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Horizon Air Prepares for Landing Gear Inspections, Following Manufacturer's Recommendation to Q400 Operators

9/12/2007 5:37 a.m.

SEATTLE — Responding to Bombardier Aerospace's recommendations following two Q400 landing gear failure incidents in Europe, Horizon Air is canceling a number of flights beginning today in order to allow for prompt inspections to take place.

Once inspection specifications for Q400 operators are received, Horizon will initiate its checks of certain Q400s. The inspections are purely precautionary, and limited to those Q400s with higher flight hours. Horizon, which has operated the Canadian-manufactured aircraft since 2001, has not experienced any Q400 issues like those the SAS-affiliated aircraft recently encountered.

"We realize--and greatly regret--that this proactive measure will result in inconvenience to many of our customers, as flights are canceled to allow for these unplanned inspections," said Jeff Pinneo, Horizon president and CEO. "Safety is, of course, our foremost consideration. Our teams are working around the clock, in conjunction with Bombardier, to complete the necessary inspections and return the affected aircraft to service as quickly as possible."

Flights will be reinstated once the inspections have been completed and affected aircraft returned to service. Horizon is in the process of contacting affected customers to reaccommodate them on other flights.

Horizon currently operates the Q400 high-speed turboprop in 74- and 76-seat configurations. Horizon operates two other aircraft types in its all-Bombardier fleet: 70-seat CRJ-700 regional jets and 37-seat Q200 turboprops.

Horizon serves 48 cities throughout California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and British Columbia and Alberta. Together, Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines serve 92 cities and are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK).