RavnAir Alaska shuts down, enters Chapter 11

RavnAir Alaska, a regional carrier providing connectivity throughout the state of Alaska with a fleet of 72 aircraft, has entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and shut down with immediate effect.

The Anchorage-based airline holds out hopes of restarting operations once the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

RavnAir, which had a codeshare relationship with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, operated 3,000 flights a week to more than 110 destinations in Alaska from hubs in Anchorage (ANC), Aniak (ANI), Barrow (BRW), Bethel (BET), Fairbanks (FAI), Galena (GAL), Kotzebue (OTZ), Nome (OME), St. Mary’s (KSM) and Unalakleet (UNK).

In a state in which road transportation is difficult, RavnAir operated by far the most comprehensive travel network. Its fleet includes a mix of Saab 2000s (able to carry up to 45 passengers), De Havilland DHC-8-100s (37 passengers), Beechcraft 1900Cs (19 passengers), Piper PA31s (nine passengers), Cessna C207s (seven passengers) and Cessna C208s (nine passengers).

The Chapter 11 filing and shut down of operations were done so that the carrier “has a future,” RavnAir CEO Dave Pflieger said in a letter to customers posted on the airline’s websites. The moves will “give us time to hit pause while we seek federal CARES Act grants and other sources of financial assistance that will allow us to weather the coronavirus pandemic and emerge successfully once it has passed,” Pflieger said.

“How long we must wait is uncertain, but I want to assure you that everyone here at Ravn is doing everything possible to get back in the air very soon, so we can resume the vital air service you depend on to get home to your families, to your businesses, to medical appointments and to other duties that are essential to our communities and the state of Alaska," Pflieger said.

"For those of you who were scheduled to fly this week or in the weeks ahead, please accept my deepest apologies for this sudden, but vitally necessary, decision to cancel all flights until further notice.”

Photo credit: RavnAir

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.