Good news from Horizon


Well-Known Member
Horizon Air Partners with Frontier Airlines for Frontier JetExpress Regional Jet Service
9/18/2003 8:08 a.m.

Horizon Air announced today it has signed a 12-year agreement with Denver-based Frontier Airlines to operate regional jet service as Frontier JetExpress, effective Jan. 1, 2004.

Under the 12-year agreement, Horizon will initially operate four 70-seat Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft as Frontier JetExpress beginning Jan. 1, 2004, and will eventually operate nine CRJ-700s as Frontier JetExpress by May 30, 2004. Horizon will employ a combination of new aircraft deliveries and an optimization of their current flight schedules to provide the aircraft for the new service.

Horizon replaces Frontier's current regional jet operator, Mesa Airlines, whose agreement with Frontier expires Dec. 31, 2003. The Frontier JetExpress routes currently operated from Denver by Mesa include Albuquerque, Austin, Boise, Oklahoma City, Ontario, San Jose, Tucson, and Wichita. The routes and schedules of Horizon's Frontier JetExpress flights have not been finalized.

"We're excited to be entering this new line of business and pleased to be working with a quality partner like Frontier," said Jeff Pinneo, Horizon Air president and CEO. "Horizon is committed to providing our new customers at Frontier the same high level of reliability and service that our customers in the Northwest have come to expect from Horizon."

Under the agreement, Frontier will pay Horizon a base margin and performance-based incentives to operate flights as Frontier JetExpress. Frontier will maintain control of scheduling and destinations. Horizon's crews -- pilots and flight attendants -- will fly the aircraft, which will be painted in Frontier JetExpress livery, and Horizon's mechanics will provide maintenance on them. Horizon expects to eventually base about 100 pilots, 100 flight attendants and 30 maintenance personnel in Denver for their Frontier JetExpress operation. Frontier employees will perform airport customer service operations and take reservations for the Horizon Frontier JetExpress flights.

"Our regional jet service has provided extra depth to our business strategy, and we are excited at the opportunity to partner with a top quality airline like Horizon Air," said Frontier president and CEO Jeff Potter. "Horizon's commitment to customer service matches our philosophy, and we look forward to a successful partnership that will allow us to bring Frontier's affordable fares to more communities."

Founded 22 years ago, Horizon Air has grown to become the nation's eighth largest regional airline, serving nearly 5 million passengers last year. Horizon serves 43 cities throughout Idaho, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Arizona, British Columbia and Alberta. Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK).

Currently in its tenth year of operations, Denver-based Frontier Airlines (Nasdaq: FRNT) is the second largest jet service carrier at Denver International Airport with a fleet of 38 aircraft. Frontier and its affiliate Frontier JetExpress currently serve 40 U.S. cities with 200 daily flights.
What happens to Mesa pilots and planes? On the surface it seems like great news but wondering if Mesa crews get the shaft...
I'm sad... That was my absolute best case aviation career dream, to be flying CRJs for Mesa out of DIA in about five years. I'm gonna go hang myself... JK

Oh yeah, forgot they got a contract with UA, that would work too
The fact that Horizon is running new hire classes before this news just means they will be hiring more. They are currently running a CRJ class and are planning on running more before year end.
I'm sad... That was my absolute best case aviation career dream, to be flying CRJs for Mesa out of DIA in about five years. I'm gonna go hang myself... JK

Oh yeah, forgot they got a contract with UA, that would work too

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Just dont let the guys on see what you just wrote... seems like all they do is bash the crap out of mesa(maybe rightfully so...)
Naw, they're all shifting to their new United Express operation, I bet.

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Correct. The reason they are having to give up the frontier partnership, at least whats been reported, is that with the large growth in DEN for UAL, UAL didnt want them to have a relationship with their competition in the same hub.
Yeah, I see at lot of mesa bashing out there. They're union now and the pilots at mesa I've chatted with have good things to say for the most part. I'll work where ever I can get a job!!! (except some place where I would be blacklisted)
Theyve been union, That wasnt the issue. Freedom was the alterego airline, and that is now brought under the Mesa pilot lists, so now that is kosher. The problem people have with mesa is their contract they agreed to, it is less than any other regional out there. In response to mesa's contract managers at other airlines asked for conessions from their respective pilots group. SEe why folks love mesa now??
What makes you say Mesa's contract is "less" than any other regional out there?

Who are you comparing to? It seems to be better than Great Lakes, Transstates, Gulfstream and in some respects better than American Eagle.

You have to consider that Mesa pilots fly 13 "months" a year - that is 13x28 day bid periods, so they get paid an extra month. Evens it out a bit.

I have a friend at Mesa and he says he loves knowing that every other friday there will be a paycheck deposited in his account. He was at another airline before where they paid twice a month. He didn't like that.
"He was at another airline before where they paid twice a month"

You mean like every other job in the country? God forbid.
I really dont care to Mesa bash...But their hourly wages and items of QOL are below all other regionals out there. I havent looked at the b1900 #'s but their RJ rates are really poor.
John Tenney and I had some long discussions about Mesa pay a couple of months ago. The way I ran the numbers, their pay was still sub par even factoring in the extra pay period.

You can check out the Mesa contract at and run the numbers for yourself, or do a search for our posts on the subject.
Did anyone get the point of this post. It had nothing to do with MESA. If an airline is starting a new hub with 100 pilots, the pilots have to come from somwhere. That means they have to hire new pilots.