Save for a small label here and there on the fuselage, Horizon Air’s brand identity will soon be retired. Acquired in 1986 by the Alaska Air Group, Horizon was and will remain a separate entity, serving smaller airports and cities that may not have the volume to make mainline Alaska Airlines service profitable. But that stylized sun, gracing Horizon planes for the last 20 years, will be history by the end of the year.
I’ve never flown Horizon, but they are best known for the complimentary Northwest wine and microbrews served onboard their flights (350 daily flights to 45 destinations). Alaska assures us the alcohol will continue to flow freely, but I wonder for how long. I think customer confusion is bound to result from some Alaska flights featuring free liquor and others not. That will likely lead to the eventual phasing out of the free booze.
Why the change in branding? Two reasons. Alaska took over more Horizon operations early this year (scheduling, marketing and pricing) and the change also reflects the industry trend of branding regional affiliates with the mother carrier’s brand and logo.
For those already mourning the loss, the name Horizon will still appear, in a new color and in smaller type, on ex-Horizon aircraft:
photo courtesy: Alaska Airlines