Planes Grounded After Landing Gear Problems


Sunday, September 16th 2007, 3:42 pm
By: News On 6


SEATTLE (AP) - Horizon Air said Sunday that it will return to 90 percent of normal operations this week, following several days of heavy cancellations while the company inspected its Bombardier Q-400 turboprops.

The airline issued a new schedule that will be in effect from Tuesday through Sept. 24, after which it hopes to resume normal operations.

Horizon canceled more than 120 flights Wednesday and Thursday and 97 on Friday, about one-fifth of its schedule, after landing-gear failures on two planes in Europe prompted Bombardier to order the grounding of all Q-400 planes with at least 10,000 flights.

``With safety as our foremost consideration, we're working diligently to respond to directives from the manufacturers and regulatory authorities as we receive them,'' said Jeff Pinneo, Horizon's president and chief executive officer. ``We remain focused on minimizing any inconvenience to our customers as we progress toward the restoration of our full flight schedule.''

Other airlines, including SAS, Qantas, Lufthansa, Flybe, All Nippon Airways and Japan Air Commuter also grounded Q-400 planes and canceled hundreds of flights worldwide.

Horizon flies 33 of the Bombardier turboprops and says it has not had any problems with its planes.

Horizon is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group Inc., whose Alaska Airlines has taken over some routes during the inspections. Horizon flies to 48 cities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, British Columbia and Alberta.