Wednesday, November 17, 2004

California flights to resume in one month

Sun Valley Co. providing revenue guarantee to Horizon Air

Express Staff Writer

With financial backing from Sun Valley Co., Seattle-based Horizon Air next month will resume operating direct flights between the Wood River Valley and California's two largest urban areas.

Starting on Dec. 16, Horizon will offer daily, non-stop flights that will carry passengers between Friedman Memorial Airport and major airports in Los Angeles and Oakland. The two routes are scheduled to be in service through April 3.

The Horizon flight schedule includes one round trip each day between Hailey and the two California cities. Both routes will be serviced by 70-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft, which were used last winter to service the two Hailey-to-California routes.

The scheduled flights are:

· Hailey to Los Angeles, departing at 7:30 a.m. and arriving at 8:55 a.m.

· Los Angeles to Hailey, departing at 9:30 a.m. and arriving at 12:50 p.m.

· Hailey to Oakland, departing at 5:45 p.m. and arriving at 6:45 p.m.

· Oakland to Hailey, departing at 7:25 p.m. and arriving at 10:20 p.m.

The California flights will be backed by revenue guarantees that will require Sun Valley Co. to reimburse Horizon for any losses incurred in maintaining the daily routes.

Through a similar agreement last winter, Sun Valley was required to pay Horizon approximately $194,000 in subsides.

Last winter, Horizon carried 13,167 passengers between Hailey and the two California cities. Occupancy of seats on the two routes combined was approximately 50 percent.

The revenue guarantees have been provided by Sun Valley Co. to ensure easy access to Sun Valley Resort from major Western markets. In past years, visitors to Sun Valley have complained the resort is difficult to reach.

In addition to the subsidized California flights, Horizon this winter will continue to operate regular non-stop flights between Hailey and Seattle.

Utah-based SkyWest Airlines offers several daily, non-stop flights between Hailey and Salt Lake City.

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