Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Horizon suspends L.A. flights


Horizon Air has announced it will drop its daily, seasonal airline service between Friedman Memorial Airport and Los Angeles this summer because of a shortage of aircraft.

"Summer is our busiest travel season and puts the most demand on our fleet," said Dan Russo, Horizon's vice president of marketing and communications.

The Fly Sun Valley Alliance, a consortium of business interests that seeks to promote air service to and from Blaine County, offered subsidies to retain the Los Angeles flights. Nonetheless, Horizon officials said the company could not spare any aircraft for the route.

Horizon will continue to provide daily, year-round service from Sun Valley to Seattle. As of March 30, the Seattle-Sun Valley route will convert to the planned "slack season" schedule.

Because of the lack of aircraft, the spring schedule for Seattle flights will continue through the summer and fall, Horizon officials said.

Jack Sibbach, director of marketing for Sun Valley resort and a member of the Fly Sun Valley Alliance, said the group will continue to work with Horizon to resume the daily flights between Los Angeles and Friedman for the 2009-10 winter season. The group will also pursue contracts for air service to other destinations, he said.

"It is a key to our long-term sustainability as a community," Sibbach said.

The Los Angeles flight service commenced in December 2002. It has continued since then on a seasonal basis, with the service often guaranteed through subsidies.

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