sunset.

Alaska Air Group Inc., which operates both Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, said today the regional airline is adopting the trademark Eskimo of its sister company, Alaska Airlines, on its fleet of Bombardier Q400s.

Horizon has operated in the Rogue Valley since March 15, 1982 — four years before its acquisition by Alaska Air Group — and Its existing logo, a stylized sun, has been emblazoned on Horizon planes and airport walls since 1991.

A new paint scheme will prominently feature "Alaska" across the fuselage and the Eskimo on the tail. As a tip of the hat to its past, planes will continue to include the Horizon logo on the sides of the aircraft.

The change follows a shift instituted earlier this year that aligns the Seattle-based company more closely with the rest of the regional airline industry.

At the beginning of the year Horizon transitioned to a model similar to the way SkyWest Airlines works with United Air Lines in the operation of United Express. Under this arrangement, Horizon operates and maintains its aircraft while Alaska schedules, markets and prices all flights.

Alaska Air Group, which reported a profit of $64.8 million, up from $24.1 million, a year earlier, said travelers will begin to see repainted planes and new airport signs next month.

Horizon operates an average of 350 flights to 45 cities, including six departures out of Medford, each day. The company said, Horizon will continue to operate as a separate airline within Alaska Air Group.

— Greg Stiles

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