Northern Pacific Airways: New Alaska-Primarily based Airline

In August 2021, the small print of a brand new airline startup in the US have been formally revealed. This may simply be essentially the most artistic and weird airline startup we’ve seen in the US in a very long time.

I’ve been questioning whether or not this airline will really turn into a actuality, and it’s more and more wanting like it would. The airline has acquired Boeing 757s, and even held a media occasion yesterday sharing extra particulars of launch plans. On this put up I needed to go over what we all know in regards to the new airline.

Ravn Alaska is a regional airline

Ravn Alaska is a regional airline in Alaska that has traditionally partnered with Alaska Airways to supply service in smaller markets. In April 2020, shortly after coronavirus shut down the world, the airline suspended operations and filed for Chapter 11 chapter.

Luckily by November 2020, Ravn Alaska was in a position to resume operations, as some traders bought Ravn Alaska’s property, and bought the operation up and working once more. A brand new CEO was appointed, and the airline is even trying to the long run, and has signed a letter of intent to amass 50 hybrid-electric plane (whether or not or not that really occurs is a distinct story).

Ravn Alaska electrical plane rendering (can we get some home windows please?!)

Past that, Ravn Alaska is wanting a wholly new course to develop.

Particulars of Alaska’s Northern Pacific Airways

Ravn Alaska CEO Rob McKinney has revealed every kind of particulars about Northern Pacific Airways, a brand new lengthy haul airline being deliberate by the administration of Ravn Alaska. The airline intends to be a protracted haul airline that may use Anchorage as a hub to attach factors in the US with factors in Asia.

Northern Pacific Airways is actually trying to deliver the Icelandair enterprise mannequin to Alaska, within the sense that it will likely be turning a geographically advantageous place right into a hub. The airline additionally plans to supply stopover packages, to permit folks to go to Alaska. This might come within the type of simply staying in Anchorage for a few nights, or connecting on Ravn Alaska to elsewhere within the state.

Let’s cowl a few of the key particulars of the airline.

Northern Pacific Airways fleet

Northern Pacific Airways will function a fleet of ETOPS Boeing 757-200s. There are many secondhand Boeing 757s in the marketplace, so the airline was in a position to purchase these with out taking up a lot debt. The airline plans to proceed to extend the dimensions of its fleet earlier than launching passenger flights, with the objective of initially having a dozen planes.

To begin, Northern Pacific Airways has acquired six former American Airways Boeing 757s, that are a median of about 25 years outdated. American Airways lately retired its total Boeing 757 fleet as a result of pandemic.

Northern Pacific Airways is buying former American 757s

The Boeing 757-200 has a most takeoff weight of 255,000 kilos, and might transport over 200 passengers, with a spread of slightly below 4,000 nautical miles.

In the long term, Northern Pacific Airways is contemplating buying newer and extra gas environment friendly slender physique plane, just like the Airbus A321XLR or Boeing 737 MAX.

Northern Pacific Airways locations

Northern Pacific Airways intends to attach Asia and the “decrease 48” United States through Anchorage. Particularly, the airline will use the underutilized north terminal at Ted Stevens Anchorage Worldwide Airport (ANC).

Whereas actual locations are topic to alter, right here’s what the deliberate cities are as of now:

  • In Asia, Northern Pacific Airways plans to fly to Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, and Seoul
  • In the US, Northern Pacific Airways plans to fly to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, and San Francisco
Northern Pacific Airways’ potential routes

Northern Pacific Airways launch date

Presently Northern Pacific Airways is hoping to launch operations earlier than the top of 2022. The airline is hoping to launch within the third quarter, however that appears extremely optimistic at this level, so the fourth quarter appears more likely.

Personally I’d be shocked if the airline really began flying in 2022, given how a lot goes into launching a world airline.

Northern Pacific Airways passenger expertise

Whereas the precise cabin format hasn’t but been revealed, Northern Pacific Airways plans to have premium financial system, additional legroom financial system, and financial system. Under you’ll be able to see the seats that Northern Pacific Airways has chosen.

There may even be a lounge at Anchorage Airport, presumably for premium financial system passengers (or one thing).

Northern Pacific Airways livery

Credit score the place credit score’s due, Northern Pacific Airways’ livery is beautiful, for my part. This may simply be one in all my new favourite airline liveries on the market. I like the eye to element, from the black border across the cockpit home windows, to the splash of shade on the winglets. The 757 is such a glossy airplane, and I feel that is my favourite 757 livery so far.

Am I the one one who’s a fan of this paint job?

Northern Pacific Airways livery
Northern Pacific Airways livery
Northern Pacific Airways livery
Northern Pacific Airways livery

My tackle Northern Pacific Airways

As an aviation geek I like the idea of this airline:

  • Anchorage in idea has nice geography as a transpacific hub, and if I have been to construct a pretend airline in some type of a simulated sport the place cash is not any object, I’d completely launch an Anchorage-based Emirates, only for giggles (in fact that’s totally different than this, which will probably be a low price provider)
  • Again within the day Alaska Airways flew to Russia and past, and I’d love a lot if that sort of service nonetheless existed (once more, just because I’m an avgeek and the routemap would look cool)
  • On the plus aspect, I think about these Boeing 757s are being acquired for little or no; any airline startup proper now has the large benefit of there being a lot of obtainable used plane
  • Not less than seasonally there’s an enormous vacationer marketplace for Alaska, and there’s not a lot direct service from Asia, or from non-hubs within the decrease 48
Alaska Airways used to function some transpacific flights from Alaska

That being mentioned, I can’t wrap my head round this in any other case:

  • Alaska is a extremely seasonal vacationer vacation spot, so whereas the airline might in all probability make cash a couple of months of the yr, how will Northern Pacific Airways fill planes within the winter? Sure, there’s some winter tourism as effectively, however in all probability not sufficient to maintain an airline like this
  • For these simply connecting, I don’t perceive the advantage to this enterprise mannequin; airfare from Los Angeles to Seoul or San Francisco to Tokyo is already very moderately priced, with tons of competitors and nonstop choices, so how low will Northern Pacific Airways’ pricing be to persuade folks to accept a worse product and connecting itinerary?

There’s a key distinction between this and Icelandair — Icelandair connects every kind of metropolis pairs that in any other case can’t be served nonstop (for instance, Denver to Oslo, Seattle to Bergen, and Vancouver to Helsinki, simply to call a couple of). In the meantime with a couple of exceptions right here, most markets are already very effectively served.

So yeah, this idea will probably be superior for individuals who desire a stopover in Alaska, or who wish to go to Alaska. However I don’t view that as a sustainable, year-round enterprise mannequin.

Backside line

Regional airline Ravn Alaska is launching a brand new airline, which will probably be named Northern Pacific Airways. The airline will fly from Anchorage to each Asia and the decrease 48 with Boeing 757s, utilizing a low price enterprise mannequin. The plan is for operations to launch earlier than the top of 2022.

The airline is transferring ahead with its plans. Six Boeing 757s have already been bought, and the primary plane is in its full livery. We even have extra particulars about what to anticipate by way of the onboard product and extra.

As a lot because the avgeek aspect of me loves this, I don’t see the place the market is for this, past summer season seasonal demand. I’m positive the airline might get its prices actually low, however nonetheless, what occurs exterior of summer season?

What do you make of Northern Pacific Airways?

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