Northern Pacific Airways Begins Service In California


The U.S.’s newest airline is scheduled to operate its first revenue flight on Friday (July 14) but the departure and destination seem at odds with the new airline’s name. Northern Pacific Airways announced on July 8 that it had been signed off by the FAA to begin scheduled service. But the Anchorage-based airline will launch from Ontario Airport in California for a 45-minute hop to Las Vegas with its first paying customers. The return flight is the following Sunday. The airline says it’s all part of the plan to get the myriad systems of an airline up and running before executing its ultimate plan of offering cheap flights to Asia.

Northern Pacific intends to adopt a model made successful by Iceland carriers to boost the tourism industry of their home bases while offering budget intercontinental flights. Northern Pacific hopes that enough people on the West Coast would enjoy a couple of days in Anchorage before heading to an Asian destination that it can fill its fleet of Boeing 757s. IcelandAir used 757s to haul curious customers from North American departure points to Reykjavik before dropping them in London, Frankfurt and Paris. Northern Pacific is hoping to begin the Asian flights in 2024.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Having experienced the Icelandic/Loftlidier propjet service in converted CL44’s in the 60’s (with a drop off in Luxembourg..) the business model can work.. Spending 4 hours in the drab terminal in Reykjavik while plane refueled was uninspiring, and I suspect similar stopovers in Anchorage not a thrill.. IIRC, Luxembourg paid them $50 or $100 for every passenger dropped off at their airport, hoping for return of tourist spending to get out of the country…

  2. Pacific Northern Airways/Airlines brings back memories from the 1960s. Pacific Northern Airlines (PNA) ws formed in Alaska in the 1930s by Art Woodley. PNA was bought by Western Airlines in 1967 and by Delta Airlines in 1987. I was hired by PNA in 1966 as a pilot on Lockheed Constellations and then Boeing 720s. We flew mostly Seattle to Anchorage and other Alaska cities. It was a great time working and flying for PNA and Western. Todays’ airline flying doesn’t seem quite the same to say the least.