Horizon Air cuts some daily flights because of pilot shortage

Medford, Ore. — If you’re hoping to catch a Horizon Air flight out of Medford this summer, you may be out of luck. Several daily flights have been cut from the schedule – thanks to a staffing issue.

“Unfortunately, Horizon Air is faced with the same type of pilot shortage many other regional airlines across the country are facing,” said Bobbie Egan, spokesperson for Alaska Airlines.

Horizon Air – part of Alaska Air Group – has cut hundreds of flights nationwide, all because it doesn’t have enough pilots to fly its Q400 planes. The same plane that carries passengers in and out of the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport several times each day.

“What we did is we have six daily flights between Medford and Portland. We are removing one flight a day,” Egan said.

That means rather than six daily flights to Portland – the airport in Medford only has five from Horizon Air. The airline has also temporarily suspended the Medford to Los Angeles route. The suspension lasts from August 4 through September 3.

“These single kind of cancellations in some of our regional markets, we’ve chosen markets where we have a significant number of flights so that we can make that up in other airports,” Egan said.

The airline said it knows having itineraries change is a hassle, but it assures customers – it won’t last forever.

“Things are getting better – we have signed a new deal with our pilots and our union. So we are able to offer a really generous pay for our new pilots flying for horizon air – which is helping our recruitment,” Egan said.

As far as inconveniencing its customers, Horizon Air wants you to know it feels your pain.

“We realize that people have connecting flights and meetings and other events that they might need to get to. We’re absolutely being as flexible as we can,” Egan said.

The spokesperson for Alaska Airlines said passengers who have already booked tickets on rerouted flights should have been notified via email. If for any reason you’re still concerned about your itinerary, the airline said to give its reservations line a call at 1-800-252-7522.

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