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A Horizon Air Q400 (Photo: Alaska Airlines)

Horizon Air Works to Remedy Continued Cancellations, Hires Two New Executives

In a move to combat continued flight cancellations due to a pilot shortage, Seattle-based carrier Horizon Air, which is a subsidiary of the Alaska Air Group, has selected two individuals to take on more leadership in the organization. Captain John Hornibrook will take the lead as the new Vice President for Flight Operations, while Brooke Vatheuer will become the new Vice President of Finance and Planning.

Hornibrook will be in charge of Horizon’s 700 line pilots and the system operation center. He has been an Alaska Airlines pilot for 26 years and has 16,000 hours of flight time. The most recent position that Hornibrook held was as the managing director of flight operations for Virgin America, overseeing the integration with Alaska Airlines which purchased the airline earlier this year.

During his time as Chief Pilot and managing director of the line pilots at Alaska, he was in charge of over 1,800 pilots across four bases in Anchorage, Alaska, and the West Coast. 

In a statement from a press release, Horizon Air President and CEO David Campbell said: “John’s transformative leadership style, safety mindset and ability to work collaboratively between management and union leadership, make him extremely well-suited to lead flight operations at Horizon. His vast industry knowledge will strengthen our efforts to hire and retain the best pilots and position the company for success for years to come.”

Vatheuer, Horizon’s new lead for financial planning and analysis, will also be focused on leading and improving forecasting, business strategy and execution, process management, process improvement and employee communications. Vatheuer most recently worked as a managing director at Alaska which in charge of overseeing internal audit and enterprise risk management.  

Before working for Alaska Airlines, Vatheuer had served as an auditor for Deloitte, a global public account firm.

Campbell stated: “Brooke has proven to be a rising star, Her strong command of the financial and operational drivers of our airlines, coupled with her ability to roll-up her sleeves to understand issues and opportunities, will be invaluable as we take time to reset our operations and better position Horizon for consistent performance and sustainable growth.”

The addition of the two new leaders comes at a critical time for the airline, as it has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights due to a pilot shortage for its regional aircraft. In an effort to get ahead of potential disruptions, Horizon has already cancelled flights for 17,000 additional passengers throughout the summer, but has been able to rebook all of them on flights during the same time frame.


  • Tomos has had a keen interest in aviation for over 10 years and 4 years ago he decided to take it to the next level. He currently holds a private pilot's license and is working towards his commercial license.

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