Ravn Air is under new ownership, but will not be flying to Kodiak, at least not anytime soon.
The rural Alaska airline was sold to California-based operator FLOAT Shuttle a little over a month ago. Now under the name Ravn Alaska, the company hopes to start flying in early September, a press release said.
But none of Ravn Alaska’s nine planes will be coming to Kodiak, Chief Commercial Officer Dan Kitchens said.
“Right now the big focus is to get the airplanes in the air and get service out to the communities that have zero service,” Kitchens said.
“And then as we grow back to normal capacity then we can start looking at bringing Kodiak back into the mix.”
Since Kodiak already gets flights from Alaska Airlines, it wasn’t a priority right away. But it’s a bit more complicated than that. When the state and federal government stepped in with relief money to keep the old company running, they required it to fly to certain places, mostly rural areas without air service.
To save money, the company was allowed to apply for exemptions on some places. Kodiak was one of the places the old company applied to be exempt. The new company is still getting that assistance from the government, and the same commitments apply.
“In order for us to continue getting that assistance, the government is requiring us to continue to serve the locations Ravn was committed to serving,” Kitchens said.
With only nine aircraft, Ravn Alaska can’t fly to Kodiak and keep all those commitments, Kitchens said.
“We’ve had to make cuts to fit this all in,” he said.
Right now, Ravn Alaska plans on running flights to following destinations: Dutch Harbor, Cold Bay, Sand Point, St. Paul Island, Dillingham, King Salmon, Kenai, Homer, Valdez, Fairbanks, Deadhorse, McGrath, Aniak, Unalakleet, St. Mary’s and Bethel.
FLOAT Shuttle purchased Ravn Air’s two Part 121 certificates, basically licenses to fly commercial aircraft, and six of its airplanes in early July at a bankruptcy auction. The new company, Ravn Alaska, will lease three more of the planes.
Ravn Air had collapsed this spring after its passenger revenues dropped 90% following the COVID-19 outbreak. It grounded all its planes, laid off most of its staff, and filed for bankruptcy on April 5.