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MarkAir logo
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations1946 as Interior Airways. September 1972 to Alaska International Air. February 29, 1984 as MarkAir
Ceased operationsOctober 24, 1995
Fleet sizeSee Fleet below
DestinationsAlaskan towns
listed below
HeadquartersAnchorage, Alaska, U.S.

MarkAir (IATA: BFICAO: MRKcall sign: MarkAir) was a regional airline based in Anchorage, Alaska, that became a national air carrier operating passenger jet service in the United States with a hub and corporate headquarters located in Denver, Colorado.[1][2] After a second bankruptcy in 1995,[3] it ceased operations in October and was later liquidated.[4]


MarkAir Boeing 737-400 N691MA in 1992
Interior Airways 727 in November 1969.
Interior Airways F-27.
Interior Airways Twin Otter.

The airline began its operations as Interior Airways in late 1946[1] carrying cargo throughout the American territory of Alaska. In the late 1960s the airline bought Lockheed L-382 Hercules aircraft to service construction of the Alaska Pipeline. In September 1972 it changed its name to Alaska International Air[1] to reflect its international charter business. In 1980 Alaska International Air bought a regional passenger/cargo airline named Great Northern Airways.[5] 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 Combi 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 Cold Bay, Cordova, Aniak, McGrath, Dillingham, King Salmon, Galena, St. Paul, Unalakleet, Kodiak, Kenai, Homer and Valdez. By 1990 MarkAir was the State of Alaska's largest airline.[citation needed]

In 1990, Alaska Airlines abruptly cancelled its codesharing agreement with MarkAir and MarkAir inaugurated service in 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 established a hub in Denver and served various West Coast, Midwest, East Coast and Southern cities.[2] In 1994, city and business officials from Denver, Colorado hoped to persuade MarkAir to move its headquarters to Denver.[6]

In 1995, faced with bankruptcy again, the airline cut all jet services within the state of Alaska and in order to concentrate on its Denver hub, which was the new location of the new MarkAir headquarters.[3] 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. MarkAir was forced to shut down in 1995 and MarkAir Express was reorganized in 1996 into the all-cargo carrier Alaska Central Express.[7]

MarkAir's assets were purchased in bankruptcy by the private equity firm Wexford Capital Management, the majority owners in control of the present day Republic Airways Holdings.[8]

Key Dates in the History of Neil Bergt and Mark Air[edit]

  • May 1971: Neil Bergt is named president and chief executive of Interior Airways, a 24-year-old cargo carrier that just reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • May 1974: Bergt makes Interior Airways, now renamed Alaska International Air (AIA), profitable and forms holding company Alaska International Industries (AII).
  • November 1981: Bergt creates Eagle International Corp. and makes a $50 million bid to purchase Wien Air Alaska from Household International.
  • December 1981: Bergt is named chairman and chief executive of Western Airlines. Simultaneously, Western announces it plans to purchase Wien Air Alaska from Bergt's Eagle International for about $80 million in stock once Eagle purchases it from Household.
  • October 1982: Civil Aeronautics Board approves merger of Western and Wien Air Alaska, but only if Bergt surrenders control of AIA for at least 18 months.
  • October 1982: Household sues Bergt for backing out of deal to purchase Wien Air Alaska.
  • April 1983: Bergt resigns from Western.
  • March 1, 1984: Bergt launches MarkAir in Anchorage, offering passenger and cargo service, but only to Alaskan cities.
  • November 1991: MarkAir expands outside Alaska, and establishes Anchorage-Seattle route, triggering fare war with Alaska Airlines and other carriers.
  • June 1992: MarkAir files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • November 1992: Bankruptcy court judge allows MarkAir to continue operating by expanding further into the Lower 48.
  • June 1993: The airline emerges from bankruptcy proceedings, offering service from Alaska to New York.
  • January 1994: MarkAir establishes Seattle reservations office.
  • March 1994: The airline emerges from bankruptcy, offering service from Alaska to New York.
  • November 1994: Mark Air reports first profitable quarter since it went head-to-head against Alaska.
  • March 1995: The state of Alaska denies MarkAir's request for $40 million in loan guarantees; MarkAir says it will lay off 300 employees.
  • April 1995: MarkAir files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again, announces it will no longer fly in Alaska, and lays off an estimated 600 of its 1,200 employees. It establishes a new hub at Denver International Airport.
  • May 1995: MarkAir staves off IRS attempt to force liquidation. The bankruptcy court judge allows MarkAir to continue flying through Aug. 31 when it will have to show that it can fly profitably.
  • August 1, 1995: FAA grounds MarkAir after maintenance concerns.
  • October 24, 1995: Ceased All Operations and Liquidated.

Destinations (1995)[edit]

The following MarkAir destination information is taken from their January 2, 1995 system timetable route map.[9] The airline was operating Boeing 737-200, -300 & -400 jet service both in Alaska and in the lower 48 states in the U.S. at this time.

  1. Anchorage (ANC)
  2. Aniak (ANI) MarkAir Express
  3. Atlanta (ATL)
  4. Baltimore/Washington DC (BWI) Moved from IAD in 1995
  5. Barrow (BRW)
  6. Bethel (BET)
  7. Chicago - Midway Airport (MDW)
  8. Cincinnati (CVG)
  9. Cold Bay (CDB) MarkAir Express
  10. Cordova (CDV) MarkAir Express
  11. Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW)
  12. Denver (DEN)
  13. Dillingham (DLG) MarkAir Express
  14. Dutch Harbor (DUT)
  15. Fairbanks (FAI)
  16. Homer (HOM) MarkAir Express
  17. Juneau (JNU)
  18. Kansas City (MCI)
  19. Kenai (ENA) MarkAir Express
  20. King Salmon (AKN) MarkAir Express
  21. Kodiak (ADQ) MarkAir Express
  22. Kotzebue (OTZ)
  23. Las Vegas (LAS)
  24. Los Angeles (LAX)
  25. McGrath (MCG) MarkAir Express
  26. Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
  27. Newark (EWR) Until 1994
  28. New York City (LGA) LaGuardia Airport 1995
  29. Nome (OME)
  30. Phoenix (PHX)
  31. Portland (PDX) Until 1993
  32. Prudhoe Bay (SCC)
  33. Reno (RNO)
  34. San Diego (SAN)
  35. San Francisco (SFO)
  36. Sand Point (SDP) MarkAir Express
  37. Seattle (SEA)
  38. St. George (STG) MarkAir Express
  39. St. Mary's (KSM) MarkAir Express
  40. St. Paul (SNP) MarkAir Express
  41. Unalakleet (UNK) MarkAir Express
  42. Valdez (VDZ) MarkAir Express
  43. Washington, D.C. (IAD) - Dulles Airport through 1994
Aircraft In Fleet Registrations/Notes Years Active
Beechcraft 1900 3 N55456, N5632C, N80334 Active from June 1991-December 1995
Beechcraft 1900C 5 N1563C, N55635, N80346, N80532, N80598 Active from June 1991-December 1995
Boeing 737-200 11 N670MA (Crashed UNK 6/1990), N671MA, N672MA, N4503W (Delta), N4516W (Delta), N4518W (Delta), N4519W (Delta), N4906 (Wien), C-FTAN (Pacific Western), C-GFPW (Pacific Western), PH-TVC (Transavia Holland Hybrid)
Boeing 737-200 5 N673MA, N674MA, N675MA (Former CAAC), N676MA (Former CAAC), N685MA (Former Midway) Active from 1984-1995
Boeing 737-300 4 N681MA (Former TEA), N682MA (Former TEA), EI-CHH (Former CPAir & VASP), EI-CHQ (Former CPAir & VASP) November 1991 - May 1996
Boeing 737-400 7 N686MA (Former Air Europe), N689MA (Former Air Europe), N690MA (Former Air Europe), N691MA (Former Air Europe), EI-CIX (Former VASP/Maersk), EI-CEU (Former TransMed), EI-CEW (Former TransMed), Active from November 1991 - May 1996
Cessna 172 2
Cessna 185 1
Cessna 207 28
Cessna 208 Caravan 3 N9438F, N9463F, N9464F
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver 2
de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter 5 N442CA, N720CA, N722CA, N723CA, N724CA, Active from February 1990 - November 1995
de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 2 N677MA, N678MA Active From December 1987 - October 1992
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-300 Dash 8 2 N679MA, N680MA Active From February 1991 - April 1993


In March 1995, MarkAir's total fleet including MarkAir Express consisted of the following 68 aircraft:[1]

All of MarkAir's mainline operations at this time were operated with Boeing 737 jetliners.

MarkAir Express fleet[edit]

In March 1995, MarkAir Express' regional and small aircraft fleet consisted of the following 48 aircraft:[1]

All of these aircraft were in the fleet at some point in the past, however in March 1995, The Cessna 208 and DHC-7 Aircraft had been out of the fleet for several years

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Aerial view of the wreckage of Flight 3087

A Boeing 737-2x6X, operating as MarkAir flight 3087 from Anchorage, crashed 7.5 miles short of runway 14 at Unalakleet Airport on June 2, 1990, injuring four, one of them (a flight attendant) seriously. There were no passengers in the aircraft, which was destroyed. No one was killed in the incident.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 22–28, 1995. 761. "PO Box 196769,4100 West International, Anchorage, Alaska 99519-6769, USA"
  2. ^ a b, Jan. 2, 1995 MarkAir route map
  3. ^ a b Lim, Paul J. (July 9, 1995). "Trouble at Markair -- owner Neil Bergt creates financial turbulence: airline lands in bankruptcy court again". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  4. ^ "Airlines: MarkAir shuts down". Los Angeles Times. staff and wire reports. October 25, 1995. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-10. Retrieved 2012-09-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Cargo carrier off and flying". Lodi News-Sentinel. Scripps McClatchey Western. July 25, 1996. p. 8.
  8. ^ [dead link]
  9. ^, MarkAir Jan. 2, 1995 route map
  10. ^ "MarkAir Fleet Details and H History". Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  11. ^ [bare URL PDF]

External links[edit]