Northern Pacific Airways: New Alaska-Based Transpacific Airline

Northern Pacific Airways: New Alaska-Based Transpacific Airline

118

In August 2021, the details of a new airline startup in the United States were officially revealed. This might just be the most creative and unusual airline startup we’ve seen in the United States in a long time.

I’ve been wondering whether this airline will actually become a reality, and it’s increasingly looking like it will. The airline has acquired Boeing 757s, and even held a media event yesterday sharing more details of launch plans. In this post I wanted to go over what we know about the new airline.

Ravn Alaska is a regional airline

Ravn Alaska is a regional airline in Alaska that has historically partnered with Alaska Airlines to offer service in smaller markets. In April 2020, shortly after coronavirus shut down the world, the airline suspended operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Fortunately by November 2020, Ravn Alaska was able to resume operations, as some investors purchased Ravn Alaska’s assets, and got the operation up and running again. A new CEO was appointed, and the airline is even looking to the future, and has signed a letter of intent to acquire 50 hybrid-electric aircraft (whether or not that actually happens is a different story).

Ravn Alaska electric aircraft rendering (can we get some windows please?!)

Beyond that, Ravn Alaska is looking an entirely new direction to expand.

Details of Alaska’s Northern Pacific Airways

Ravn Alaska CEO Rob McKinney has revealed all kinds of details about Northern Pacific Airways, a new long haul airline being planned by the management of Ravn Alaska. The airline intends to be a long haul airline that will use Anchorage as a hub to connect points in the United States with points in Asia.

Northern Pacific Airways is essentially looking to bring the Icelandair business model to Alaska, in the sense that it will be turning a geographically advantageous place into a hub. The airline also plans to offer stopover packages, to allow people to visit Alaska. This could come in the form of just staying in Anchorage for a couple of nights, or connecting on Ravn Alaska to elsewhere in the state.

Let’s cover some of the key details of the airline.

Northern Pacific Airways fleet

Northern Pacific Airways will operate a fleet of ETOPS Boeing 757-200s. There are plenty of secondhand Boeing 757s on the market, so the airline was able to acquire these without taking on much debt. The airline plans to continue to increase the size of its fleet before launching passenger flights, with the goal of initially having a dozen planes.

To start, Northern Pacific Airways has acquired six former American Airlines Boeing 757s, which are an average of about 25 years old. American Airlines recently retired its entire Boeing 757 fleet due to the pandemic.

Northern Pacific Airways is acquiring former American 757s

The Boeing 757-200 has a maximum takeoff weight of 255,000 pounds, and can transport over 200 passengers, with a range of just under 4,000 nautical miles.

In the long run, Northern Pacific Airways is considering acquiring newer and more fuel efficient narrow body aircraft, like the Airbus A321XLR or Boeing 737 MAX.

Northern Pacific Airways destinations

Northern Pacific Airways intends to connect Asia and the “lower 48” United States via Anchorage. Specifically, the airline will use the underutilized north terminal at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

While exact destinations are subject to change, here’s what the planned cities are as of now:

  • In Asia, Northern Pacific Airways plans to fly to Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, and Seoul
  • In the United States, Northern Pacific Airways plans to fly to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, and San Francisco
Northern Pacific Airways’ potential routes

Northern Pacific Airways launch date

Currently Northern Pacific Airways is hoping to launch operations before the end of 2022. The airline is hoping to launch in the third quarter, but that seems highly optimistic at this point, so the fourth quarter seems much more likely.

Personally I’d be surprised if the airline actually started flying in 2022, given how much goes into launching an international airline.

Northern Pacific Airways passenger experience

While the exact cabin layout hasn’t yet been revealed, Northern Pacific Airways plans to have premium economy, extra legroom economy, and economy. Below you can see the seats that Northern Pacific Airways has selected.

There will also be a lounge at Anchorage Airport, presumably for premium economy passengers (or something).

Northern Pacific Airways livery

Credit where credit’s due, Northern Pacific Airways’ livery is gorgeous, in my opinion. This might just be one of my new favorite airline liveries out there. I love the attention to detail, from the black border around the cockpit windows, to the splash of color on the winglets. The 757 is such a sleek plane, and I think this is my favorite 757 livery to date.

Am I the only one who is a fan of this paint job?

Northern Pacific Airways livery
Northern Pacific Airways livery
Northern Pacific Airways livery
Northern Pacific Airways livery

My take on Northern Pacific Airways

As an aviation geek I love the concept of this airline:

  • Anchorage in theory has great geography as a transpacific hub, and if I were to build a fake airline in some sort of a simulated game where money is no object, I’d totally launch an Anchorage-based Emirates, just for giggles (of course that’s different than this, which will be a low cost carrier)
  • Back in the day Alaska Airlines flew to Russia and beyond, and I’d love so much if that kind of service still existed (again, simply because I’m an avgeek and the routemap would look cool)
  • On the plus side, I imagine these Boeing 757s are being acquired for very little; any airline startup right now has the huge advantage of there being lots of available used aircraft
  • At least seasonally there’s a big tourist market for Alaska, and there’s not much direct service from Asia, or from non-hubs in the lower 48
Alaska Airlines used to operate some transpacific flights from Alaska

That being said, I can’t wrap my head around this otherwise:

  • Alaska is a highly seasonal tourist destination, so while the airline could probably make money a few months of the year, how will Northern Pacific Airways fill planes in the winter? Yes, there’s some winter tourism as well, but in all likelihood not enough to sustain an airline like this
  • For those just connecting, I don’t understand the merit to this business model; airfare from Los Angeles to Seoul or San Francisco to Tokyo is already very reasonably priced, with tons of competition and nonstop options, so how low will Northern Pacific Airways’ pricing be to convince people to settle for a worse product and connecting itinerary?

There’s a key difference between this and Icelandair — Icelandair connects all kinds of city pairs that otherwise can’t be served nonstop (for example, Denver to Oslo, Seattle to Bergen, and Vancouver to Helsinki, just to name a few). Meanwhile with a few exceptions here, most markets are already very well served.

So yeah, this concept will be awesome for those who want a stopover in Alaska, or who want to visit Alaska. But I don’t view that as a sustainable, year-round business model.

Bottom line

Regional airline Ravn Alaska is launching a new airline, which will be named Northern Pacific Airways. The airline will fly from Anchorage to both Asia and the lower 48 with Boeing 757s, using a low cost business model. The plan is for operations to launch before the end of 2022.

The airline is moving forward with its plans. Six Boeing 757s have already been purchased, and the first aircraft is in its full livery. We also have more details about what to expect in terms of the onboard product and more.

As much as the avgeek side of me loves this, I don’t see where the market is for this, beyond summer seasonal demand. I’m sure the airline could get its costs really low, but still, what happens outside of summer?

What do you make of Northern Pacific Airways?

Conversations (118)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Jim Hayes Guest

    I honestly don't understand the comments written. Are people even reading the article. Anchorage is the hub that will also allow a stopover in Alaska. Anchorage is not the primary destination for the majority of passengers. It is Japan and Korea or the US cities the airline will serve. This is a low cost airline that seems to be using the Icelandair model. Low cost flights using a hub that makes the distance and cost...

    I honestly don't understand the comments written. Are people even reading the article. Anchorage is the hub that will also allow a stopover in Alaska. Anchorage is not the primary destination for the majority of passengers. It is Japan and Korea or the US cities the airline will serve. This is a low cost airline that seems to be using the Icelandair model. Low cost flights using a hub that makes the distance and cost practical. Anchorage is in a geographical location to Asia to make these flights practical. Orlando Anchorage Tokyo for one. I wish Northern Pacific the best of luck.

  2. Mike Guest

    I hope to hear more news about this soon I will certainly be first in line to buy a ticket Anchorage to Asia. I have been waiting a long time for this to happen.

  3. Richard Fitzer Guest

    I agree that Asia is the real focus - or should be. Yesterday, I talked with an old Japanese friend and his first comment was about Orlando. That Disney dream vacation just became more feasible. Some of us would simply like to divide our Pacific flight in half and get some genuine sleep. There's also the green factor. This will be the most fuel efficient flight across the Pacific. Who knows, Asian companies might even...

    I agree that Asia is the real focus - or should be. Yesterday, I talked with an old Japanese friend and his first comment was about Orlando. That Disney dream vacation just became more feasible. Some of us would simply like to divide our Pacific flight in half and get some genuine sleep. There's also the green factor. This will be the most fuel efficient flight across the Pacific. Who knows, Asian companies might even make Anchorage a center for meetings between the home office and expats.

  4. daniel nielsen Guest

    If there was a new airline flying from Anchorage anyplace in Asia this would make me very happy and I wish that airline best of luck

  5. Scot Guest

    There is a huge, latent demand for cheaper transpacific flights to and from Asia-USA. The cost of the legacy airlines' flights has increased almost exponentially over the past decade. For students, family members, military dependents, average-income tourists, small business owners, etc., who have to personally pay their own fare, a price that is say $1,000 cheaper is huge. I say this as someone with 3 million miles, mostly between the US and Asia. Kudos to...

    There is a huge, latent demand for cheaper transpacific flights to and from Asia-USA. The cost of the legacy airlines' flights has increased almost exponentially over the past decade. For students, family members, military dependents, average-income tourists, small business owners, etc., who have to personally pay their own fare, a price that is say $1,000 cheaper is huge. I say this as someone with 3 million miles, mostly between the US and Asia. Kudos to these folks!

  6. red_robbo Member

    A sexy livery on a sexy aircraft. What's not to love (apart from long sectors on a single-aisle)?

  7. Steve Sinai Guest

    I'd use this airline in a heartbeat if I could save $300-$400 round-trip/return. I flew WOW between California and Europe for the exact same reason.

  8. CMorgan Guest

    There are some ignorant people posting here such as the fellow saying there are 27 people living in Alaska. He was trying to be funny! There are more than 600k people in AK and it is no longer the least populous state. It has one of the highest per capita incomes and its residents fly more per capita than any other state. It is very frustrating for Alaskans to fly to Sea, SFO, LAX, SD...

    There are some ignorant people posting here such as the fellow saying there are 27 people living in Alaska. He was trying to be funny! There are more than 600k people in AK and it is no longer the least populous state. It has one of the highest per capita incomes and its residents fly more per capita than any other state. It is very frustrating for Alaskans to fly to Sea, SFO, LAX, SD simply to catch a flight to Asia and then fly right back over Alaska. There are a significant amount of Asians living and working in Alaska who frequently fly back to the homeland. I am married to a Filipina and am currently in the Philippines. We had to fly all day from Anc to SD only to catch a JAL flight which flew back over the Alaskan Aleutian Islands on to Narita and then Manila.

  9. Jorge Paez Guest

    Wasn't Ted Steven's the toe tapper?

  10. Weetanuki Guest

    I am actually quite excited about this. I’m based in Tokyo, and while US-Japan airfare was usually quite low pre-pandemic, it’s often double or more when originating in Tokyo (except maybe Tokyo-LAX), so NRT-ANC-MCO for a good price seems really attractive to me.

    I’m general, Japanese people are less likely to jump on something new for lack of brand recognition. I also have let many Japanese people who still refuse to fly JetStar Japan...

    I am actually quite excited about this. I’m based in Tokyo, and while US-Japan airfare was usually quite low pre-pandemic, it’s often double or more when originating in Tokyo (except maybe Tokyo-LAX), so NRT-ANC-MCO for a good price seems really attractive to me.

    I’m general, Japanese people are less likely to jump on something new for lack of brand recognition. I also have let many Japanese people who still refuse to fly JetStar Japan because they equate the low cost to lack of maintenance and are scared of crashes. But if this takes hold in the Japanese market, I could see it working really well.

    I’ll definitely give it a try once they start flights!

  11. Leigh Guest

    I’m usually 99% skeptical of new airline start up plans….and have aviation experience…but I can see something with the plan.

    1. Obviously it’s holiday market/low cost oriented, and the seats look accordingly,

    2. Still need to get an indication of their sales and marketing plan, which includes pricing/cost structure strategy,

    3. Initial routes seem favorable. LAS and MCO are attractive markets from Asia, and the other markets have substantial volume.

    If you’re like me, I’m...

    I’m usually 99% skeptical of new airline start up plans….and have aviation experience…but I can see something with the plan.

    1. Obviously it’s holiday market/low cost oriented, and the seats look accordingly,

    2. Still need to get an indication of their sales and marketing plan, which includes pricing/cost structure strategy,

    3. Initial routes seem favorable. LAS and MCO are attractive markets from Asia, and the other markets have substantial volume.

    If you’re like me, I’m tied to the frequent flyer programs….but most pax’s in the back aren’t tied to those loyalty programs.

    And even though I’m tied to the majors (okay, AA/oneworld)…if the Alaska stopover was attractive enough, I’d probably jump at it.

    4. Agreed with Ben…really great livery, clever in several ways.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Nah. This is an imaginary business.

      I wonder what the angle is?

  12. WBW Guest

    The seats Northern Pacific Airways has "selected" appear to be exactly the same seats American Airlines had on their 757's, only recovered. Take a close look.

    1. David Griffin Guest

      In other words slippery and recline 2”
      No thanks whatever the price.
      Kinda like junk seats in Alaska 737’s ‘first class’.
      Tired of built for max profit airline interiors. I feel like I’m in a cardboard box in United’s not first class.
      Have to say on the flights I was on the crew tried harder than the old days

  13. Icarus Guest

    It may appeal to a few, however the flying time is much longer if you’re on the west coast via Anchorage. Better in a 777 or 787. Major carriers also have rebooking options with partners in case of disruptions. New start carriers have smaller fleets, few back up
    options and no interline agreements. Covid aside, fares on trans Pacific flights were already competitive. Presently the market has crashed with an 80-90% decline in traffic.

  14. shoeguy Guest

    The business model is a complete joke, and so is the route map.

  15. TC Guest

    I could see them go after secondary markets in the US that might not have enough demand from the legacies to operate a widebody nonstop to Asia. I'm thinking of markets like SMF/GEG/PDX/SAN/BUR. If I was given the choice of GEG-ANC-NRT on Northern Pacific or GEG-SEA-NRT on Delta, I might go with Northern Pacific. I'm surprised they included airports like SFO and LAX on the map, they're not going to be able to compete with...

    I could see them go after secondary markets in the US that might not have enough demand from the legacies to operate a widebody nonstop to Asia. I'm thinking of markets like SMF/GEG/PDX/SAN/BUR. If I was given the choice of GEG-ANC-NRT on Northern Pacific or GEG-SEA-NRT on Delta, I might go with Northern Pacific. I'm surprised they included airports like SFO and LAX on the map, they're not going to be able to compete with the legacies that have nonstop flights available at a much lower cost basis.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Unless they’re financially able to sustain ultra low pricing, they have no business model at all.

  16. derek Guest

    1. This airline is extremely likely to fail. Maybe Alaska Airlines could buy it if the airlines is slightly successful? Alaska Airlines could provide more feed.

    2. The plane is NOT gorgeous. It is dishonest. Look at the cockpit windows and the black robber mask it's wearing. I hate those. Air Canada was one of the first to do that. It hides what aircraft it is since the nose is close to the terminal windows...

    1. This airline is extremely likely to fail. Maybe Alaska Airlines could buy it if the airlines is slightly successful? Alaska Airlines could provide more feed.

    2. The plane is NOT gorgeous. It is dishonest. Look at the cockpit windows and the black robber mask it's wearing. I hate those. Air Canada was one of the first to do that. It hides what aircraft it is since the nose is close to the terminal windows and what passengers often look at to determine what plane they will be flying.

    3. Icelandic people fly a lot. I'm not so sure Anchorage residents fly a lot to Asia but maybe the airline can tap the Japanese market?

    Hope to see this airline gets as much coverage here as Air Belgium!

  17. Never In Doubt Guest

    Greater in number:

    Ben’s posts about this airline?

    Or

    Paid flights that actually operate under the Northern Pacific name?

  18. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Northern Pacific’s PR agency paid for all the bloggers and writers to come to the launch, including The Points Guy that supposedly doesn’t take freebies. Others have reported there will be first-class, not premium-economy.

  19. George Guest

    No one has mentioned code share agreements which is a sure feed for passenger traffic. That concept has been proven over the past several decades. What about a cargo variant aircraft as well as a cargo feed that can operate profitably year round. Atlas air cargo does this by wet leasing. Something NPA could do easily.

  20. Matt A Welsh Guest

    Low class? So the Alaskan version of Spirit or Allegiant

    I think we should expect more of our airlines and not fly Air Walmart

    I do love the name and the livery.

    Also during the winter, they could market to people who love Northern lights, hockey, and winter outside sports such as skilling and snowboarding

  21. ponder11 Guest

    I think Asia is the real point here. Walk around downtown Anchorage in the summer and it is bustling with Asian tourists who bought a cruise package. All of those people flew a thousand miles out of their way to connect in Seattle or Vancouver, and that has never made any sense. And maybe way more people would come if they could fly direct, or if was is presented to them as a free bonus...

    I think Asia is the real point here. Walk around downtown Anchorage in the summer and it is bustling with Asian tourists who bought a cruise package. All of those people flew a thousand miles out of their way to connect in Seattle or Vancouver, and that has never made any sense. And maybe way more people would come if they could fly direct, or if was is presented to them as a free bonus when they book their trip to Disneyworld or to visit family in the US. Maybe they'll even get foreign tourists to book an expensive Ravn ticket to Kenai or Seward if they advertise it when they buy their flight.

    Add in that Alaskans routinely fly out of state for education or basic medical services so there is always going to be some business from that, even if that market is already pretty well served. If your health insurance plan lets you choose your ticket, you're probably going to pick a direct flight if its available.

    1. wanderlust Guest

      asia is the key. I just returned from Fairbanks and the number of tour buses with tourists from Asia was stunning... I kept thinking, how did they route here?
      this plus low cost from the US.... at an airport that you are practically flying over anyway... now you can break it up. I hope it works... I'd fly em.

  22. Masao Guest

    I was working at the Cross Road of the World, Anchorage International Airport in the 1970s. Indeed, in those years there were tons of commercial flights stop over the airport for refueling and catering services. In now these days, many airlines codeshare with multiple airlines to share space. And with start-up operation, it would n idea to make an agreement with Alaska Airlines for both passenger and cargo to expand the international route. And also...

    I was working at the Cross Road of the World, Anchorage International Airport in the 1970s. Indeed, in those years there were tons of commercial flights stop over the airport for refueling and catering services. In now these days, many airlines codeshare with multiple airlines to share space. And with start-up operation, it would n idea to make an agreement with Alaska Airlines for both passenger and cargo to expand the international route. And also with B57 ETOP, you can also schedule to the Midwest Region, where American Airlines only operates seasonally.

  23. Lorenz Rychner Guest

    If fares are really low and service not too shabby, this could work, even if the detour to the north seems unwieldy. Example: Denver>Iceland>Paris involves about 24 degrees of latitude jockeying, north and back down south. Denver>Anchorage>Seoul about 23, >Tokyo about 25 degrees. The Iceland stopover, leg stretch and sandwich, is fine, and connections usually fairly quick. Iceland Air is very pleasant, can North Pacific match that?

  24. Brian worthington Guest

    Who would have thought a way to fly from the USA to Europe would be via Keflavik ? Its been going on for 60 years and Icelandair keeps expanding.

    There are LOTS of Koreans, Chinese etc who live in the west coast of the USA that would love to visit relatives back in Asia. Problem is the high cost of the air fare.

    If air fares are low enough and it is managed well, this could be a huge success, why not? Same concept applies for YVR, YEG etc.

  25. Cmorgan Guest

    I live in Anchorage. The North Terminal sits idle except for the occasional charter or seasonal flight. It last saw major use when passenger flights to and from Asia and Europe used to refuel there. That is no longer needed. On a sunny day you can look up and see a steady stream of aircraft going too and from Asia. Alaska doesn’t have enough residents to support more than one maybe two flights a week...

    I live in Anchorage. The North Terminal sits idle except for the occasional charter or seasonal flight. It last saw major use when passenger flights to and from Asia and Europe used to refuel there. That is no longer needed. On a sunny day you can look up and see a steady stream of aircraft going too and from Asia. Alaska doesn’t have enough residents to support more than one maybe two flights a week to Asia. The startup would have to rely on year round tourism using Anchorage as a stopover. Will be tough in the winter.

    1. Matt A Welsh Guest

      They can market to people who love winter sports, Northern lights, dog races, etc during the winter

  26. Never In Doubt Guest

    Unless they can make the financials hold up at crazy low prices, there’s no way this works. Even then it might not work.

    There’s *already* one stop access to those big Asian cities from almost anywhere in the US at competitive prices.

    Unmet US 48 demand to Alaska? Only if the prices are super low!

    Internal Alaska demand direct to Asia? C’mon. 27 people live in Alaska.

  27. dander Guest

    I could see it working. Fly to Tokyo where every customer service is over the top, with a few nights in Anchorage to see the northern lights. I've done long flights in Economy and Economy plus and it can be brutal, so I can see the merit of even a short change of planes.

  28. dalo Guest

    Many people may choose the Anchorage stop because they want shorter flight segments. I know flying even from the West Coast to Tokyo is too long a flight for some to endure especially in economy.. From farther East in the US it's even worse. Just talking to a friend yesterday who was dreading a seven hour domestic flight.

  29. John S Guest

    Fun Airline Trivia: years ago there was Pacific Northern serving Alaska. It was acquired by Western Airlines in the 1967.

  30. Mr Clever Fox Guest

    As said, the value proposition is thin from West coast cities that already have competitive nonstop routes. I'm surprised they aren't focusing more on cities in the center and east coast, where you either don't have nonstops (e.g. Austin) and/or where the flight time is so long that some people might find the stopover appealing.

  31. Alex_77W Guest

    ANC is already a shipping hub to fly goods between Asia and US.

  32. Tom Guest

    If this goes off I'll take the whole family to Asia. Last time I flew to tyo it was ANC-DFW-NRT. I flew like 14 hours and was just flying right back over my house.

  33. S_LEE Member

    What ANC really needs to be a transpacific hub is "sterile transit."
    It's totally different from Icelandair because you don't need to go through the immigration, collect your bags, clear customs and recheck your bags when you fly to Europe with a layover in Iceland.
    But it's such a hassle when you have a layover in the US. TSA would never allow sterile transit, so the only way ANC could work as a transpacific hub is just low pricing.

    1. Weymar Osborne Gold

      I don't think that argument really applies here. Unless the airline is planning on also flying to Canada and Mexico, Anchorage is not acting as a 3rd country for the point of transit; it will simply be the port of entry for people traveling to the US. People flying to the US will need to go through customs and immigration no matter what so there's no reason not to take care of that in Anchorage...

      I don't think that argument really applies here. Unless the airline is planning on also flying to Canada and Mexico, Anchorage is not acting as a 3rd country for the point of transit; it will simply be the port of entry for people traveling to the US. People flying to the US will need to go through customs and immigration no matter what so there's no reason not to take care of that in Anchorage where people might have a few hours in transit anyway. It may even be preferable for passengers to take care of this in Anchorage rather than having to wait in immigration lines at major airports and be able to land and just walk to the curb at their final destination. Going the other way, the US is one of the few countries that has no departure immigration whatsoever, so they would arrive in ANC as domestic passengers and can simply hop on their next flight as they would any other.

  34. Andy Guest

    Well, the business model seems to work with Icelandair. So why shouldn't it work for them.

  35. stogieguy7 Diamond

    I'm truly wishing this venture is successful! It's a great idea that is somewhat "outside of the box", which is welcome. My concern is that, unlike the Icelandair model, the Asian destinations are more limited and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Very challenging to expand much beyond ICN and NRT with a fleet of 757's based at ANC. Perhaps other airports in JPN and SK, but Taiwan (ROC) and others would be too...

    I'm truly wishing this venture is successful! It's a great idea that is somewhat "outside of the box", which is welcome. My concern is that, unlike the Icelandair model, the Asian destinations are more limited and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Very challenging to expand much beyond ICN and NRT with a fleet of 757's based at ANC. Perhaps other airports in JPN and SK, but Taiwan (ROC) and others would be too far. Vladavostok maybe? Seems like a limited appeal destination, but who knows?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I don't think Asian destinations are more limited compared to the Icelandair model, they just have lower purchasing power. Personally, if NPA is going to be successful, they can't be going for major destinations like ICN or NRT. Leave that to the major airlines and their JV partners.

      I also don't think economics of 1-stop would work anytime soon.
      One of the reasons is that JV has become very effective, DL UA can dehub...

      I don't think Asian destinations are more limited compared to the Icelandair model, they just have lower purchasing power. Personally, if NPA is going to be successful, they can't be going for major destinations like ICN or NRT. Leave that to the major airlines and their JV partners.

      I also don't think economics of 1-stop would work anytime soon.
      One of the reasons is that JV has become very effective, DL UA can dehub NRT for good.
      I used to say it for a long time, SEA would be the future gateway to Asia if they were to close NRT and smaller planes flew farther. Either DL was on that too, or they don't realize it yet when they merged with NW. Right now a 787 or 350 (or the much cheaper 330neo) out of SEA could reach 70% maybe 80% or the world population. It didn't happen yet because JV was much more cost effective. But basically if JV can't do it then SEA will surely kill smaller airlines doing a 1-stop travel at ANC. They gotta go secondary.

  36. Guri S. Guest

    I am based in Bay Area, I am not going to fly this airline even if the airfare is cheap.

    Why?

    757 is 25 years old, I prefer to fly 787 or 350s.
    and
    I don’t want to fly to Anchorage to fly to Asia.

    Honestly, this is going to be a struggle at best. If their exit strategy is to show growth at cheap fares, loss and then go IPO and the stakeholders get out rich, it might work.

    I would not invest in this company.

  37. TaipeiNY New Member

    I know the President of RAVN/and now Northern Pacific Airways. Been following this from his angle for a while, so its exciting that its getting off the ground (so to speak).

  38. Aman Guest

    I believe there is a business case for sure. The transpacific model has been constrained by the use of wide bodied aircrafts that could only be sustained by legacy carriers with premium cabins.
    Wide body low cost carriers have yet to see success. Alaska is perhaps the only transpacific hub capable for narrow body aircrafts and support low cost operations.
    Given that premium traffic will struggle to rebound for quite sometime, I see...

    I believe there is a business case for sure. The transpacific model has been constrained by the use of wide bodied aircrafts that could only be sustained by legacy carriers with premium cabins.
    Wide body low cost carriers have yet to see success. Alaska is perhaps the only transpacific hub capable for narrow body aircrafts and support low cost operations.
    Given that premium traffic will struggle to rebound for quite sometime, I see legacy carriers cutting transpacific service leaving the door open for Northern Pacific.
    Having said that a low cost model requires fuel efficient aircraft and I do think they would have been more successful with an A321 LR/XLR versus a 25Y 757.
    Northern Pacific probably is starting with minimal investment and may succeed if they are able to demonstrate operational profitability and access sufficient funding. It definitely has a scalable model.

  39. Mike King Guest

    Northern Pacific has an interesting concept. A startup airline can acquire/lease aircraft at really good rates these days, especially something like the B757. Fuel burn being the disadvantage over the acquisition cost of new aircraft. Being in South Africa where aircraft utilization does not match North America, Europe or Asia has led us to the conclusion (after many studies) that second hand aircraft prevail in this age old debate.
    However, Northern Pacific could succeed...

    Northern Pacific has an interesting concept. A startup airline can acquire/lease aircraft at really good rates these days, especially something like the B757. Fuel burn being the disadvantage over the acquisition cost of new aircraft. Being in South Africa where aircraft utilization does not match North America, Europe or Asia has led us to the conclusion (after many studies) that second hand aircraft prevail in this age old debate.
    However, Northern Pacific could succeed if a good, reliable service is offered at appropriate pricing to underserved or non-hub routes. Pax prefer direct as opposed to connecting unless there is a compelling price advantage.
    An airline client of ours has a philosophy to cater for exactly these types of routes but also adds frequency into the equation. And they have survived the Covid mess without government aid (non-existent in Africa unless airline is government owned - but that is a whole story on it's own).
    I wish Northern Pacific all the best in this venture and sincerely hope that they succeed - we need more innovative airlines with strong leadership and industry acumen that can innovate and execute to ultimately benefit the flying public and grow the industry.
    All the best!

  40. Hugh Devlin Guest

    I’m feeling guilty for retiring, I’m the youngest brother, I’m looking back feeling blessed but guilty for retirement, I wanna work again, I wanna help in the best way, inspecting-troubleshooting-repairing with efficiency is so enjoyable.

  41. Hugh Devlin Guest

    For today’s A&Ps working the floor or the Flight line, I’m your biggest fan, you are hero’s, you all are giants in the aviation world!

  42. Hugh Devlin Guest

    Lucky me, I’ve looked back, 1968>1995 & remember the 18>30 times/morning, accomplishing inspecting/repairs & then enforcing the required RTS or A/W Release or generating/working non-routines during heavy inspection or reviewing/authorizing non-routine repairs @ large Repair Stations in SEA, 30+ years without a repeat event after original sign-offs, again>>>LUCKY ME.

  43. Hugh Devlin Guest

    Eskimo I'm convinced Northern Pacific Airways will succeed, maybe even better operating B-757 Combi's? Are you open for receiving resumes?

  44. Hugh Devlin Guest

    From RAVEN TO NORTHERN PACIFIC AIRWAYS, route plan from the Pacific Northwest through Anchorage & onto Asia? Operating B-757s, will they be “combos”?

  45. Hugh Devlin Guest

    Hi Eskimo, Thank you for the invitation, shall I send me resume via this mode? Maybe I’m a little late?

  46. Hugh Devlin Guest

    I’m still physically & mentally fit, I run 24 miles/week, did 40 half marathons afte 2002, I can still work best with a positive team. I wish tp help Northern Pacific Airways succeed.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Umm, Hugh Devlin are you looking for a job?

      Ever consider sending your resume?

  47. Hugh Devlin Guest

    Exciting hearing about NPA, evolving, planning from a proud history in Alaska.. I have 30 years Airline Inspection/Maintenance Experience ending with FAA Flight Standards, pulling the plug in 2015. Can I revive by helping Northern Pacific Airways achieve a brilliant idea? Please!

  48. Hugh Devlin Guest

    Be well Northern Pacific Airways, my first trip to SeaTac was on PNA. my first 30 years as a A&P airline aircraft inspection/maintenance, Wien Airlines, Mark Air, Alaska Air, followed by 20 years w it’s Flight Standards was a real blessing. If you need help, I’ll help you with my 100% dedication.

  49. Hugh Devlin Guest

    Thank you Northern Pacific Airways, you have guts, it you need support? I hope I can lend you support? I have 30 years of airline A&P mechanic’s experience with additional 20 years experience as a FAA Aviation Safety Inspector Experience. I’m all a positive attitude, p.s. I did get Dash-8 training in Toronto, thanks to Mark Air, & plenty of Boeing experience, thanks to Wien Airlines, and a ton of education from the FAA, thank you to the United States.

  50. Robb Geesen Guest

    Living in Alaska, I get the concept. I would love to get a nonstop from Alaska to Asia during winter months. My friends discuss it is a need waiting to be filled.
    The critics laughed at Alaska Airlines non stops to Hawaii... guess what? They are packed in the winter.
    Us Alaska residents want to go somewhere fun AND the northern lights have become a major tourist pull.
    What the hell, give...

    Living in Alaska, I get the concept. I would love to get a nonstop from Alaska to Asia during winter months. My friends discuss it is a need waiting to be filled.
    The critics laughed at Alaska Airlines non stops to Hawaii... guess what? They are packed in the winter.
    Us Alaska residents want to go somewhere fun AND the northern lights have become a major tourist pull.
    What the hell, give it a try. I will be on the November flights to Asia... if Asia ever reopens from Covid.

    1. Dave Guest

      Not to mention flights to the lower48 are packed year round and we pay premium prices for the pleasure of flying at 2am.

  51. Apso Eyot Guest

    I agree that it would be really fun to make an airline like this in a game, and I see what the people behind it were probably thinking, but I’m quite surprised that it’s actually going past the “April Fools joke” phase.

    Ravn should just focus on their home market and what they do best. Weren’t they close to insolvency not long ago?

  52. Grant Guest

    The idea of a stopover transit hub is not unique, but if done right can really help those communities too small to be served by the majors on transpacific routes yet large enough for a single-aisle through ANC. Think about Icelandair giving all their destinations access to smaller cities in both the US and Europe with their single-aisle 757s and 737s that the majors can't connect quite as efficiently.
    I gave a TED talk...

    The idea of a stopover transit hub is not unique, but if done right can really help those communities too small to be served by the majors on transpacific routes yet large enough for a single-aisle through ANC. Think about Icelandair giving all their destinations access to smaller cities in both the US and Europe with their single-aisle 757s and 737s that the majors can't connect quite as efficiently.
    I gave a TED talk on this topic if you are interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuZWxBrBAtM

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I've watched your TEDx talk and like to say, you've done a good job. I just wished the airlines executives you spoke with actually gave you some genuine feedbacks. Don't forget the reason airlines doesn't care about the 'brick' is because they don't have to. And just because Icelandair is doing it doesn't mean it's working out good for them. Just look at WOW. I'm not saying it wont work, it's just very difficult to get everything right and be able to maintain it.

  53. Fed UP Guest

    Not so sure this will work, unless there is either great service or super low prices.... Why hasn't Alaska Airlines, added flights to Asia, at least Japan ? They never have, and would have great credibility in doing so.

  54. Eskimo Guest

    People here really have no idea how Asian tour group operates.
    If Northern Pacific Airways understands that, they might actually make it.
    If they are trying to be Icelandair of the Pacific, they will fail.

    The 757s are the least of the concern. They are great aircrafts at great price. Why do you think DL is flying them. Considering their budget and operations, I can't think of a better plane.
    If they grow, likely the 321XLR would come into play.

  55. Peter Guest

    I’m wondering if there’s any chance for them to get into secondary cities in Asia, the lower 48 and Canada in this case. Surely there will be a lot of one-stop option if you are traveling Chicago/Denver/Seattle to Tokyo/Seoul, but how about destinations like Sapporo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Shenyang, Harbin, Nanjing or Khabarovsk?

  56. Andy 11235 Guest

    Yeah, it seems clear the initial goal is to connect the major NE Asian cities to the places in the US tourists are most likely to go. But ultimately, there are, indeed, a lot of one-stop connections between those markets. The Iceland model is to connect secondary markets where ops are cheaper and there is less direct competition, but close enough to the big cities to draw enough price-sensitive travelers to fill smaller jets.

  57. Dirk Becker Guest

    In the Good old days of flying ANC was used as a fuel stop, although one could buy a ticket starting or ending in ANC, on the air routes between north east Asia and Europe. Lufthansa for example used ANC to connect Tokyo with Frankfurt in Germany when they operated B707 on these routes. The idea of ANC as a hub like KEF is for Icelandair is a nice concept, but I have my doubts...

    In the Good old days of flying ANC was used as a fuel stop, although one could buy a ticket starting or ending in ANC, on the air routes between north east Asia and Europe. Lufthansa for example used ANC to connect Tokyo with Frankfurt in Germany when they operated B707 on these routes. The idea of ANC as a hub like KEF is for Icelandair is a nice concept, but I have my doubts if it would work.

    The B757 is an aging aircraft. The age makes them cheap to be acquired (purchased or leased) but the operating cost due to being less fuel efficient should not be overlooked. With international climate protection efforts, theses operating cost will increase due to the required carbon offset payments most likely due in the not so distant future for aircraft like the B757.

    Don’t forget that ANC is usually connected during the summer tourist season with non-stop flights from FRA by Condor (DE) and KEF by Icelandair (FI) from Europe. Asian carriers like Japan Airlines and Korean Air usually do tourist charter flights to ANC, connecting Alaska during the peak season with the main Asian points of origin for Japanese and Korean tourists.

    I am not sure if it would be worthwhile to take the risk. You may find the one or other who would connect in ANC, but the market is highly competitive as mentioned before. A new aircraft type may tip the scale making the investment in terms of cost to acquire e.g. A321XLR not sustainable.

    Other than that I wish Ravn much success. I still remember the days of Frontier Flying Service and Hageland. Two of the companies which were blended into Ravn.

  58. zizi zoubek Guest

    As an Alaskan who has to fly to Seattle and then back track to Asia this will be welcomed!

  59. speedbird Guest

    I know a lot of people who flew from Seattle to Europe with Icelandair because it worked out cheaper. Of course, Iceland is not Alaska, so it may not translate well. I hope it works out because this is a really cool concept

  60. Chad Guest

    I think this could work, but not with the proposed route map. The airline needs to serve markets that leisure travelers want to visit that are annoying to reach via bigger airlines. For example, there are a lot of Asian tourists that visit Yellowstone, so fly to BZN in the summer. Conversely, fly to CTS in the winter to serve the North American ski tourists, and maybe even get them into town before the rental...

    I think this could work, but not with the proposed route map. The airline needs to serve markets that leisure travelers want to visit that are annoying to reach via bigger airlines. For example, there are a lot of Asian tourists that visit Yellowstone, so fly to BZN in the summer. Conversely, fly to CTS in the winter to serve the North American ski tourists, and maybe even get them into town before the rental car counters close for the evening, which frequently isn't the case when you have to connect in TYO. Plus it has the advantage of not needing an entire planes worth of demand between two specific cities since you can shuffle people around in ANC. IRROPS could be a nightmare though.

  61. James C Guest

    If this does happen it will be very welcoming for those travelling from Asia to Alaska. Currently they have to fly over Alaska, and take an extra few hours to land in Vancouver or Seattle or wherever in the USA, and take another few hours flight backwards to Alaska. Such a waste of time!

    But clearly this model won't work so good luck to them.

    The operating costs with an A321XLR should better and...

    If this does happen it will be very welcoming for those travelling from Asia to Alaska. Currently they have to fly over Alaska, and take an extra few hours to land in Vancouver or Seattle or wherever in the USA, and take another few hours flight backwards to Alaska. Such a waste of time!

    But clearly this model won't work so good luck to them.

    The operating costs with an A321XLR should better and they could serve more destination in Asia? But at least they could get the 757s real cheap to at least try and make it happen.

  62. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    For what it's worth, there is "winter" tourism in Alaska. Summer in Juneau or Sitka is maybe 70 on a hot day but often 55 and rain. In the winter, Sitka is in the 40s. Juneau is a little cooler. High 30s or low 40s. So not that crazy that some place in Alaska, especially if there was skiing, would attract year-round tourists. But as others said, the real issue is connectivity beyond Alaska.

  63. Creditian Guest

    ANC is more efficient.

    Immigration and custom would be cleared at ANC, then you don't need to spare 3 hours for connection like at LAX.

  64. Another Lump Guest

    I read another article that mentioned Oakland, not SFO. This to me would make more sense, not competing in markets that already have nonstop service to Tokyo and Seoul. But in any case as an LCC I presume they would undercut the nonstop fares, just as icelandic LCCs did.

  65. Nat Guest

    This is the IcelandAir business model translated to the pacific. Will be super interesting…

    1. Milo Guest

      ... except that the North Pacific is much bigger and wider than the North Atlantic. The closest population center in Asia from Anchorage is Sapporo and is a cool 3000+ miles away. Next's up is Tokyo at almost 3500 miles. 4500 miles, stretching the range of the 757, can only get you as far as Beijing / Shanghai in China, plus all of Japan and Korea. On the other hand, 4500 miles from KEF covers...

      ... except that the North Pacific is much bigger and wider than the North Atlantic. The closest population center in Asia from Anchorage is Sapporo and is a cool 3000+ miles away. Next's up is Tokyo at almost 3500 miles. 4500 miles, stretching the range of the 757, can only get you as far as Beijing / Shanghai in China, plus all of Japan and Korea. On the other hand, 4500 miles from KEF covers the entire US and Europe.

      Big difference.

      Beijing / Shanghai / Seoul / Tokyo / Osaka are well served from major markets in the US like NY, LA, SF pre-pandemic. The secondary markets in the US are way too dispersed for one-stop connections through ANC to make business sense.

      This idea of a trans-Pacific hub in ANC made sense before the introduction of 747-400 with its increased range over 747-200, let alone all these new ultra-long-haul twins, when JFK-NRT westbound often needed a refueling stop in ANC anyway during winter months when facing strong headwinds.

  66. Radio Guest

    This might work if the airline can provide service between relatively large but lesser-known Asian population centers such as Wuhan, Tianjin, Chongqing, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Sapporo, Nanjing, etc., and medium to large U.S. cities such as St. Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, Tucson, Memphis, Austin, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix, Colorado Springs, etc. where Anchorage could provide more convenient or differently timed connections than going through the existing gateways. Then again, it could fall...

    This might work if the airline can provide service between relatively large but lesser-known Asian population centers such as Wuhan, Tianjin, Chongqing, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Sapporo, Nanjing, etc., and medium to large U.S. cities such as St. Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, Tucson, Memphis, Austin, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix, Colorado Springs, etc. where Anchorage could provide more convenient or differently timed connections than going through the existing gateways. Then again, it could fall flat on its face.

  67. Ghostrider5408 Guest

    I can understand Alaska as their launch pad and using the '57's another good choice of metal. Having said that if they are flying "point to point" is there sufficient demand in Alaska to make money even at rates that they will be flying at? Not sure. Iceland Air also point to point but "feed" into their hub.

    Oh well let's see what happens can't be any worse than flying American

  68. Zach Guest

    My question ….. will there be a business class?

  69. John Guest

    Great idea. ANC was a large hub to Asia back when the USSR had their airspace closed to most.
    I am sure behind the scenes the airport/state would be handing out massive deals to use the infrastructure.
    Those 757’s would most likely need to be ETOPS to get anything done. Wonder how they will cover that cost.

  70. Claudio E Ringor Guest

    If the price and the travel plans, connections, etc in ANC are right, customers who are mostly Asian expats, from Orlando, Las Vegas, Newark, Orlando, Oakland etc are ready to try this nice travel offer from Pacific Northern Airways. From Tokyo or Seoul where they can make brief tour stopovers, they can still make cheap connections (via lots of "no frills carriers" ) to their ultimate destinations like Manila, Cebu, Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai, Mumbai, Delhi,...

    If the price and the travel plans, connections, etc in ANC are right, customers who are mostly Asian expats, from Orlando, Las Vegas, Newark, Orlando, Oakland etc are ready to try this nice travel offer from Pacific Northern Airways. From Tokyo or Seoul where they can make brief tour stopovers, they can still make cheap connections (via lots of "no frills carriers" ) to their ultimate destinations like Manila, Cebu, Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai, Mumbai, Delhi, Karachi, Phnom Penh, KUL, Jakarta.
    Istanbul, etc. It is a huge market that Alaska Airlines has earlier not imagined nor seen. Now let this new airline try its luck in this new venture too...
    Mr McKinley, we'll be with you!

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      The major cities in Asia are already well served by one connection flights from the lower 48, and pricing is competitive.

      This has no chance unless the economics work with crazy low pricing, and/or demand generation to/from secondary Asian cities.

      Don't hold your breath.

  71. Michael Gentry Guest

    Damn autocheck…Art Woodley.

  72. Michael Gentry Guest

    I’m a fan if for no other reason than the “name” nod to Alaska’s best airline ever…Pacific Northern Airlines. Art Woolley is smiling

  73. Tricia Welshman Guest

    Alaska Airlines used to offer service to the far east, until the Fall of 1998. Why was it discontinued? It simply isn't profitable! Also, Alaska Airlines would bankrupt this carrier in a heartbeat. Similar as to what happened with Wien Air Alaska and Mark Air. There have been many attempts in the past to launch "New" jet operators in Alaska to absolutely no avail. However, it is always fun to dream!

  74. Paul Guest

    IMO it seems like a decent arrangement, especially if their plan is to turn the ANC North Terminal into a hub to bring in PAX for their longer haul flights to LAX and the eastern seaboard. Honestly, if it actually happens then I'll very likely fly them. Before COVID, I traveled semi-regularly to Asia and the idea of cutting out the three to five hour southbound flight to either Seattle or SF to catch a...

    IMO it seems like a decent arrangement, especially if their plan is to turn the ANC North Terminal into a hub to bring in PAX for their longer haul flights to LAX and the eastern seaboard. Honestly, if it actually happens then I'll very likely fly them. Before COVID, I traveled semi-regularly to Asia and the idea of cutting out the three to five hour southbound flight to either Seattle or SF to catch a trans-Pacific long haul to Singapore or Taipei is extremely appealing. I'm a bit surprised that they aren't trying for an expanded partnership with Alaska Airlines to bring in extra revenue; seems like they would be smart to use their pre-existing relationship with AA as a way to get off-season revenue, especially if they start out offering deep discounts to get tickets sold.

  75. Mark Guest

    There is some demand from Japan for winter tourism in Alaska. Japan Airlines did charter flights to Anchorage and Fairbanks until about five years ago when JAL downsized. But I don't see how a year-around schedule serving Asia would be sustainable demand wise from the Anchorage side.

  76. Michael Guest

    Isn't this a similar concept to Iceland Air flying 757s from the US to Europe via Iceland? Get people from Asia to the lower 48 via Fairbanks at a cheaper cost. And it helps tourism.

  77. Brian Guest

    Ravn ownership should just focus on making Kenai on time or actually scheduling Fairbanks...

  78. Milo Guest

    This makes so much sense... in the 1980's and 1990's before the introduction of ultra long haul wide bodies. Long gone were the days where Narita was a super hub for all the trans-Pacific traffic, where the tarmac was a parking lot of 747-400's from around the world. At least there is enough O&D traffic for Tokyo. Anchorage? Forget about it.

  79. Diego Dave Guest

    Sure, not much traffic TO Alaska in winter -- at best, 10% of what the state gets in summer. But (surprise!), Alaskans go on vacation in winter and they head to warm-weather destinations, which is one reason Alaska Airlines is so heavily vested in Hawaii and Mexico.

    Check roundtrip fares for flights from Fairbanks or Anchorage to Hawaii over the Christmas holidays. Most seats running north of $1200 roundtrip, 6 months out, with lousy connections;...

    Sure, not much traffic TO Alaska in winter -- at best, 10% of what the state gets in summer. But (surprise!), Alaskans go on vacation in winter and they head to warm-weather destinations, which is one reason Alaska Airlines is so heavily vested in Hawaii and Mexico.

    Check roundtrip fares for flights from Fairbanks or Anchorage to Hawaii over the Christmas holidays. Most seats running north of $1200 roundtrip, 6 months out, with lousy connections; nonstop from Anchorage to Honolulu or Maui are $2000.

    1. NN Guest

      Check those same flights to Hawaii two weeks later and a round trip is $600. Holiday pricing to Hawaii is always going to be somewhat shocking, I don't think it is a fair comparison. While Alaskan's do travel out in the winter, they are already well served with current carriers. And there just aren't enough of them to justify their own leisure airline. I'm sure there is some demand to be stimulated with lower fares...

      Check those same flights to Hawaii two weeks later and a round trip is $600. Holiday pricing to Hawaii is always going to be somewhat shocking, I don't think it is a fair comparison. While Alaskan's do travel out in the winter, they are already well served with current carriers. And there just aren't enough of them to justify their own leisure airline. I'm sure there is some demand to be stimulated with lower fares and non-stop flights, but when I look at the history of ULCCs up north even in peak season I doubt there is a sustainable amount. Even AS can't seem to get their non-stop leisure markets to stick around all year.

  80. John Guest

    Nostalgia play with the name. Pacific Northern Airlines (PNA) used to be a big player in Alaska. It merged with Western in 1967 which in turn merged with Delta 20 years later.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fc/5b/47/fc5b47d770256282a1da0fa5086874c3.jpg

  81. snic Diamond

    If this means that MCO and EWR become part of the northern Pacific, I'm all for it.

  82. Weymar Osborne Gold

    I like this idea actually. I would imagine they would go for an Icelandair-type business model, just between the US and Asia instead of Europe. Targeting secondary markets and enabling one-stop connections would be amazing. For me, if they were to add many midwest markets along with Osaka I'd be an instant fan. Greater Osaka is a region with nearly 20 million people, and many midwest markets like Columbus, St. Louis, and Kansas City aren't...

    I like this idea actually. I would imagine they would go for an Icelandair-type business model, just between the US and Asia instead of Europe. Targeting secondary markets and enabling one-stop connections would be amazing. For me, if they were to add many midwest markets along with Osaka I'd be an instant fan. Greater Osaka is a region with nearly 20 million people, and many midwest markets like Columbus, St. Louis, and Kansas City aren't exactly short on people either. For me, living in Ohio, it would take at least two stops to get to Osaka or Nagoya, so I definitely think there are many potentially underserved markets here, and frankly I'm surprised no one has tried this already.

    1. KK13 Guest

      How is this going to be any different from taking 1-stop ANA from ORD to Osaka/ Nagoya, or 1-stop Delta from DTW to Osaka if you start from Ohio?

    2. askmrlee Guest

      When have you found consistent ORD-KIX or DTW-KIX or DTW-NGO service? While they have existed in the past, they're not consistent.

    3. Zain Nensey Guest

      DTW-NGO was managing well enough on a flight a day until the pandemic. I don't know if they would resume it now, but it's not out of the picture. Delta was already starting a push into Osaka pre-pandemic as well, seeing as only United had direct service to the US from KIX.

    4. Weymar Osborne Gold

      Uh, because if I have to go through ORD or DTW that makes it two stops. I did take a nonstop from ORD to KIX once although that flight hasn't existed for a long time, and while it looks like DL has indeed brought back the DTW-NGO service, it's only once-weekly right now. Other one-stop flights between the Midwest/Northeast and secondary cities in North-East Asia like Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Busan, Dalian, or Shenyang generally aren't...

      Uh, because if I have to go through ORD or DTW that makes it two stops. I did take a nonstop from ORD to KIX once although that flight hasn't existed for a long time, and while it looks like DL has indeed brought back the DTW-NGO service, it's only once-weekly right now. Other one-stop flights between the Midwest/Northeast and secondary cities in North-East Asia like Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Busan, Dalian, or Shenyang generally aren't doable and even if they are they'd be priced much higher and/or you would need to book separate tickets.

    5. magice Gold

      I think Lucky already answered to this.

      The problem is that the airlines are *not* reaching to any new, underserved airports. They connect to already well-connected hubs (except MCO?). So existing players, from US-based (AS included) to East-Asia-based, would drive them to bankruptcy before they could build up a large enough network.

    6. NN Guest

      I think the fact there is not regular service from major connecting hubs (ORD, MSP, DTW, etc) to these secondary cities speaks volumes for the viability of them being served from ANC. If United or Delta cannot support service with their massive draw from other US markets how will a no-name carrier based in ANC do any better from a dramatically smaller catchment?

      If you are going to NGO, you are going to make...

      I think the fact there is not regular service from major connecting hubs (ORD, MSP, DTW, etc) to these secondary cities speaks volumes for the viability of them being served from ANC. If United or Delta cannot support service with their massive draw from other US markets how will a no-name carrier based in ANC do any better from a dramatically smaller catchment?

      If you are going to NGO, you are going to make two stops if that's how many stops it takes. How many people are able to be stimulated on these markets because they can now layover just once in ANC?

    7. pstm91 Diamond

      I don't agree with all the Iceland Air comparisons. The only similarity is that it's a point of connection to another, much larger market. Iceland has the benefit of being very driveable and you can see tons in 2-4 days, which is exactly the way they market their experiences. Alaska is very difficult to travel around and you really need to fly to see other places. You would be able to explore some of the...

      I don't agree with all the Iceland Air comparisons. The only similarity is that it's a point of connection to another, much larger market. Iceland has the benefit of being very driveable and you can see tons in 2-4 days, which is exactly the way they market their experiences. Alaska is very difficult to travel around and you really need to fly to see other places. You would be able to explore some of the coast line and that's about it, or maybe ski at Alyeska if visiting in the winter.

    8. Never In Doubt Guest

      Only way this works is if they have the economics to go low/ultra low cost or can generate significant demand from Asia.

      ANC is already served from more than a dozen lower 48 cities. Not much unmet US demand at current prices.

      Nothing currently to E Asia, but is there the demand?

    9. NN Guest

      Key points, prices are already pretty decent for many of these cities to ANC. Especially during the peak season, outside of the peak season there is not enough domestic demand to stimulate if they offered seats for $5.

      As you said there also hasn't been any service from Asia in more than a decade- despite it being "close". I don't think it is because Japanese or Korean carriers just forgot ANC existed. I think...

      Key points, prices are already pretty decent for many of these cities to ANC. Especially during the peak season, outside of the peak season there is not enough domestic demand to stimulate if they offered seats for $5.

      As you said there also hasn't been any service from Asia in more than a decade- despite it being "close". I don't think it is because Japanese or Korean carriers just forgot ANC existed. I think even with their local point of sale there isn't enough market for even seasonal service. Before COVID JAL would run a handfull of seasonal charters- maybe like 5. I think that is the extent of the market.

  83. jedipenguin Guest

    Another Balitta in the making.

  84. stogieguy7 Diamond

    As Tim Dunn said, it's Icelandair of the Pacific. Main difference is that ANC would not just be a hub connecting the lower 48 and Asia, but also a place that travelers from both sides could connect to smaller cities in Alaska. But how much demand is there for that from Asia? Maybe a little, but not a lot. Same for the US. And, for the other part of the equation (trans-Pacific), the challenge is...

    As Tim Dunn said, it's Icelandair of the Pacific. Main difference is that ANC would not just be a hub connecting the lower 48 and Asia, but also a place that travelers from both sides could connect to smaller cities in Alaska. But how much demand is there for that from Asia? Maybe a little, but not a lot. Same for the US. And, for the other part of the equation (trans-Pacific), the challenge is persuading people that connecting via ANC is better than a nonstop to Asia (in the case of EWR, ONT and other planned markets). Could be a tough sell.

    1. Frank Guest

      You could also sell a better Customs experience. Has to be better to clear customs from Osaka to Las Vegas in ANC than LAX or SFO. I can say that having never cleared at ANC with more confidence than I can tell you what I am having for lunch.

    2. jfhscott Guest

      ANC has pretty much no passenger customs just now. I cannot imagine how CBP would process an entire 757, once or twice a day, and then have nothing to do for the remainder of the day.

      My prediction is that the border crossing formalities would be a logistical nightmare.

    3. NN Guest

      ANC is well set up for a single plane arriving for Customs/Immigration. Outside of COVID times they have regular international passenger flights in the summer from Europe. Two at a time and it might start to feel like other major airports in terms of waiting since the facilities are really built for one.

      ANC has plenty of CBP Officers, all the current cargo / private flights stopping over from Asia require their services too,...

      ANC is well set up for a single plane arriving for Customs/Immigration. Outside of COVID times they have regular international passenger flights in the summer from Europe. Two at a time and it might start to feel like other major airports in terms of waiting since the facilities are really built for one.

      ANC has plenty of CBP Officers, all the current cargo / private flights stopping over from Asia require their services too, 24/7. The CBP aspect of this project is probably only one of the things that would actually work.

  85. Tim Dunn Diamond

    It's not much different than what the Iceland based airlines are doing. Similar geography and local market. Just a different ocean.

    1. magice Gold

      I think the main difference is China. Crossing Atlantic is pretty expensive, with European legacy airlines holding the prices up. Meanwhile, crossing Pacific is rather cheap (especially in comparison to the number of miles). Between Eastern China Airlines and Southern China Airlines and Air China, the prices are pretty bottom level already.

      In other words, the low-cost, hub-and-spook model might not work this way, because the cost probably won't be low enough to compete with...

      I think the main difference is China. Crossing Atlantic is pretty expensive, with European legacy airlines holding the prices up. Meanwhile, crossing Pacific is rather cheap (especially in comparison to the number of miles). Between Eastern China Airlines and Southern China Airlines and Air China, the prices are pretty bottom level already.

      In other words, the low-cost, hub-and-spook model might not work this way, because the cost probably won't be low enough to compete with Chinese players.

    2. Kevin Guest

      This comment is spot on @magice. Flight to Asia were dirt cheap pre pandemic. You could find flights from Major hubs to China regularly Sub $400 at times even Sub $300. There are so many smaller Chinese Airlines that can get you to Asia for very cheap and some of these airlines provide fantastic Service.

      I am not sure there is room for a low cost carrier if prices fall back to pre pandemic...

      This comment is spot on @magice. Flight to Asia were dirt cheap pre pandemic. You could find flights from Major hubs to China regularly Sub $400 at times even Sub $300. There are so many smaller Chinese Airlines that can get you to Asia for very cheap and some of these airlines provide fantastic Service.

      I am not sure there is room for a low cost carrier if prices fall back to pre pandemic levels. That is really why Norwegian and WOW failed. They forced the traditional carriers to introduce Basic Economy and drop their prices to compete and then ran them out of business.

    3. Keith Guest

      The concept may be similar to the Iceland Air model, but the geography is very different. There are not as many cities in Eastern Asia compared to Europe that (A. are within range of the 757 from ANC, B. have enough pull to/from the US for odd one-stop service). They mentioned ICN, NRT, and maybe KIX because that is pretty much going to be it. It is a pretty different ocean.

      Iceland Air is...

      The concept may be similar to the Iceland Air model, but the geography is very different. There are not as many cities in Eastern Asia compared to Europe that (A. are within range of the 757 from ANC, B. have enough pull to/from the US for odd one-stop service). They mentioned ICN, NRT, and maybe KIX because that is pretty much going to be it. It is a pretty different ocean.

      Iceland Air is also THE airline for Iceland, outside of tourism they provide service for the locals and Euro based business. Alaska Airlines fills that role in ANC (Delta and United taking some too), so Northern Pacific is going to have to fill its 757s with just leisure pax who won't fly AS?

  86. Abey Guest

    Ye I’d totally fly MCO-ANC on a 757…. Legacies fly plenty seasonal to ANC

  87. uldguy Diamond

    It's a shame really. They were doing so well...

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

TC Guest

I could see them go after secondary markets in the US that might not have enough demand from the legacies to operate a widebody nonstop to Asia. I'm thinking of markets like SMF/GEG/PDX/SAN/BUR. If I was given the choice of GEG-ANC-NRT on Northern Pacific or GEG-SEA-NRT on Delta, I might go with Northern Pacific. I'm surprised they included airports like SFO and LAX on the map, they're not going to be able to compete with the legacies that have nonstop flights available at a much lower cost basis.

1
Matt A Welsh Guest

They can market to people who love winter sports, Northern lights, dog races, etc during the winter

1
ponder11 Guest

I think Asia is the real point here. Walk around downtown Anchorage in the summer and it is bustling with Asian tourists who bought a cruise package. All of those people flew a thousand miles out of their way to connect in Seattle or Vancouver, and that has never made any sense. And maybe way more people would come if they could fly direct, or if was is presented to them as a free bonus when they book their trip to Disneyworld or to visit family in the US. Maybe they'll even get foreign tourists to book an expensive Ravn ticket to Kenai or Seward if they advertise it when they buy their flight. Add in that Alaskans routinely fly out of state for education or basic medical services so there is always going to be some business from that, even if that market is already pretty well served. If your health insurance plan lets you choose your ticket, you're probably going to pick a direct flight if its available.

1
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published