MIAMI – The market for Low-cost carriers is ever-expanding and this past week saw American low-cost start-up Northern Pacific Airways launch, with an eye on commencing passenger flights by summer 2022.

Northern Pacific is an Alaska-based start-up airline that aims to launch a low-cost option over the pacific. The airline’s business model is to provide low fares connecting North America with Asia through its base in Anchorage (ANC).

The airline also wants to use Alaska as a stopover for tourists and travelers that want to spend a few days there and admire the beauty of this American state.

Last month, Rob McKinney’s Corvus Airlines (also known as Ravn Alaska) registered the trade names Northern Pacific, Northern Pacific Airlines, and Northern Pacific Airways with the Department of Transportation. Ravn Alaska, based at ANC, consists of a fleet of 11 Dash 8 -100s and -300s.

Ravn Alaska N885EA Bombardier Dash 8 Q 100. Photo: Christian Winter/airways

Comments from CEO


“Alaska is a unique place that presents all kinds of challenges and people that are not familiar with [it], I think are intimidated by the unique challenges of Alaska,” CEO Rob McKinney said. ” We’re from here, this is where we operate. This is our home.”

McKinney, the CEO of sister airline Ravn Alaska, hopes to create ideal domestic connections and packages for customers interested in exploring Alaska.

“The goal is to encourage people to spend a day or two here and go salmon fishing, or go ride a sled dog on a glacier, or just all kinds of things you can only do here in Alaska.”

“It’s hard to say exactly what the business model is going to look like but right now, we’re really looking at the Icelandair model because they’ve been so successful.” 

Icelandair (FI) used its hub at Keflavík International Airport (KEF) to offer convenient one-stop flights over the North Atlantic connecting Europe and North America with a fleet of Boeing 757 and 767.

Budget carriers such as WOW air (WW) which ceased operations a while ago (WW) and recently launched Play (OG) also operate on a similar model but with different aircraft.

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Photo: Frank K. from Anchorage, Alaska, USA – Anchorage International Airport and Cook Inlet, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3432161

Fleet and Destinations


The airline plans to start with the Boeing 757 aircraft which are readily available in the second-hand market and expects to receive 12 by 2023. Although the exact model of the 757 hasn’t been announced, it would most likely be the 757-200 as it’s more efficient and gives nearly 800km longer range than the longer 757-300 which comes in extremely handy while operating over the massive Pacific.

The airline eyes Tokyo in Japan and Seoul in South Korea as the potential Asian destinations while Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, and Orlando are the possible American points. Connections at Anchorage will be kept to the minimum allowing a hassle-free hop onto the next flight for those who do not wish to enter Alaska.

To fly beyond Japan and Korea, the airline would require a larger aircraft to cover the greater distance as it would be beyond the 757s capability.

The airline would be the first low-cost operator over the pacific providing affordable fares to tourists and VFR travelers over other conventional airlines that fly non-stop on this busy routine.


Featured image: Northern Pacific Airways