US supply chain solutions provider Ascent Global Logistics is trying to sell its holding of defunct Alaskan regional carrier Hageland Aviation Services (Saint Mary's) - therefore, its attempt to restart the carrier under a different brand should be dismissed.

This is according to a second motion filed on August 9, 2021, by Everts Air Alaska (5V, Fairbanks International) with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to have Hageland’s certificates of public convenience and necessity revoked and its application to resume operations dismissed. Its first motion on April 20, 2021, had not been ruled upon, but Everts Air asserted that “recent events have shown that dismissal is the only reasonable way to proceed with the Hageland application”.

Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service (Fairbanks International) ceased all services on April 4, 2020, when their parent company, RavnAir Group, declared bankruptcy. The companies have been dormant for just over 16 months. As reported, Ascent Global Logistics in late November 2020 acquired defunct Hageland. On January 7, 2021, an application was filed with the DOT to reactivate Hageland under a new brand - Rambler Air (Anchorage Lake Hood SPB) - but using the existing Hageland Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) and operator's licence (OL).

Everts Air Alaska argued that Hageland’s application was inappropriate for recertification under the law as Hageland had been dormant for more than 12 months, and income statements submitted had not met the legal requirements under 14 CFR Part 204 of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

Moreover, Ascent Global Logistics/Rambler Air had stated it would not operate Hageland and was looking to sell the airline. Three key Hageland executives listed in the application were associated with Ascent Global Logistics, “which we now know will not operate Hageland, and in fact, has a letter of intent to sell to an unnamed party”, Everts Air stated, arguing it was therefore doubtful that these managers would be retained. They were president and chief financial officer Tom Stenglein, vice president (finance and purchasing) Thomas Breen, and tax director and secretary Bryan Kamm.

In response to Everts Air's first motion to dismiss filed in April, Hageland had requested a 45-day extension to July 1, 2021, to file the requested data. On June 15, it requested another 45 days until August 6, 2021. However, on July 26, the DOT was notified by Ascent that it would not operate Hageland and was looking for a buyer. Ascent said it had a letter of intent, which was filed with the DOT.

“A certificate of public convenience and necessity is not like a bearer bond, which can be used for whatever purposes desired by the current owner. The ability to operate is conditioned by all the Department’s economic regulations, especially 14 CFR Part 204. Having a potential buyer is irrelevant for the purposes of dormancy. As most Alaskans will tell you, having a fish on the line is not the same as having dinner on the table,” Everts Air asserted.

“Simply filing a notice to resume operations is not sufficient. Ascent/Rambler must have been found fit by April 5, 2021, and it was not. Revocation of the Hageland certificate is the only legal option open to the Department,” it said.

"While the Rambler application was styled as a notice to resume operations of Hageland Aviation, the (US) Bankruptcy Court has ruled that (the) buyer of the Hageland assets is not a corporate successor to Hageland. The buyer is not holding itself out as a continuation of Hageland, and the transaction is not a consolidation or merger. The only way for the buyer of Hageland’s assets to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity is through an original application."

Everts Air also argued for the DOT to revoke the certification of dormant Frontier Flying Service.