UPDATED: It’s “Sayonara Saturday”

In Alaska Travelgram by scott

That’s when we say “so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good-bye” to air carriers that abandon routes…and the travelers that depend on them. Above, one of Ravn’s Dash-8s on the apron in Anchorage. Photo: Scott McMurren.

We rarely get a press release when an airline stops flying somewhere. So we did our best to discern what was going on.

ANCHORAGE-PAINE FIELD on ALASKA AIRLINES. Well, it’s actually “Horizon Airlines”, which flies the popular E-175s throughout Alaska (I like this plane with its five-across seating). Buried in an Excel spreadsheet was the revelation that Horizon Air’s daily Anchorage-Paine Field flight is ending on Jan. 7, 2024. That’s too bad, since Paine Field, located 30 miles north of SEA-TAC, is a convenient option for travelers headed to the north side of Seattle. The airline plans to resume service on May 16. To be fair, travelers can choose from more than a dozen flights to SEA-TAC if their flight was canceled to PAE. Sayonara.

Above, a Delta Air 737 gets loaded up with passengers and bags on a rainy Juneau morning. Photo: Scott McMurren

SEATTLE-JUNEAU on DELTA AIR LINES. Last winter, Delta flew Seattle-Juneau on the weekends. After a busy summer, Delta had scheduled a daily flight all the way through the winter on a 737. B-U-T that changed. On Nov. 4, Delta will pack up and go back to Seattle for the winter. Daily flights will resume on Friday, June 7, 2024. Farewell.

JUNEAU-WRANGELL and JUNEAU-PETERSBURG on ALASKA SEAPLANES. Based in Juneau, Alaska Seaplanes flies nine-passenger planes like the Cessna 208 and the Pilatus PC-12 between these communities. These two routes represented key expansions for the carrier, which links other communities like Klawock, Sitka, Tenakee Springs, Kake and Gustavus with Juneau. Because both Wrangell and Petersburg are served by Alaska Airlines, there’s less mail and cargo to supplement the passenger loads, said Carl Ramseth, the air carrier’s general managerAuf wiedersehen.

Above: getting ready to climb aboard a Dash-8 for a trip to Kenai. Photo: Scott McMurren

KENAI-ANCHORAGE on Ravn Alaska. This is a short flight, but it’s a popular one.  It’s Ravn’s busiest route. Ravn runs between 5-10 flights per day, flying mostly 37-passenger “Dash-8” planes, mixed in wtih an occasionaly Beechcraft 1900 (19 passengers). Ravn blames the pilot shortage. The last day for flights is Oct. 20.

UPDATE: Both Grant Aviation and Kenai Aviation offer several flights each day on smaller, nine-passenger planes.

Grant Aviation plans to offer 50 more flights per week. That translates to 13-18 flights per day. The carrier has two more Cessna 208s on order to accommodate passengers.

Kenai Aviation plans 14 additional flights per week, using the twin-engine “Tecnam Traveler”.

Good-bye, Ravn.

ANIAK-ANCHORAGE on Ravn Alaska. This is a tougher equation for the community of about 500 people, since there’s no road to Anchorage. Ravn flies a Dash 8 six days a week until Oct. 20. Ryan Air currently flies Anchorage-Aniak twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays with a nine-passenger Pilatus PC-12 aircraft.

UPDATE: Ryan is planning to double its schedule to four flights per week between Aniak and Anchorage, as well as adjusting flights from surrounding villages to accommodate same-day connections to Anchorage.

So long, Ravn.

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