Alaska Seaplanes (J5, Juneau Int'l) and two other carriers have submitted bids to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for the upcoming Crescent City, California, Essential Air Services contract. Incumbent SkyWest Airlines (United States of America) (OO, Salt Lake City) last year informed the DOT that its transition to an all-jet fleet would leave it without the E120s required to ply its San Francisco, CA to Crescent City service effective April 6.

In its submission, Alaska Seaplanes has proposed establishing a subsidiary - Redwood Airlines - to operate 3x daily flights each from Crescent City to Portland Int'l as well Oakland using a PC-12 for a total subsidy of USD4.1 million for its first year of operations declining to less than USD4 million in the second.

Other contenders include PenAir (KS, Anchorage Ted Stevens) which would offer a 2x daily Crescent City - Portland Int'l, OR service onboard Saab 340Bs. The Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma Int'l) interline partner would require an initial subsidy of USD3.5 million during its first year declining to USD3.0 million during the second.

SeaPort Airlines (K5, Portland Int'l) would also offer a 3x daily service to Portland Int'l, OR in addition to a twice daily (weekdays only) service to Sacramento Int'l also using a PC-12. Its total requested subsidy is USD7.7 million for a four-year contract.

While neither SeaPort nor Redwood Airlines included a projected start date in their proposals, Redwood said it could start by June should the DOT finalize its selection by then. PenAir has listed a September 15 launch date for its services.