Ravn Air resumes service to Alaska

(Photo from Ravn Alaska)
(Photo from Ravn Alaska)(Ravn Alaska)
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 8:40 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - After halting operations earlier this year, Ravn is ready to start resuming flights to communities across Alaska.

Starting Friday and under new management, Ravn will start its public charter service between Anchorage and Sand Point, Unalaska, Homer, Kenai and Valdez.

The move to hit the skies again comes months after it was forced to stop operations.

In April the company, known then as RavnAir Group, announced that, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and loss of 90% of passenger revenue, it would be parking all 72 of its aircraft, stopping all operations and temporarily laying off all remaining staff.

Fast forward a couple of months and after declaring bankruptcy, RavnAir Group was sold and became Ravn Alaska.

In an August press release, the company announced it was re-hiring flight crews and coordinating training in anticipation of getting planes back into the air.

“While Ravn Alaska is entering a new and exciting chapter, it will continue to be an Alaska aviation company,” said Ravn Alaska CEO Rob McKinney in the August press release. “We are working as safely and as quickly as possible to get back to the skies, and are looking forward to our return as Alaska’s hometown airline servicing the vibrant communities who depend on us.”

Ravn Air gets ready to fly to Dutch Harbor. David Dock is going to visit family.

“I have to take little bush planes to areas around Dutch Harbor,” Dock said. “So, it’s much easier now.”

It’s not just passengers who are glad to have the airline back in service.

“Being at home for six months is not a thing for me,” Satueli Solomona, one of the more than 300 former employees rehired by the new Ravn."I’m always here at work, and I love working with people, and serving our customers."

Employees also have a new boss, Rob McKinney.

He’s one of the founders of California-based FLOAT Shuttle that bought Ravn in bankruptcy court in July.

“I know everyone’s had to wait a long time for Ravn to return, but here we are. Thanks for giving us a shot. We won’t disappoint you,” he said.

Even though Ravn Air has resumed limited service, it does not mean you can travel between those communities daily. The airline is limited to four round trips per week to those places.

“It can be all on the same day, or it can be spread out over the week, which is what we’re doing,” McKinney said.

Ravn is still waiting for final approval from federal regulators before it adds more daily flights and expands service to more communities.

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