Northern Pacific Airways (Anchorage Ted Stevens) has announced it has rebranded to New Pacific Airlines in response to pending trademark litigation, but its operations will proceed uninterrupted.

"It is the right strategic move for our business, customers, the communities we serve, and most importantly, the more than 400 employees of our company," CEO Rob McKinney said in a statement. The rebranding would be effective upon approval of federal regulators.

McKinney declined further comment when approached by ch-aviation, citing "ongoing litigation".

One Mile at a Time news site reports that Texas-based rail operator BNSF Railway Company filed a lawsuit against Northern Pacific Airways in October 2022, claiming ownership of the Northern Pacific brand name. BNSF Railway Company's historical use of the Northern Pacific name dates back to 1893, despite its subsequent rebranding due to a merger. The railway company maintains rights to the Northern Pacific name, prompting the need for Northern Pacific Airways to change its branding.

The rebranding is already reflected on the airline's LinkedIn page, while its old branding has been removed from its website.

Several setbacks have hit the airline since its inception. COVID and the Ukraine war and resulting ETOPS limitations scuppered its initial plans to turn Anchorage Ted Stevens, Alaska, into a connecting hub between the continental US and Asia. Following several delays and strategising, the carrier eventually made its debut on July 14 with US domestic flights exclusively serving Ontario International in California and Las Vegas Harry Reid with one of its four B757-200s. It also planned charters in partnership with air charter broker Air Planning.

Last month, the airline defied critics by announcing the extension of its autumn schedule through October 2023, the introduction of two more B757-200s in December and March, and plans for a winter service to Mexico.