Congrats to everyone at Horizon for this wonderful recognition! Here is part of the announcement made on the QX Employee website:
"A message from Jeff Pinneo, president and CEO:
As you've heard by now, Air Transport World, our industry's leading publication, announced today that our airline has been named its Regional Airline of the Year for 2007. For this honor, we were chosen from among all regional airlines worldwide, not just those in North America.
This is truly a wonderful piece of recognition for all that we've accomplished together. And the timing simply couldn't have been better.
We've just concluded our 25th anniversary year, during which we celebrated our past achievements and reaffirmed all the special qualities and traditions that have been at the core of Horizon's success and longevity.
Throughout the year, we were reminded of how our story is absolutely unique in the industry. Since airline deregulation took effect in 1978, many other startup airlines have come and gone, a good portion of them in our service territory. Why have we prevailed in this most challenging of industries while others have failed?
I've been asked this many times, and my answer has never varied: It's all about you, Horizon's people both past and present, and the very special culture of resourcefulness, skill, professionalism and caring teamwork that together we've built over the years. It's been the many expressions of this culture, and the positive impressions they've left on our customers over the years, that have set us apart and ultimately earned you all this well-deserved recognition.
In announcing their Regional Airline of the Year award, the editors of ATW noted other qualities that make our airline exceptional. Among them were:
Our exemplary safety record.
Our superior commitment to customer service.
Our technological leadership through cockpit innovations and in introducing the Q400 and CRJ-700 to U.S. markets.
Our profitability during some of the most challenging times for the industry.
"Reflecting its founders' philosophy, it remains committed to its local communities and to delivering a safe, reliable and friendly product," notes ATW's article in the February issue. "Eschewing the no-frills model, it offers complimentary regional wines and microbrews to the more than 6.5 million passengers carried last year and provides free Starbucks coffee and copies of the Wall Street Journal in its boarding areas."
And then, interestingly, the ATW editors add, "Perhaps surprisingly in today's hubcentric environment, it connects just 30 percent of its passengers to big sister Alaska Airlines and in total barely over a third of its customers begin or end their journeys on another airline. The bulk of passengers are flying exclusively on Horizon, which plays a vital (and profitable) role in linking smaller cities and towns in the vast Pacific Northwest."
Contained in that is the answer to another question I've received often: Why is it that Alaska and Horizon have chosen to remain separate entities? The answer can be traced, once again, to you. Our brand is strong and preferred because of all you've done to give customers good reasons to prefer us. It complements the attractive brand and reputation that Alaska's people have built for their airline over the years. And together, the two combine to create a powerful Alaska Air Group story that is greater than the sum of the parts. While our harmonization flying and coordination efforts to date have proven to be very successful, maintaining our own separate but related brands remains a key element of our strategies for defending existing markets and expanding into new ones."