Ravn Alaska (7H, Anchorage Ted Stevens) plans to launch a separate brand called Northern Pacific Airways (Anchorage Ted Stevens) and acquire ten more aircraft to provide services to Asia and the continental United States, says chief executive Rob McKinney.

This would be a big departure for the regional airline that, to date, has specialised in serving small Alaskan communities.

In a YouTube video this week, followed by an interview with Alaska’s News Source, McKinney said preliminary plans were for a low-cost carrier operating from the North Terminal of Anchorage Ted Stevens. He said Ravn would purchase narrow-body B757s jets for flights to Tokyo and Seoul in Asia, and to Orlando, Las Vegas, the New York area, and Oakland and Ontario, California.

“When we see the entire North Terminal sitting there completely unused, it just occurs to us that if it’s not that far out of the way, we can reach more points,” McKinney said. “We can do it with a lower cost, and then people transitioning into the United States can clear customs and immigration here with maybe 150 other people, versus standing in queues of hours and hours with thousands of other people. It really could be a desirable trip.”

McKinney said Ravn was looking to Icelandair (FI, Reykjavik Keflavik), and how the company did “such a good job turning [Reykjavik Keflavik,] Iceland into a connector between Europe and North America. We believe that Anchorage sits perfectly to be able to replicate that exact same model, to be able to connect Asia travellers with North America,” he said.

Ravn's operations are currently restricted to domestic Alaskan flights wherein it connects Kenai and Homer on the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage, to more remote communities like Dutch Harbor, Aniak, and Dillingham.

The airline’s core assets were sold after RavnAir Group filed for bankruptcy last year amid financial hardships worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. They were bought by FLOAT, and under new ownership, Ravn Alaska restarted limited state-wide service with several DHC-8-100s. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the airline has 10 of the type, of which three are leased from Avmax Aircraft Leasing.

McKinney said the plan was in the early stages: “I’m just now in the process of bringing the team together that’s going to really start working and digging into this, and has the technical expertise to pull this off…it’s an idea right now.”

He said pursuing expanded service through Northern Pacific Airways wouldn’t affect Ravn or its current service to Alaskans. “We’re firmly committed to our communities,” he said. “We really believe that we’re doing a great job taking care of them, and we’re going to continue to do that.”