Alaska Air evaluating Q400 operations in Alaska

Washington DC
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Alaska Airlines is evaluating whether to base a fleet of Bombardier Q400s at its hub in Anchorage, Alaska, as it continues to look for expansion opportunities.

Brandon Pedersen, chief financial officer of the group, says that it is in the early stages of evaluating such an operation, during an earnings call today. Such a move would necessitate acquiring more Q400s for the fleet of Alaska-subsidiary Horizon Air, he adds.

It would be the first time that Horizon has operated any feed for its parent company in Alaska.

Horizon operated 50 Q400s for Alaska under a capacity purchase agreement as of 30 September and will have 48 by the end of the year, according to an investor update today. It has options for 10 additional Q400s with deliveries from 2013 to 2015.

Alaska has codeshare agreements with regional carriers Era Aviation and Pen Air in the state.

Alaska has recently trimmed its capacity into and out of its namesake state, in a move that executives say is just "shoring up" its operations there.

The airline announced a second seasonal daily flight between Los Angeles and Anchorage for the peak season during the second and third quarter of 2013, earlier in October.