WHY IT RATES: Since RavnAir Group, Alaska’s largest regional airline, shut down nearly all of its operations on April 2, 2020, filing for bankruptcy and laying off most of its remaining laborforce, Alaska Airlines is taking steps to help the state stay connected and extend employment to aviation workers.—Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
With the announcement on Sunday of RavnAir Alaska stopping all operations, Alaska Airlines expressed deep concern for the Ravn employees and communities in the state impacted by the news.
“Having served Alaska for 88 years, Alaska Airlines has a special appreciation for the unique reliance most Alaskan communities have on air service,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines chief executive officer. “During this difficult moment, our hope is that air carriers across Alaska will make every effort to ensure continuity of service to all the state’s remote communities. We are committed to working with those airlines, the Governor’s Aviation Advisory Board, Alaska Air Carriers Association, and the affected communities to connect Alaskans now and into the future.”
Given the impact to residents of the state caused by the Ravn service suspension, Alaska Airlines, which currently serves 19 communities in the state of Alaska, is announcing the following actions:
—Alaska will maintain service to all points it currently serves in the state.
—Alaska will continue service to Kodiak with its own aircraft.
—Alaska will move up its normal summer seasonal service to King Salmon and Dillingham, starting earlier than scheduled.
—In support of the communities in the Aleutian Islands, as well as the seafood industry, Alaska is working with partners and regulatory agencies to initiate service to Cold Bay with the intention of providing access to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. Service to Cold Bay will be with Alaska’s own aircraft.
—Alaska is working with the seafood industry and other key sectors of the state of Alaska economy on charter service to ensure critical workforce movements during this period of reduced air service.
—Alaska will review other markets impacted by the Ravn suspension of service to consider how best to support affected communities.
—Alaska Air Cargo, a unit of Alaska Airlines, is optimizing use of its 3 dedicated freighter aircraft in the state of Alaska to ensure medical supplies, groceries and other essential shipments are delivered during this period of reduced air service.
—While currently under a hiring freeze driven by the COVID-19 crisis, Alaska Airlines’ human resources group will nonetheless host a job fair for Ravn employees impacted by that company’s cessation of service. We will work to provide these experienced airline workers with support in seeking new employment, including connecting with other companies that may be hiring.
“We believe these are important steps that Alaska Airlines can take to support the infrastructure of the state of Alaska and ensure the people and communities of the state remain connected during this incredibly challenging time,” said Tilden.
For more information, visit alaskaair.com.
SOURCE: Alaska Airlines press release.
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