JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska airline has made a purchase offer for another regional carrier whose parent company declared bankruptcy because of the economic impact of the coronavirus.
Alaska Seaplane Services LLC says it wants to buy Peninsula Airways Inc. and save the Southwest Alaska airline’s operating certificate, Alaska Public Media reported Sunday.
Juneau-based Alaska Seaplane Services, doing business as Alaska Seaplanes, declined comment on the amount of its offer to buy the air carrier certification of Peninsula Airways, known as PenAir, from owner RavnAir Group.
RavnAir cited a disruption of business caused by COVID-19 when the company announced in early April that it would halt operations, lay off staff and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
RavnAir’s management has tried to secure investment and federal aid to keep the company alive.
The move is not realistic and the best way to maximize the company’s value is to sell off assets in an orderly way, Alaska Seaplanes co-owner Ken Craford said.
“Ravn is dead,” Craford said. “And any chance at resurrecting it has passed, and any attempt to do so is a fool’s errand.”
The Alaska Seaplanes bid was made in collaboration with a Connecticut investment firm, Wexford Capital LP, that lost a 2018 bankruptcy auction for PenAir.
PenAir’s certificate allows scheduled service to destinations including Dillingham in Bristol Bay and Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands.
The operating certificate is PenAir’s primary asset because the company leases rather than owns its planes, Craford said.
He would not divulge the amount Alaska Seaplanes offered for the certificate.
If the certificate lapses, the cost to resurrect the airline will be far more expensive, he said.
“We have a very narrow window of opportunity here to have the Ravn bankruptcy end up being a pause, rather than a full stop,” Craford said.
RavnAir did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
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.