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Horizon orders 15 larger Dash 8 planes

Horizon Air announced plans Monday to acquire 15 new 70-seat Dash 8 Q400 turbobprop airplanes for $321 million from Bombardier Aerospace, but the new planes won't be landing in Medford anytime soon.

Delivery is slated to begin in August 2000. Horizon also took options on an additional 15 Q400 aircraft.

George Bagley, president and CEO of Horizon Air, said the new planes combine the comfort and speed of a jet with the economical operating costs of a turboprop. Horizon Air plans to use the new planes to replace older 37-seat Dash 8 Series 100 planes on some routes and supplement newer 37-seat Q200 aircraft on others.

Horizon spokeswoman Cheryl Temple said the airline has no plans to add the larger Q400 planes to its Medford service, reserving them for busier markets.