Ravn Alaska

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Ravn Alaska
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations1948 (as Economy Helicopters)
AOC #7C7A855N[1]
Secondary hubs
Frequent-flyer programRavn Rewards
Fleet size9 [2]
Parent companyFLOAT Shuttle
HeadquartersAnchorage, Alaska, United States
Key peopleRob McKinney (CEO)[3]
Tom Hsieh (President)
Jim Day(CFO)[4]
Logo under former name Era Alaska

Corvus Airlines d.b.a. Ravn Alaska is a regional airline that specializes in serving the small communities in the US state of Alaska. The airline is headquartered in Anchorage,[6] which is also home to the primary hub used by Ravn, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Corvus Airlines operates all of its flights using the Ravn Alaska brand. The company pronounces its name Ravn like the bird, Raven.

Ravn had a partnership with Alaska Airlines, allowing passengers to book codesharing flights and allowing passengers on most Ravn flights to earn miles in Alaska's Mileage Plan frequent-flyer program.


An Era Alaska de Havilland Dash 8-100 operated by Era Aviation, 2008
A Ravn Alaska Beechcraft 1900C (N575Q) in Nome, Alaska.

Corvus Airlines traces its roots back to 1948 and the founding of Economy Helicopters. The company was founded by Carl Brady when he flew the first commercial helicopter to Alaska to work on a mapping contract for the U.S. government.

In the years that followed, Economy Helicopters renamed itself Era Helicopters and the company saw most of its business by supporting offshore oil drilling. Era's helicopters supported the efforts to build the Alyeska Pipeline and it was during the construction of the pipeline that the company started its fixed-wing division with DeHaviland Twin Otter and Convair 580 aircraft.[7]

After the construction of the pipeline, Era saw an opportunity to scheduled passenger service, which first started in May 1983. The Convair planes were used for service to Valdez, Kenai, Kodiak, Cordova, and Homer. The Twin Otter fleet was based out of Bethel and operated service to many of the small communities surrounding it.

In 1988, Era Helicopters formally changed its name to Era Aviation.

The company endured a very turbulent transition between December 2004 and December 2006, which saw several changes in ownership, the spinoff of the Era Helicopters division,[citation needed] and the company entering and emerging from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.[8]

In early 2009, HoTH Inc., the holding company that owned Hageland Aviation Services and Frontier Flying Service, purchased Era Aviation.[8] However, Era Helicopters was not part of the acquisition and instead became an independent company.[9] In October 2009, HoTH Inc. also acquired Arctic Circle Air Service, a local cargo airline.[10] The combined air group rebranded itself as Era Alaska, taking advantage of Era's recognizable name.[11]

In January 2014, the companies were renamed once again in what the company says was an effort to decrease confusion and distinguish it from other companies that are named Era,[12] including the independent Era Helicopters.[9] The combined air group Era Alaska was renamed Ravn Alaska,[13] Era Airlines was renamed Corvus Airlines,[14] and while Hageland Aviation Services and Frontier Flying Service would keep their names, they both now operate as Ravn Connect.[15]

In August 2016, the New York-based J.F. Lehman and Co. acquired a majority stake in Ravn while the remaining shares were retained by Bob Hajdukovich, then CEO of the company.[13]

Ravn Alaska purchased all of the aircraft and other owned assets of Yute Air on March 5, 2017, as the latter shutdown, taking over the Yute Air routes.[16]

In January 2018, Ravn Alaska received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to put in place a safety management system similar to those implemented by larger airlines across the USA.[17][18]

Shutdown and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy[edit]

On April 5, 2020, in the midst of travel disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ravn shut down its entire operation, laid off all staff, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[19][20][21][22] The leadership of the North Slope Borough attempted to take possession of the airline as a way to keep flights and shipments coming to their rural communities, but the Alaska Attorney General stated that it was improper.[23] The decision to stop all operations stranded dozens of communities in rural Alaska, leaving them without regularly scheduled air service. Wright Air Service and other small air carriers have been performing air service on a charter flight basis.[citation needed]

At the bankruptcy auction in July 2020, the Ravn Connect part 135 airlines was sold in pieces to other airlines of Alaska. The part 121 airlines Ravn Alaska and PenAir were sold to FLOAT Shuttle, a commuter service based in Los Angeles.[24]

Resumption of operations as "Ravn Travel"[edit]

On October 14, 2020, Ravn Alaska received approvals from the FAA to resume operations. The company is still awaiting from the US Department of Transportation authority for scheduled operations. The company is presently offering only charter services using its Dash 8 fleet. On November 13, 2020, the airline resumed service to Dutch Harbor (Unalaska), Homer, Kenai, Sand Point, and Valdez using Public Charters managed by Ravn Travel. Each market is served 4 days a week from Anchorage.[25] As of November 20th Ravn Alaska scheduled route authority from the US Department of Transportation and has resumed scheduled flights to and from Anchorage, Dutch Harbor (Unalaska), Homer, Kenai, Kodiak, and Sand Point.[26][27]


The Ravn Alaska fleet includes the following aircraft:

Ravn Alaska fleet
Aircraft Total Seats Notes
de Havilland DHC-8-100 9 (9-Corvus Airlines) 29–37
Total 9

Formerly operated[edit]


Ravn Alaska offered scheduled service to over 100 Alaskan cities and communities.[28] Among Ravn's newest destinations were regular routes to the Bristol Bay area, the first new destination for the airline in six years.[29] The inaugural flight from Dillingham and King Salmon to Anchorage took off on February 16, 2018.[30]

Media appearances[edit]

Beginning on January 14, 2011, Discovery Channel's Flying Wild Alaska showcased Era Alaska's daily operations. It aired until July 20, 2012, totaling 31 episodes over three seasons.[31]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • November 8, 1997 – Hageland Aviation Flight 500 was a Cessna Caravan 675B which crashed. After the NTSB report, investigators determined there were multiple causes of the crash, including icing, weight imbalance and pilot error.[32] The accident killed all 8 passengers and crew on board.
  • December 9, 2002 – During a Raytheon Pre-purchase Flight, a Beechcraft 1900C crashed after running into a mountain in western Arkansas. The accident killed all 3 pilots on board, including Ron Tweto, President of Hageland Aviation Services.
  • November 29, 2013 – Four people were killed when Flight 1453 crashed near the village of St. Mary's. Among the fatalities were the pilot, Terry Hanson, 68, and three residents of Mountain Village: Rose Polty, 57, Richard Polty, 65, and Wyatt Coffee, five months old. Six more passengers were injured. The flight originated from Bethel.[33]
  • August 31, 2016 – A Ravn Connect Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX collided with a Renfro's Alaskan Adventures Piper Super Cub during a flight from Russian Mission Airport to Marshall Airport in Alaska. The five people on board the two aircraft lost their lives.[34]
  • October 2, 2016 – Three people were killed when a Ravn Alaska Cessna 208B crashed near Togiak, Alaska. There were no survivors.[35]
  • October 17, 2019 – PenAir flight 3296,[36] a Saab 2000, N686PA, on a scheduled flight from Anchorage to Unalaska, went off the runway after landing at the Unalaska Airport, teetering over a bank toward a nearby body of water. The left propeller was destroyed and at least part of one blade entered the passenger cabin. An eyewitness reported high winds at the time of the accident. There were 39 passengers, including a high school swim team from Cordova, Alaska, and three flight crew aboard the flight. One confirmed fatality, two passengers were critically injured, with 10 more receiving medical care at a local hospital. There was no fire.[37][38][39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". av-info.faa.gov. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  2. ^ "Fleet" (PDF). Ravn Alaska. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  3. ^ "Leadership Shuffle At Ravn Air". KYUK. July 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "Ravn Alaska, under scrutiny after fatal crash, gets new management". Anchorage Daily News. October 2, 2017.
  5. ^ "Ravn Alaska begins daily service to King Salmon, Dillingham". Aviation Tribune. February 20, 2018.
  6. ^ "Contact Us". Ravn Air. Retrieved April 11, 2020. RavnAir Group 4700 Old International Airport Road Anchorage, AK 99502
  7. ^ "Ravn Alaska History" (PDF). Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  8. ^ a b White, Bill (February 17, 2009). "Rivals to acquire Era Aviation". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Mondor, Colleen (January 4, 2014). "Era Alaska rebranding itself as Ravn Alaska". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  10. ^ Saul, Joshua (October 14, 2009). "HoTH buys Arctic Circle Air Service". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  11. ^ "HoTH Inc. Announces Rebranding OF Air Carrier Group". Alaska Business. December 1, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  12. ^ "Era Alaska renames itself Ravn Alaska". Juneau Empire. January 3, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  13. ^ a b McMurren, Scott (August 6, 2015). "Ravn Alaska sells majority stake to Outside private equity firm". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  14. ^ Grove, Casey (January 2, 2014). "Era's 'family of airlines' re-brands". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  15. ^ Matheson, Ben (January 7, 2014). "Era Alaska Changes Name To Ravn Alaska". Alaska Public Media. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  16. ^ Demer, Lisa (March 6, 2017). "Yute sold planes and hangar to Ravn before it closed up". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  17. ^ Taylor, Victoria (January 14, 2018). "Ravn Alaska's safety management system gets FAA approval". KTUU. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  18. ^ "FAA Approves Ravn Alaska's Safety Management System". Aviation Tribune. January 16, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  19. ^ Trainer, Lex, Ravn to end all service, layoff all staff and file for bankruptcy, Alaska Public Media April 5, 2020
  20. ^ https://www.ktuu.com/content/news/RavnAir-stops-all-operations-and-lays-off-staff-due-to-COVID-19-pandemic-569394471.html
  21. ^ https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/aviation/2020/04/02/ravn-suspends-air-service-including-mail-deliveries-to-most-rural-alaska-communities/
  22. ^ Williams, Tess (April 5, 2020). "RavnAir Group files for bankruptcy, stops flights and lays off remaining staff due to COVID-19". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  23. ^ "Attorney general: North Slope Borough can't seize Ravn assets". Associated Press. April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  24. ^ "Southern California company will take over some RavnAir service after bankruptcy auction". adn.com. July 10, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  25. ^ https://www.alaskapublic.org/2020/11/12/ravn-alaska-will-resume-flights-to-six-communities-friday/
  26. ^ https://ravnalaska.com/
  27. ^ https://ravnalaska.com/fly
  28. ^ "Destinations". Ravn Alaska. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  29. ^ Bedinger, Dave (January 19, 2018). "Ravn Alaska prepares for Bristol Bay routes". The Bristol Bay Times. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  30. ^ Lill, Avery (February 16, 2018). "Ravn begins flights between Bristol Bay and Anchorage". Alaska Public Media. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  31. ^ "Discovery Shows – Watch Now for FREE!". dsc.discovery.com. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  32. ^ "NTSB report: Fatal 1997 crash caused by ice, weight imbalance". JuneauEmpire.com. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  33. ^ "4 killed, including baby, in western Alaska crash". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  34. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX N752RV Russian Mission Airport, AK (RSH)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  35. ^ Boots, Michelle (October 2, 2016). "Troopers: 3 dead in crash of small plane in Southwest Alaska". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  36. ^ ""New" PenAir Officially Joins Ravn Air Group". FlyRavn. December 21, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  37. ^ "Plane nose down off Unalaska runway". Must Read Alaska. October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  38. ^ "UPDATE: Two critically injured in Unalaska plane crash". KTUU. October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  39. ^ "PenAir plane flying from Anchorage crashes at Unalaska airport". Anchorage Daily News. October 18, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2019.

External links[edit]