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Two Bristol Bay charter companies merge with Grant Aviation

Grant Aviation plane
Courtesy of Grant Aviation
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https://www.flygrant.com/about-us/news/gallery/

President and CEO of Grant Aviation Robert Kelly said the two carriers will have access to all of the airline's resources. He also said travelers should see more flights — and more efficient services, like mail delivery.

Two of Dillingham’s charter plane services have merged with Grant Aviation. The airline announced Thursday that Shannon’s Air Taxi and Tanana Air Service will partner with the carrier under the Grant name.

President and CEO of Grant Aviation Robert Kelly said the two carriers will have access to all of the airline's resources. He also said travelers should see more flights — and more efficient services, like mail delivery.

“It’ll allows us to better utilize the assets so that we can make the most out of each flight by utilizing the planes more fully," he said. "If the plane is being fully utilized, it won’t take as many trips to get the community served. So, I think that’s those synergies that’ll come out of it.”

The airline has also extended employment to all of Shannon’s and Tanana employees. In an announcement, Eric Shade said, “It’s been an honor to serve Bristol Bay, and I am pleased to be joining with Grant to continue serving the region," and continued, "By teaming up, I’m confident that we will be able to grow and provide an even better service to Bristol Bay.”

Neither Eric nor Prunie Shade were available to comment by broadcast time.

Kelly, Grant's CEO, said Grant Aviation will maintain each carrier’s current routes. Both Tanana and Shannon’s will continue to charter flights for travelers to communities across Bristol Bay, including Dillingham, Ekwok, Koliganek, King Salmon, Egegik, Igiugig, South Naknek and Perryville.

“Both Eric and his wife Prunie are going to focus at least some, if not all of their attention on maintaining those charter customers," Kelly said. "They’ll specialize in being the charter pilot for those established customers that he’s been servicing in the past.”

Grant Aviation also provides service to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, the Alaska Peninsula, the Aleutian Chain and other connection flights across the state.

Travelers will be able to book all flights through Grant’s online portal. Those who fly with the newly merged carriers will also be entitled to Grant’s benefits and reward programs.

Contact the author at tyler@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.