Alaska Air Group subsidiary Horizon Air has signed a firm order for 30 Embraer 175 regional jets and has taken options on 33 more.
Embraer will include the order in its 2016 second-quarter backlog. Horizon Air’s order could reach a total list-price value of US$2.8 billion if it exercises all 33 options.
Deliveries of Embraer 175s to Horizon Air will start in the second quarter of 2017 and all 30 aircraft it has on firm order will be delivered over a period of three years.
From spring 2017, the aircraft will fly exclusively for Alaska Airlines, Horizon’s Air’s sibling mainline carrier. Horizon Air will operate the aircraft under a capacity purchase agreement with its sister carrier, initially flying them on select longer routes originating from the Pacific Northwest
Horizon Air says its Embraer 175s will supplement the Portland-based carrier’s fleet of Bombardier Q400 turboprops.
It says its new regional jets will allow the carrier to fly ‘long, thin routes’ – destinations that are too distant for a turboprop, but currently don’t have enough customer demand to fill a mainline jet.
Horizon Air says it will fly both the Embraer 175 and the Bombardier Q400 for the foreseeable future, but the jets will replace 15 of the airline’s leased Q400s, which are due for return in 2018.
Some Alaska Airlines passengers are already familiar with the Embraer 175, because SkyWest Airlines operates the type in 16 Alaska Airlines markets under a capacity purchase agreement with the Seattle-based carrier.
“The E175s position Horizon for growth beyond our current West Coast destinations while providing better customer utility in the growing Alaska Airlines network,” says David Campbell, Horizon Air’s president.
“The spacious E175 offers a passenger experience that’s on par with much larger jets,” adds Campbell. “This aircraft opens up tremendous new opportunities to fly to new places that would not have been feasible with our existing aircraft.”
Embraer has sold 332 Embraer 175 jets to airlines in North America since January 2013, which it says represent more than 80 per cent of all North American orders in this aircraft class since then.
Horizon Air’s Embraer 175s will have aerodynamic enhancements introduced by Embraer in 2014, including new wingtips and other technical improvements that reduce fuel burn.
The 76-seat aircraft will be configured in a three-class cabin layout offering 12 first class seats, 16 in premium economy and 48 in the main cabin.
Seat pitch in each Horizon Air Embraer 175 main cabin will be 31 inches. Their premium-economy seats will be pitched at 34 inches and the seat pitch will be between 36 and 38 inches in first class.
Since entering revenue service in 2004, the four-member Embraer E-Jets family has won firm orders for more than 1,700 aircraft and more than 1,200 E-Jets have been delivered.
E-Jets are now flying in the fleets of 70 customers in 50 countries, according to Embraer.