Horizon Air has appointed a veteran Alaska Airlines pilot as its new vice president of flight operations. He’ll have to deal with a continuing crisis of flight cancellations stretching through November due to a pilot shortage.
As regional airline Horizon Air faces a continuing crisis of flight cancellations stretching through November due to a pilot shortage, the airline has appointed a veteran Alaska Airlines pilot as its new vice president of flight operations.
Capt. John Hornibrook will oversee Horizon’s 700 line pilots and system operations center.
Horizon Air president and CEO David Campbell in a statement Friday praised Hornibrook’s “leadership style, safety mindset and ability to work collaboratively between management and union leadership.”
“His vast industry knowledge will strengthen our efforts to hire and retain the best pilots,” Campbell said.
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Since June, Horizon has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights because it doesn’t have enough pilots to fly its fleet of Bombardier Q400 turboprops aircraft.
Alaska Air has developed a plan to use Alaska Airlines 737s as well as CRJ regional jets from outside contractor SkyWest to plug the holes in its Horizon schedule until December.
By then, it expects to have two classes of newly trained pilots ready to fly.
Hornibrook is a 26-year Alaska Airlines pilot. Most recently, he served as managing director of flight operations at Virgin America, overseeing integration efforts with Alaska.
As system chief pilot and managing director of line flying at Alaska for five years, he oversaw more than 1,800 line pilots across four bases along the West Coast and Anchorage.
He also held prominent positions in the Alaska Airlines pilot union, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), as a council committee chairman and chairman of ALPA’s Air Safety and Training committees.
Hornibrook takes over from Brad Lambert, who stepped down at the beginning of August. Lambert announced his departure internally in July, telling staff he is taking a new position elsewhere.
Horizon also announced that Brooke Vatheuer has been appointed vice president of finance and planning. A 10-year Alaska Air veteran, most recently Vatheuer served as managing director at Alaska, overseeing internal audit and enterprise risk management for both Alaska and Horizon.