Northern Pacific Airways moves closer to connecting Anchorage to Asia

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 8:14 PM AKDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2021 at 12:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -It’s a busy time for Rob McKinney. Not only does he oversee Ravn Alaska as CEO, but he’s also trying to get another airline off the ground.

Northern Pacific Airways would provide the first non-stop service from Anchorage to Asia in several decades.

“It’ll be Seoul (South Korea), Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka (Japan),” McKinney said. The number of cities is double the amount announced back in July.

The new airline already purchased its first Boeing 757, which can seat up to around 150 passengers.

“We’ll take delivery at the end of this month and then it heads into the shop to get it refreshed and get all of the inspections required,” said McKinney. “From there it heads into the paint shop. We should see the first actual Boeing sitting on the ramp out here in December.”

Northern Pacific Airways, according to McKinney, has already signed a deal to buy a second 757, and is working with IcelandAir to get the other 10 jets that will make up the airline that would be based out of the North Terminal at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

The new carrier would be operated separately from Ravn, and be part of its parent company, FLOAT Shuttle, which operates air service around southern California.

Passengers, according to McKinney, may not have to wait too long to fly the new airline.

“We’re targeting right now hopefully somewhere at the end of second quarter next year, the beginning of third quarter next year,” McKinney said.

Northern Pacific Airways is in the process of getting federal approval to start service so people may have a faster way to travel between Alaska and Asia.

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