As Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air continue to grow, two talented executives, who have become strong leaders during their lengthy tenure at Alaska Air Group, have been promoted to key roles leading large teams in crucial customer-facing operational areas.
The Alaska Airlines board of directors has elected John Ladner as vice president of flight operations for Alaska Airlines. The Horizon Air board of directors has elected Brooke Vatheuer as senior vice president of operations and planning for Horizon Air.
Beginning March 1, Ladner will formally lead Alaska's flight operations division, which includes line flying operations; flight operations quality assurance; flight standards; pilot training; crew planning and scheduling; flight operations engineering; flight operations technical; and dispatch. In his role, he also ensures compliance with all relevant government regulations.
"We're excited to have John, a dedicated leader, longstanding Alaska employee, a pilot and flight standards expert, take on this important role leading our pilots and entire flight operations group. John has led our flight operations division on an interim basis for the past several months and has done a terrific job," said Ben Minicucci, Alaska's president and chief operating officer. "His understanding of our people, our operations, and our procedures for excellence and safety is outstanding."
Ladner is an active pilot with Alaska Airlines with a total flight time of more than 12,000 hours. He started as a first officer on the Boeing 737 in 1996 and took on new challenges over the years, including serving as a check airman, flight operations duty officer, Seattle base chief pilot and the managing director of operations for Alaska at Sea-Tac Airport. He represents Alaska Airlines on the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) in Washington, D.C. and on the Operations Council for Airlines for America. Ladner moves into this new role after serving as managing director of fleet, standards and operations control and director of operations since 2015.
Ladner holds a bachelor's degree from Central Washington University and serves on the CWU Aviation Advisory Board, and in 2014, he earned his MBA degree through the Executive Master of Business Administration program at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.
Vatheuer begins her new role immediately. As the senior vice president of operations and planning for Horizon Air, she'll oversee operational performance, lead strategic planning, and continue improving processes and collaboration at Horizon Air. She'll also partner with leaders at Alaska to manage the Capacity Purchase Agreement Horizon Air has with Alaska Airlines.
"Brooke brings a wealth of knowledge to this new position after many years at Alaska Airlines and, more recently, Horizon Air," said Gary Beck, president and CEO of Horizon Air. "Her background in audit and finance enables her to deeply understand our business and operations, and her expertise in analytics and strategic planning have already been essential to shaping Horizon's current financial and operational sustainability. I am excited to draw on these tremendous assets on an even broader scale moving forward."
Vatheuer started with Alaska in 2007 as an internal auditor, and quickly took on new positions and leadership roles in the following years, including managing director of audit programs. In 2017, she joined Horizon Air as the vice president of finance and planning.
Vatheuer earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Washington, as well as a master's degree of professional accounting. She remains a certified public accountant.
Alaska Airlines and its regional partners fly 44 million guests a year to more than 115 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 900 destinations worldwide. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America" in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study for 11 consecutive years from 2008 to 2018. Learn about Alaska's award-winning service at newsroom.alaskaair.com and blog.alaskaair.com. Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).