Alaska Air Group Inc. unit Horizon Air has agreed to buy 30 three-class Embraer E175 jets, in a deal valued at $2.8 billion. The order includes 33 options and is the airline's biggest since it was founded in 1981, according to a statement. The jets will expand the Portland-based carrier's fleet of Bombardier Q400 turobprops, it said. Horizon plans to start using the jets exclusively for Alaska Airlines under a capacity purchase agreement that will launch in Spring 2017. The jets "will allow the carrier to fly 'long, thin routes' -- destinations that are too distant for a turboprop, but currently don't have enough customer demand to fill a mainline jet," said the statement. Alaska Air last week won the bidding for Virgin America over rival Jetblue Airways Corp. in a deal with an equity value of $2.6 billion. Shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but are down 2.5% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 is down 0.1%.
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