For the week of June 17 thru June 23, 1998  

Horizon wants larger jets

Express Staff Writer

Horizon Air hopes to fly the Fokker F28 jet into Sun Valley next winter, Horizon director of marketing and planning Pat Zachwieja said during the annual Sun Valley meeting.

"We expect 1998 to be the best year we’ve ever had," he said, adding that Horizon has made significant changes in its route structure and operation.

Last year, Horizon made Seattle its "super-hub," and cut its fleet to two types of planes, the DeHavilland Dash 8 and the Fokker F28.

In discussing Horizon’s operation into Sun Valley, he said:

"It’s very, very difficult to make money flying into Sun Valley in a Dash 8."

He reported operating the Fokker F28 into Sun Valley was a more profitable venture because it’s a 50-plus seat aircraft, as opposed to the 30-plus seat Dash 8.

Although 600 feet of additional runway would optimize F28 operation, the extension is two or three years into the future, said Friedman Memorial Airport manager Rick Baird.

Zachwieja said Horizon expects a similar percentage of diversions of the F28s to Twin Falls during the heart of winter, which is about 30 percent. Horizon will continue to offer busing between Sun Valley and Twin Falls, without asking customers to defray the cost, which Zachwieja called impractical.

Zachwieja said jet service fares during peak times of the year will be slightly lower than in the past, ranging from $93 to $225 each way.

"But, it’s a bit of a dart throw, we don’t want to squelch demand," he said. Flights were booked solid this slack season because of the low, $50 one-way, fares Horizon offered. "The question was how low do we have to go to fill these planes," he said.

The airline cut round-trip flights from Boise to Sun Valley last year, and now offers only one round-trip flight to Sun Valley, which is nonstop from Seattle, twice daily.


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