Alaska’s RavnAir Group on verge of collapse

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Airline, seen as vital for Alaska’s seafood market and for workforce movements, filed for bankruptcy.

Alaska’s RavnAir Group has grounded all of its 72 planes, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday, and has laid off nearly its entire staff.

This was because of an “unprecedented loss of 90 per cent of passenger revenue at all three of its airlines (RavnAir Alaska, PenAir, and RavnAir Connect)”.

The US State is dependent on passenger and air cargo transport than any other state in the country because over 80% of the communities are only accessible by air. Other major ports can be reached via charter service.

“These actions will allow the company to “hit pause” and await word on its Federal CARES Act grant applications and other sources of financial assistance that will allow it to get through the Coronavirus crisis and successfully restart operations,” wrote the company in a press release.

“Ravn has been in contact with the CEOs of other air carriers around the State since last
Thursday, April 2nd to help them establish new or replacement air service wherever possible, and it will continue those efforts during this uncertain period of time before the company can resume its own operations,” it added.

Rival company Alaska Airlines told KTUU that it is stepping in and working with the seafood industry “to ensure critical workforce movements during this period of reduced air service”.

Kenai Wild Salmon Co is a fishermen’s direct market for wild Alaska salmon fished from the Cook Inlet. In normal times, it delivers fresh salmon via RAVN Air Cargo during June, July and August and ships frozen salmon while supplies last. The company now says it is not delivering any fish at the moment.

95 per cent of all U.S. salmon landings are in Alaska, and the state has 150 seafood processing plants. Trident Seafoods’ Akutan plant (which processes over 1300 tonnes of seafood, including king salmon – a day) is the largest in the country.