ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — RavnAir Group plans to halt operations and temporarily lay off all remaining staff as a result of the COVID-19 virus, the company said.
Alaska’s largest regional carrier said it has lost 90% of passenger revenue due to the pandemic, KTUU-TV reports.
The decision to ground 72 aircraft affects the company’s three airlines including RavnAir Alaska, PenAir and RavnAir Connect.
The company had already announced plans late last month to temporarily cut 146 of about 1,300 jobs.
RavnAir Group will “temporarily lay off all remaining staff until the company is in a position to cover the costs of rehiring, resuming flights and operating to the many communities it serves throughout the state,” a spokesperson said in a statement Sunday.
The airlines serve more than 100 Alaska communities.
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 shutdown will allow RavnAir Group to “hit pause” and await information concerning its Federal CARES Act grant applications and other sources of financial assistance that could allow it to restart operations, the company said.
RavnAir Group says it has been in contact with other Alaska air carriers to help establish potential new or replacement air service.