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Horizon Air buying 30 new jets, likely to use in Seattle

An example of the Embraer E175 jet. Horizon Air is purchasing 30 of these jets to add to its fleet.
An example of the Embraer E175 jet. Horizon Air is purchasing 30 of these jets to add to its fleet. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Horizon Air passengers will see new jets in the coming years.

The airline, which is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group, is purchasing 30 new Embraer E175 jets for $2.8 billion. The jets will be delivered over three years starting in 2017, according to a news release from the company. It’s the largest aircraft order Horizon Air has ever made.

The new jets, which have 76 passenger seats, will be used to fly the routes that are too far for the Q400 turboprops but currently don’t have enough customer demand to fill a mainline jet. Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said it is too early to say which markets will get them, but added that Whatcom County and Canadian passengers will undoubtedly see them flying out of Seattle. She did say these jets will not be used for trips to Hawaii because of the special certification required to fly over the ocean.

The Horizon flights between Bellingham and Seattle use the Q400 turboprops, which she said are perfectly suited for that short route.

The news release said the E175 jets offer a comfortable cabin with large overhead bins.

“The (E175 jet) opens up tremendous new opportunities to fly to new places that would not have been feasible with our existing aircraft,” said Horizon Air President David Campbell.

All customers flying on the E175 will have a window or aisle seat. The maximum cruising altitude is 41,000 feet, while the typical cruising speed is 494 mph.

Alaska currently has flights out of Bellingham to Seattle and Portland, Ore. This fall, Alaska will offer its seasonal flights from Bellingham to Maui and Kona, Hawaii, as well as Las Vegas.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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