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Old 04-15-2018, 07:25 PM   #1  
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Default Is Horizon a Stable Place to Go?

Hey Everyone,

I know people are going to give me a lot of crap for making this thread but I wanted to see what people's thoughts were on this topic.

I'm currently in the process of looking at certain regionals to go to. I've always liked Horizon because I've always heard from pilots that it was a great regional to go to for a long time. However, it seems that in the past year, things have changed. To me, it appears that AAG is giving many routes (specifically what would be 175 routes) to SKW and with the slow but sure retirements of the Q, the stability of Horizon seems to have taken a turn.

Mentors of mine who work at mainline carriers have said that when choosing a regional, the most important thing to consider is stability. If the industry took a ****** tomorrow, would the carrier you're working for be able to survive? Horizon is one of the longest reigning WOs and one of the longest reigning regionals in the industry, but it now seems that AAG is turning their head away from Horizon and more to SKW.

My question(s) is: Do you think AAG has a plan to keep Horizon as a regional for Alaska? Do you think AAG has any plans to sell Horizon? If something happened in the next few months (economy went down again, another 9/11, etc.) based on the current conditions of Horizon, do you think they'd survive? Ultimately, even with the massive amount of hiring at the majors, if you had to get stuck at a regional for 10+ years or make a career at a regional, do you think Horizon is a good choice and do you think the company would even make it another ten years?

I know none of us have a crystal ball and many of my questions are future based questions but I'm just wondering on your respective opinion.

Thank you in advance for your response!
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:15 PM   #2  
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Hey Everyone,

I know people are going to give me a lot of crap for making this thread but I wanted to see what people's thoughts were on this topic.

I'm currently in the process of looking at certain regionals to go to. I've always liked Horizon because I've always heard from pilots that it was a great regional to go to for a long time. However, it seems that in the past year, things have changed. To me, it appears that AAG is giving many routes (specifically what would be 175 routes) to SKW and with the slow but sure retirements of the Q, the stability of Horizon seems to have taken a turn.

Mentors of mine who work at mainline carriers have said that when choosing a regional, the most important thing to consider is stability. If the industry took a ****** tomorrow, would the carrier you're working for be able to survive? Horizon is one of the longest reigning WOs and one of the longest reigning regionals in the industry, but it now seems that AAG is turning their head away from Horizon and more to SKW.

My question(s) is: Do you think AAG has a plan to keep Horizon as a regional for Alaska? Do you think AAG has any plans to sell Horizon? If something happened in the next few months (economy went down again, another 9/11, etc.) based on the current conditions of Horizon, do you think they'd survive? Ultimately, even with the massive amount of hiring at the majors, if you had to get stuck at a regional for 10+ years or make a career at a regional, do you think Horizon is a good choice and do you think the company would even make it another ten years?

I know none of us have a crystal ball and many of my questions are future based questions but I'm just wondering on your respective opinion.

Thank you in advance for your response!

Stable?? It's practically ossified. If you want to move at a glacial pace, there are few places better. Personally, if I had to be stuck at a regional for the next ten years, Horizon would definitely be my number two option, right after seppuku.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:43 AM   #3  
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Stable?? It's practically ossified. If you want to move at a glacial pace, there are few places better. Personally, if I had to be stuck at a regional for the next ten years, Horizon would definitely be my number two option, right after seppuku.
Do you fly for Horizon Excargodog?
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:56 AM   #4  
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Do you fly for Horizon Excargodog?
Nope. But a friend and neighbor was a ten year FO there.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:22 AM   #5  
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Nope. But a friend and neighbor was a ten year FO there.
Those days are long gone. Unless its by choice.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:26 AM   #6  
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Pilotlyfe:

I wouldn't plan to make a career at ANY regional, just because so few of them survive more than about twenty years. Do some research, find a place with decent pay and work rules. Avoid commuting. Get a few thousand hours of Part 121 SIC and PIC experience and move on to a major.

About twenty years ago, I was working for a Part 135 company (that no longer exists). My friends at the freight company went to work for ASA, Mesaba, Continental Express, Trans States, and the "old" American Eagle. Most of these companies no longer exist or have changed so much as to be unreckonizable.

The biggest hazard to Horizon's continued existence is a major accident or incident. Not the answer you expected? Most regionals are good for about one accident (see Colgan). Some other "bad" outcomes include: Alaska gets bought out (say, by Delta), or Alaska decides to get out of the regional airline business.

As Excargodog says, life at Horizon moves at a glacial pace. I don't see Horizon going away in the next three to four years. SkyWest and Compass will still be around as well. If you want to work here, then apply.

Last edited by DashAviator; 04-16-2018 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:46 AM   #7  
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Nope. But a friend and neighbor was a ten year FO there.
And my neighbor was a PE Teacher.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that Horizon moves at a glacial pace. The facts are that FOs are getting awarded Captain bids as soon as they meet part 121 mins, some of them while they are still in FO initial (slow, right!). The seniority list has also grown about 25% (bar napkin math) in the last 3 years, and the fleet will/should stabilize around 60 airframes. The only thing I can see being "glacial" is if you wan to move on to big alaska, which I guess would take around 5 years with the pathways program.

The downside, it's frustrating seeing flying that should be ours given to Skywest, plain and simple. But I don't think that is any indication the AAG is going to cut the cord on QX.

BL, if you want to fly and have a guaranteed upgrade in a PNW domicile, Horizon is not a bad choice. If you want to get to Alaska as soon as humanly (or inhumanly) as possible, you might want to look elsewhere.

My 2 pennies.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:15 PM   #8  
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You're correct in saying that Horizon is a happenin' place from the standpoint of hiring and upgrades. I think the phrase "glacial" still applies to the company culture. Some companies have been described as "nimble" and "adaptable"... Horizon isn't one of them.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:09 PM   #9  
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And my neighbor was a PE Teacher.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that Horizon moves at a glacial pace.
How did this become about your neighbor the PE teacher? Or even about my neighbor?

The dude asked for a REGIONAL airline where he can be assured of being employed FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS in an era when the majors are already hiring from the regionals at an unprecedented rate, where even senior regional FOs are getting hired by LCCs (and a few even by legacies) without even TPIC time, and when age-related retirements in the majors will continue to climb for the next five years.

HE was the one seeking a guarantee that he could move his career along at a glacial pace (by current day standards) and be assured of ten years work at Horizon. Based on the experience of my neighbor, I was simply assuring him that he could. Or do you have information that Horizon is about to institute some up-or-out policy now to discourage lifers?
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:26 AM   #10  
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At the end of the day, Horizon makes a ton of money for Air Group (and allows them to pull off some creative accounting and tax gimmicks), so getting rid of Horizon makes zero financial sense for AAG.

While it's true that Skywest has picked up a lot of flying that should go to Horizon, Air Group needs two airlines to play against each other when various contracts come up, so it's difficult to see a situation where they'd go entirely to outsourced regional flying.
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