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Peninsula Airways (PenAir)
PenAir logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operationsApril 5, 2020 (merged into Ravn Alaska)
AOC #PNSA044A[1]
Frequent-flyer programMileage Plan FlyAway Rewards
Fleet size6 (5 operative aircraft)
HeadquartersAnchorage, Alaska, U.S.

Peninsula Airways, operating as PenAir, was a U.S.-based regional airline headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska. It was Alaska's second-largest commuter airline operating scheduled passenger service, as well as charter and medevac services throughout the state. Its main base was Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. PenAir had a code sharing agreement in place with Alaska Airlines with its flights operated in the state of Alaska.

PenAir Saab 340B
PenAir Saab 340B


Peninsula Airways was founded by Orin Seybert in 1955. Seybert was 19 years old, living in Pilot Point, Alaska, and owned a 1946 two-seat Taylorcraft. In 1956, a four-seat Piper Tri-Pacer was added. On March 1, 1965, Peninsula Airways became incorporated and purchased the fixed base operation (FBO) in King Salmon.

In 1967, Peninsula Airways became a full-time subcontractor to Reeve Aleutian Airways, meeting Reeve's certificate obligations to Chignik, Perryville and Ivanoff Bay.

In 1969, Peninsula Airways acquired all assets of Tibbetts-Herre Airmotive, which had operated from Naknek since 1950. By 1973, regular service was provided between King Salmon and the Pribilof Island communities, St. Paul and St. George. Charter service was also extended into the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor, Atka and Adak with Grumman G-44 Widgeon amphibious aircraft.

In 1977, two Grumman Goose amphibious aircraft were purchased from Reeve Aleutian Airways, and the sub-contract was expanded to cover all locations certificated to Reeve throughout the Alaskan Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. This required setting up an operating base at Cold Bay, with hangars, offices and employee housing.

In 1980, the Civil Aeronautics Board awarded a Part 401 Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Peninsula Airways, and all aircraft operations were conducted under Part 135 of the Federal Air Regulations.

In 1983, Peninsula Airways acquired its first turboprop: a Cessna Conquest operated out of Cold Bay. Peninsula Airways was the first Alaskan air carrier to qualify for CAB Part 419 subsidy, allowing the airline to operate Essential Air Service (EAS) routes to Atka, St. George and Kodiak Island.

PenAir Saab 340B (N406XJ) in latest livery at Denver International Airport
PenAir Saab 340B (N406XJ) in latest livery at Denver International Airport

In 1985, Peninsula Airways acquired all assets of Air Transport Services, Inc., based in Kodiak. Included in the deal was a hangar and office facility with approximately six aircraft and scheduled year-round service to all points on the Island. A base was established in Anchorage with two Cessna Conquest turboprops offering charter service from Anchorage to the Pribilof Islands. Scheduled service from Anchorage to King Salmon and Dillingham was added a year later.

The first Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner propjet was placed into service in 1987 and Metro aircraft remained in the fleet until 2011.

In 1988, several bush operators in Dillingham had their certificates revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), prompting Peninsula Airways to set up an operation there. A hangar and aircraft were purchased and service to the surrounding communities began.

In 1989, Peninsula Airways was contracted by Exxon to support the Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup. At the same time, a contract was awarded to Peninsula Airways by Alaska Regional Hospital to provide 24-hour medevac service. Peninsula Airways' operations were inspected and approved by Exxon Corporation, U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Aviation Services (OAS), U.S. Department of Defense, and two (FAA) NASIP "white glove" inspections.

In 1991, Peninsula Airways began doing business as PenAir and became a code sharing and Mileage Plan partner with Alaska Airlines. PenAir transitioned to FAA Part 121 regulations in 1996, operating under both Part 135 and 121. PenAir was the first regional airline in the United States to make the 10-19 seat required conversion, including a dispatch department.

In 1997, PenAir acquired two Saab 340B aircraft and, in 1998, moved its headquarters into a new hangar/office complex in Anchorage, Alaska.[2]

The airline expanded its operations outside of Alaska in 2012 after bidding on and being awarded Essential Air Service routes in the Northeastern United States. It established a hub at Boston's Logan International Airport and started operating service to Presque Isle, Maine and Plattsburgh, New York, with additional seasonal service to Bar Harbor, Maine.[3][4]

PenAir's presence in the continental United States greatly expanded in 2016 when the airline was awarded multiple Essential Air Service routes in the Midwestern and Western United States. The airline established its third and fourth hubs at Denver International Airport and Portland International Airport. From Denver, PenAir operated service to Dodge City and Liberal, Kansas and Kearney, North Platte, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska.[5] From Portland, PenAir operated Essential Air Service to Crescent City, California and also began service to Arcata/Eureka and Redding, California and Klamath Falls and North Bend/Coos Bay, Oregon.

On August 7, 2017, PenAir filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. PenAir made the decision to end all flights out of its Denver and Portland hubs. Routes in California and Oregon that were not funded by Essential Air Service subsidies were terminated within days. The terms of the Essential Air Service contract required that PenAir continue to operate those routes until a new airline could be awarded the contract, a process expected to be completed within 90 days.[6][7] On August 30, 2017, PenAir announced it would cease all Denver operations effective after September 10, 2017 due to a mass resignation involving 17 crew members.[8]

On November 30, 2017, PenAir announced it would end its service to Crescent City, California as of December 15. The city has chosen Contour Airlines to operate the Essential Air Service route, but PenAir stated it would be unable to continue the service until Contour begins operating.[9]

On May 30, 2018, PenAir cancelled service via Boston to and from Plattsburgh, Bar Harbor and Presque Isle a month early, citing staffing issues, breaking their Essential Air Services contract with the Department of Transportation.[10][11][12][13][14]

On June 1, 2019, PenAir ceased direct ticket sales under its own brand. From that day, all PenAir flights are marketed and sold using Ravn Alaska (7H) flight numbers.[15]


PenAir Grumman Goose
PenAir Grumman Goose

As of March 2019 the PenAir fleet consisted of the following aircraft:[16]

PenAir Fleet
Aircraft In Service Seats
Saab 2000 5 45
PenAir Saab 340B N424XJ. Note the SOL Lineas Aereas livery
PenAir Saab 340B N424XJ. Note the SOL Lineas Aereas livery

PenAir was the only air carrier in the U.S. operating the Saab 2000 regional turboprop in scheduled passenger airline service.

PenAir was among the last airlines in the world to operate the Grumman G-21A Goose seaplane on scheduled flights. This piston-powered amphibious aircraft was used to resupply remote coastal locations where no land-based airstrip existed. On December 21, 2012, the Grumman Goose made its final commercial flight from Unalaska to Anchorage.[17] PenAir also previously operated another piston-powered amphibious aircraft type being the Grumman G-44 Widgeon.

The airline also previously operated several turboprop-powered aircraft types including the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, Cessna 441 Conquest, as well as the Metro II, Metro III and Metro 23 variants of the Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner.

PenAir Saab 340B 1-2 Seating N406XJ
PenAir Saab 340B 1-2 Seating N406XJ

Previously operated piston-powered landplane aircraft included the Piper Navajo Chieftain and Piper Saratoga.[18]

According to the July 1, 2016 Alaska Airlines system timetable, PenAir was then operating all of its code sharing flights in the state of Alaska on behalf of Alaska Airlines with Saab 340B and Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft. The Saab 2000 is a larger, high-speed version of the Saab 340B while all Alaska Airlines code-sharing flights in the lower 48 states in the U.S. are operated by PenAir with the Saab 340B.[19]


Using Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport as an operating base, PenAir operated scheduled service to the following destinations in Alaska as of June 2019.[20]

  1. Anchorage (ANC) – Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (to Cold Bay, Dillingham, Dutch Harbor, King Salmon, Kodiak, Fairbanks, and Sand Point)
  2. Cold Bay (CDB) – Cold Bay Airport (to Anchorage)
  3. Dillingham (DLG) – Dillingham Airport (to Anchorage)
  4. Dutch Harbor / Unalaska (DUT) – Unalaska Airport (to Anchorage) (marketed and sold by Alaska Airlines)
  5. King Salmon (AKN) – King Salmon Airport (to Anchorage)
  6. Kodiak (ADQ) – Kodiak Airport (to Anchorage)
  7. Fairbanks (FAI) – Fairbanks International Airport (to Anchorage)
  8. Sand Point (SDP) – Sand Point Airport (to Anchorage)

All flights in the state of Alaska were operated as code sharing service with Ravn Alaska, with the exception of service to Dutch Harbor / Unalaska which was operated under a capacity purchase agreement, where flights were marketed and sold by Alaska Airlines and operated by PenAir.

Community awareness

PenAir, along with Bering Air, Frontier Flying Service, Grant Aviation, Northern Air Cargo, and Ryan Air Services all participate in the Flying Can service, which allows rural Alaskan communities to recycle aluminum cans and number 1 PET bottles in cooperation with Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling.[21]

Accidents and incidents

  • On October 10, 2001, Peninsula Airways (PenAir) Flight 350, a Cessna 208 Caravan (N9530F) on a scheduled flight from Dillingham, Alaska to King Salmon, Alaska, crashed shortly after takeoff from Dillingham Airport. The pilot and all nine passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed on impact. There was no fire.[22]
  • On October 17, 2019, PenAir Flight 3296, a Saab 2000 (N686PA) on a scheduled flight from Anchorage, Alaska to Unalaska, Alaska, 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 3 flight crew aboard the flight. One passenger was fatally injured, two passengers were critically injured, and 10 more received medical care at a local hospital. There was no fire.[23][24][25]

See also


  1. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  2. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2008-12-21 at the Wayback Machine." PenAir. Retrieved on July 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Lynds, Jen (21 May 2012). "Alaskan airline to begin service in Presque Isle, Bar Harbor". Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Maine. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  4. ^ Johnston, Katie (July 24, 2013). "Carrier PenAir links Logan to remote locales". The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. Archived from the original on 28 November 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  5. ^ Miller, Ben (August 8, 2017). "Alaska-based airline files for bankruptcy; it will close its new Denver hub". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  6. ^ "PenAir plans to shed Denver and Portland hubs in Chapter 11".
  7. ^ "PenAir Files for Chapter 11". Airliner World (October 2017): 13.
  8. ^, Kamie Stephen. "PenAir flights end Sept. 10". North Platte Nebraska's Newspaper. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  9. ^ "Pen-Air announces last day at BCRA". Del Norte Triplicate. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  10. ^ "PenAir ends service in PI a month early". The County. Retrieved 2018-05-30.
  11. ^ Polk, Leroy. "Alaska company PenAir files for Chapter 11 in Alaska Bankruptcy Court". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  12. ^ Reporter, By HOLLY DILLEMUTH H&N Staff. "PenAir to stop non-EAS routes, including Klamath Falls". Herald and News. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  13. ^ "Essential Air Service at KEARNEY, NEBRASKA / NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA / SCOTTSBLUFF, NEBRASKA / DOT-OST-1996-1715 / DOT-OST-1999-5173 / DOT-OST-2003-14535 - under 49 U.S.C. 41731 et seq" (PDF). Department of Transportation. 25 May 2016.
  14. ^ Miller, Scott. "PenAir won't fight WNRA request for new Scottsbluff essential air carrier". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "About Us". PenAir. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  17. ^ ""Flying Boat" Retires From PenAir Friday". Channel 2 News. December 21, 2012. Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  18. ^, photos of PenAir aircraft
  19. ^, Downloadable Timetable
  20. ^
  21. ^ Tuttle, Logan (16 June 2010). "Rural recycling finds a PET project". The Arctic Sounder. Alaska Newspapers, Inc. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  22. ^ "Investigative Update: Crash of PenAir Flight 350, Dillingham, Alaska".
  23. ^ "Plane nose down off Unalaska runway". Must Read Alaska. October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  24. ^ "UPDATE: Two critically injured in Unalaska plane crash". KTUU. October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  25. ^ "PenAir plane flying from Anchorage crashes at Unalaska airport". Anchorage Daily News. October 18, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 April 2021, at 20:20
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