|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|Fleet size||See Fleet below|
|Destinations||Alaskan towns listed below|
|Headquarters||Anchorage, Alaska, United States|
MarkAir (IATA: BF, ICAO: MRK, Call sign: MarkAir) was a regional airline in the United States. It had its headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska. It ceased operations and liquidated in 1995.
|This section requires expansion with: more info, especially from the 1940s to the 1980s. (December 2011)|
The airline began its life as Interior Airways in late 1946 carrying cargo throughout the state of Alaska. In the late 1960s the airline bought Lockheed L-382 Hercules aircraft to service construction of the Alaska Pipeline. In 1972 it changed its name to Alaska International Air to reflect its international charter business. In 1980 Alaska International Air bought a regional passenger/cargo airline named Great Northern Airways. In 1984 new colors and the name MarkAir (reportedly named after a newsboy named Mark) were brought to the airline as it inaugurated passenger/cargo service from Anchorage to the Alaska bush communities of Barrow, Bethel, Dillingham, Fairbanks, King Salmon, Kotzebue, Nome, and Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse. The airline had purchased Boeing 737-200 combination cargo/passenger aircraft to operate these services.
In the mid-1980s MarkAir and Alaska Airlines entered into a codesharing agreement with MarkAir operating as Alaska Airlines to the communities of Dillingham, Dutch Harbor, Barrow, Aniak, St. Mary's and Alaska Airlines feeding MarkAir from its routes from Seattle and other "lower 48" destinations. In the late 1980s MarkAir bought several air taxis (airlines operating small six to nine seat aircraft from larger communities such as Bethel to Alaska's Native villages) and purchased several Beechcraft 1900 aircraft; and under the name of MarkAir Express operated new service from Anchorage to Cordova, Aniak, McGrath, Dillingham, King Salmon, Galena, Unalakleet, Kodiak, Kenai, Homer and Valdez. By 1990 MarkAir was the State of Alaska's largest airline.
In 1990, Alaska Airlines abruptly cancelled its codesharing agreement with MarkAir and MarkAir inaugurated service to key Alaska Airlines markets such as Anchorage-Seattle, Anchorage-Juneau-Sitka-Ketchikan-Seattle, Seattle-Los Angeles, Seattle-San Francisco and Seattle-Portland. In 1992 the airline expanded its Lower 48 route network to include Seattle-Chicago/Midway and Denver. However the head-to-head competition with Alaska Airlines, although it forced major cuts with the latter, following Alaska Airlines' loss post of US$121 million caused MarkAir to find itself in bankruptcy by the end of 1992. In 1993 MarkAir restructured itself as a "low fare" carrier and cut most routes out of Seattle with the exception of Seattle-Anchorage and Seattle-Los Angeles. The airline began a hub in Denver and serviced various West Coast, Midwest and Southern cities. In 1994 city and business officials from Denver, Colorado hoped to persuade MarkAir to move its headquarters to Denver.
In 1995 faced with bankruptcy again, the airline cut all jet services within the state of Alaska and concentrated on its Denver hub, the new MarkAir headquarters. MarkAir Express (known to the locals and the competition as "Skidmark") continued services within the State of Alaska taking over all of MarkAir's jet routes. In 1996 MarkAir was forced to shut down. MarkAir Express remained until 1997 and was reorganized into the all-cargo carrier Alaska Central Express.
Destinations in 1995
The following MarkAir destination information is taken from their January 2, 1995 system timetable route map. The airline was operating Boeing 737 jet service both in Alaska and in the lower 48 states in the U.S. at this time.
- Anchorage (ANC)
- Atlanta (ATL)
- Barrow (BRW)
- Bethel (BET)
- Chicago - Midway Airport (MDW)
- Cincinnati (CVG)
- Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW)
- Denver (DEN)
- Dillingham (DLG)
- Dutch Harbor (DUT)
- Fairbanks (FAI)
- Juneau (JNU)
- Kansas City (MCI)
- King Salmon (AKN)
- Kodiak (ADQ)
- Kotzebue (OTZ)
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
- New York City - LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
- Nome (OME)
- Oakland (OAK)
- Phoenix (PHX)
- Prudhoe Bay (SCC)
- Reno (RNO)
- San Diego (SAN)
- Washington, D.C. - Dulles Airport (IAD)
In March 1995, MarkAir's total fleet consisted of the following 68 aircraft:
- 8 Beechcraft 1900
- 5 Boeing 737-200C
- 1 Boeing 737-200
- 4 Boeing 737-300
- 7 Boeing 737-400
- 2 Cessna 172
- 1 Cessna 185
- 28 Cessna 207A
- 3 Cessna 208 Caravan
- 2 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
- 5 de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter
- 2 de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7
- 2 de Havilland Canada DHC-8-300 Dash 8 (operated from 1991 to 1993)
MarkAir Express fleet
In March 1995, MarkAir Express' regional and small aircraft fleet consisted of the following 48 aircraft:
- 5 Beechcraft 1900
- 2 Cessna 172
- 2 Cessna 185
- 28 Cessna 207
- 2 Cessna 208 Caravan
- 2 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
- 5 de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
- 2 de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 (operated in combi passenger/freight configuration}
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 22–28, 1995. 761. "PO Box 196769,4100 West International, Anchorage, Alaska 99519-6769, USA"
- Rebchook, John. "MarkAir Circling Denver City and Business Officials Hope they can Persuade Alaska's Maverick Airline to Move its Headquarters." The Rocky Mountain News. July 31, 1994. Retrieved on December 14, 2009.
- departedflights.com, MarkAir Jan. 2, 1995 route map
- "MarkAir Fleet Details and History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
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