St. Paul Island Secures Air Service Through Sunday

Dec 21, 2018

Community leaders say they have found a short-term solution to a snag they feared could have disrupted their flight service to Anchorage until February.

 

St. Paul is a Pribilof Island community with a population of about 500 people.
Credit John Ryan/KUCB

KUCB: St. Paul Island will have flights to Anchorage -- at least through Sunday according to a community notice.

A judge approved the owners of Ravn Air Group to purchase PenAir  -- the airline responsible for flights from St. Paul to Anchorage -- this fall at auction for $12.3 million more than a year after the aviation company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

But on Dec. 13 Ravn said they found out the Saab 340 they planned to lease from former PenAir CEO Danny Seybert to fly to St. Paul would not be available, throwing travel to the Pribilofs into jeopardy.

Since Tuesday, community leaders from St. Paul have been in talks with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the court appointed trustees overseeing the sale, Ravn, PenAir, the Dunleavy administration, and Alaska's congressional delegation in an effort to keep their flights running over the holidays.

A community notice states the Federal Aviation Administration has granted Ravn a certificate to fly their Dash-8 planes to St. Paul, but a test flight still needs to be completed before it can be carry passengers.

While a short-term solution has been found for air service, St. Paul Island's leadership is working on a long-term fix and is "hopeful passenger air service will go uninterrupted."