Industry

Stories from the KUCB Newsroom on the topic of business and industry. Also includes volunteer Frank Kelty's weekly fisheries update, the Unalaska Fisheries Report.

Pipa Escalante/KUCB

PenAir is headed to the auction block Wednesday — more than a year after the southwest Alaska airline filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Court and company officials have declined to name the prospective buyers that submitted bids last week, but residents say they're hoping for more reliable service.

Lauren Divine has had a lot of "unfortunate" experiences flying PenAir.

"With customer service, reservations, flights being delayed and canceled," she said.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

After more than 20 years of playing with the idea, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is closing in on its final recommendations for a dredging project in Iliuliuk Bay.

Removing a large sandbar could open the Port of Dutch Harbor to deeper-draft vessels — and bigger business. But it might also affect wildlife, currents, and erosion along Front Beach.

This week, the Corps is visiting Unalaska to present the first draft of its feasibility study. KUCB's Laura Kraegel spoke with Ports Director Peggy McLaughlin to learn more about the project.

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Sarah Hansen/KUCB

This winter, Unalaska's seafood plants could host a handful of prison inmates — if the community joins a work release program run by the state Department of Corrections.

DOC Commissioner Dean Williams proposed the idea to the City Council this week, citing interest from at least one local processor that he declined to name.

Williams said he'd like to start with four or five inmates, who would go through a thorough vetting and selection process. They'd work at plants and live at bunkhouses under strict rules and electronic surveillance.

Chrissy Roes

One of southwest Alaska's largest airlines will soon be up for sale.

A federal judge has ordered PenAir be auctioned off this October — more than a year after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

The carrier is promising residents of the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands that their only connection to Anchorage won't just vanish.

The Seybert family founded Alaska-grown PenAir in 1955, and they still own it today.

The company includes 430 employees, 10 airplanes, and eight routes across Bristol Bay, the Alaska Peninsula, and the Aleutian chain.

Pipa Escalante/KUCB

After filing for bankruptcy protection last summer, PenAir has been ordered to sell off its assets to avoid a shutdown.

A federal judge has scheduled the auction for early October, following an emergency motion by the trustee appointed to oversee the airline's bankruptcy proceedings.

In the motion filed Wednesday, Trustee Gerard McHale argued for the "expedited sale schedule" in light of PenAir's "quickly deteriorating cash position."

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