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Alaska Airlines, Grant Aviation Announce Service Between Unalaska And Anchorage

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Alaska Airlines and Grant Aviation will begin regular flights between Unalaska and Anchorage on May 16.

Grant Aviation announced on Tuesday that it will be offering passenger service between Unalaska and Cold Bay. From there, Alaska Airlines will connect to Anchorage.

Flights from Unalaska will be scheduled twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

"New service to Cold Bay provides scheduled flights to the Aleutian Islands," said Marilyn Romano, Alaska regional vice president for Alaska Airlines. "With the loss of air service to Dutch Harbor, this new service will provide an option for residents and travelers to connect to Unalaska on other carriers."

After RavnAir Group – the only commercial airline serving Unalaska – grounded flights and filed for bankruptcy in early April due to a steep reduction in travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Alaska Airlines announced it would begin providing service to Cold Bay. In the meantime, Unalaskans have had to rely on charter service to get to and from the island, costing upwards of $1300 roundtrip.

Following months of flight uncertainties for the community, Alaska Airlines and RavnAir had reached a mileage sharing agreement in mid-March. Less than a month later,  Ravn suspended all operations. 

Many Unalaskans have long relied on Alaska's miles to lessen the financial sting of purchasing tickets to Anchorage. But that option disappeared when Ravn and Alaska suspended their marketing partnership in the wake of afatal plane crash in October and an ongoing investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Starting this week, Alaska Airlines' customers can once again earn and redeem miles with the airline's mileage plan on the Anchorage to Cold Bay leg of the trip. 

Hope McKenney is a public radio news director, reporter, producer and host based in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
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