Walla Walla is ready for jets

By on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – When Horizon Air completes its transition of fleet aircraft to all-Embraer E175 jets by the end of 2023, Walla Walla Regional Airport will be ready. By the end of next year, Horizon Air will no longer operate the twin-turboprop Bombardier Q400.

Airport Manager Jennifer Skoglund said accommodating the regional jets have been listed in the airport’s master plan for quite some time.

“Infrastructure improvements are built around this aircraft as it had been identified as the future aircraft,” Skoglund said.

The Alaska Air Group, which owns and operates the mainline carrier, Alaska Airlines, and the regional carrier, Horizon Air, announced late last week that it plans to accelerate the transition of its fleet by the end of next year. Aside from Horizon Air phasing out the use of turboprop aircraft, Alaska Airlines will transition to an all-Boeing-737 fleet. As the fleet grows, the Alaska Air Group said this transition will bring reduced maintenance costs and better fuel efficiency.

As for how the regional jet compares to the turboprop, Skoglund said the seating capacity remains unchanged at 76 passengers, but the jet does have a first-class cabin. According to Horizon Air, inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi are also available for everyone onboard. Skoglund said she’s excited to see the regional jets get rolled out by Horizon Air.