ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Airlines Inc. has partnered with a regional air carrier to help fill a hole in service to Western Alaska caused by the grounding of RavnAir Group’s fleet.
Alaska Airlines and Grant Aviation plan to provide twice-weekly scheduled service to Unalaska through Cold Bay beginning Saturday, The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday.
Several communities were left without regular air service after RavnAir Group cited the economic impact of the coronavirus and announced the company would halt operations April 5, laying off staff and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Regular passenger service between Anchorage, Dillingham and King Salmon, where Alaska Airlines has historically offered seasonal jet service, will also start earlier than usual this year, Alaska Airlines Regional Vice President Marilyn Romano said.
The first flights to the Bristol Bay hub communities are scheduled for Monday.
Dillingham, King Salmon and Unalaska-Dutch Harbor are three of the 115 communities across the state that were served by RavnAir and its subsidiary carriers.
Alaska Airlines had partnerships with RavnAir at various hubs and Romano said it is difficult to watch the company suffer largely as a result of the global health crisis.
“It’s hard to think about the 1,300 employees for Ravn that are currently out of work and I know they’re working hard still today, as far as I’ve been told, to see how they could possibly get their operation up and running,” Romano said.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.