Northern Pacific Airways (7H, Anchorage Ted Stevens) plans to start scheduled service between the United States and Mexico with its B757-200s later this year, according to a regulatory filing with the US Department of Transportation( DOT).

Chief Executive Officer Rob McKinney explained to ch-aviation that nothing had changed on the original business plan to make Anchorage Ted Stevens a hub connecting North America with Asia (Japan and South Korea), initially using ACMI capacity, and subsequently with its own B757-200s and crews.

However, the startup was "running into some regulatory hurdles in Asia that is slowing the timeline", he explained. "We believe that it is important to keep the momentum we have to launch operations. Mexico from Ontario should be a faster process to get operational. Nothing has changed on the original business plan other than timing," he said.

Pressed on the nature of the regulatory hurdles regarding the Asia plans, he explained: "We cannot start on ETOPS certification until we are flying planes in commercial service. The hurdles are that we cannot submit applications to those countries until all permissions to operate are granted by the FAA."

The nascent airline already holds a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for Interstate Air Transportation, granted in November 2021. "We have an AOC. We are only adding ops specs for B757s and international flying. That is still on track to be completed in October," McKinney explained.

The Anchorage-based startup has applied for Exemption and a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity authorising it to engage in scheduled cargo and passenger flights to the full extent provided in the US–Mexico Air Transport Agreement.

This allows for flights from:

As reported, the airline has acquired four ex-American Airlines B757-200s, which are in the process of being re-certified for ETOPS operations, including N201UU (msn 27810) and N202UW (msn 27811), while N200UU (msn 27809) and N206UW (msn 27808) are currently in maintenance at Fort Worth Alliance and San Bernardino respectively, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module. In April 2022, the company signed a letter of intent (LOI) for eight more former United Airlines B757-200s currently stored at Roswell in the desert. According to the fleet plan, three wet-leased B757-200s will be deployed in November 2022, with a fourth in May 2023.

Editorial Comment: Clarifying that Northern Pacific Airways already has an AOC. - 05.08.2022 - 21:17 UTC