Northern Pacific Airways (Anchorage Ted Stevens) is branching off into charters, having announced a partnership with Air Planning, a large group air charter broker, using the startup's fleet of four B757-200s.

"We are starting charters as soon as we are issued OpsSpecs [Operations Specifications issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)]," confirmed Chief Executive Officer Rob McKinney.

He also confirmed the charters would be in addition to Northern Pacific Airways' planned debut of seasonal scheduled domestic flights from June 2 to July 30, 2023, between its maintenance base in Ontario International, east of Los Angeles, and Las Vegas Harry Reid, using one of its B757-200s.

McKinney explained the airline was still pursuing ETOPS [extended-range twin-engine operations performance standards] to fly to Asia. As reported, Northern Pacific Airways originally planned to connect the US with Northeast Asia via its home base in Anchorage Ted Stevens, Alaska. However, subsequent airspace closures following Russia's war on Ukraine meant it required ETOPS. This created a conundrum, where it could not apply for ETOPS until it started flying and couldn't start the regulatory process with Asian countries until it received FAA authority. Intermediate plans to hop over the border to Mexico from Ontario, California, have also been shelved.

Meanwhile, Northern Pacific Airways was tapping into opportunities for group charter flights where demand was at an all-time high, McKinney said. "Our fleet of B757s offers superior range with the ability to fly up to 6.5 hours non-stop. Our cargo capacity is perfect for sports teams, school groups, or organisations that need to travel with lots of gear. We are eager to tap into Air Planning's extensive network and expertise in the charter industry that will enable Northern Pacific Airways to provide seamless and efficient charter services to our customers."

In a related development, Northern Pacific Airways' sister company, Executive Express Aviation (EEA) trading as Ravn Connect, has submitted an application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorising interstate scheduled air transportation of persons, property, and mail. During the first year of operations, EEA plans to provide scheduled and charter services to select Alaska communities, including its base at Anchorage, with varying weekly service levels, using two nine-seater Beech 1900Ds, according to a regulatory filing. EEA is headquartered in Anchorage and currently specialises in providing cargo transport support to related company Ravn Alaska (Anchorage Ted Stevens).

EEA is an on-demand air taxi operator registered under Part 298 and operating under Part 135. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FLOAT Alaska, the indirect majority owner of Northern Pacific Airways. McKinney is the CEO and a board member of EEA. EEA currently has one leased Beech 1900D, which it acquired in 2022. It plans to lease an additional B1900D soon.

In 2019, FLOAT Shuttle (Burbank) Shuttle acquired EEA from Southern Airways Express (9X, Memphis International). FLOAT Alaska subsequently acquired EEA.