RAVN

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Alaska’s largest rural airline is $90 million in debt and could be forced to sell its assets and shut down permanently, putting rural travel and supply lines in peril unless the government or new investors come to the aid of the bankrupt company, according to documents filed in federal court.

As the coronavirus pandemic batters the aviation industry, the teetering RavnAir Group may have obtained a $12 million loan that leaves “some hope that there may still be a rescue,” Tobias Keller, a Ravn attorney, said Tuesday at a bankruptcy hearing in Delaware.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

On Sunday, RavnAir Group announced that it is grounding all aircraft immediately, including flights to and from Unalaska. This leaves the city without any commercial flights.

RavnAir has parked its entire fleet of aircraft, halted all operations, and "temporarily" laid off all staff, according to a press release issued by spokeswoman Deb Reinwand.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Updated 4/02/20 at 1:00 p.m.

According to city officials, RavnAir Group called shortly after 12 p.m. on Thursday and said it will be cutting service to Unalaska.

"The city was notified midday today that Ravn is discontinuing flights between Unalaska/Dutch Harbor and Anchorage," said a press release from the City of Unalaska. "The effective date is uncertain, but it may be as early as tomorrow, April 3, 2020." 

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Since RavnAir Group's PenAir plane crash in October, Unalaskans haven't been able to use Alaska Airlines miles to book flights to or from Anchorage.

Now, City Manager Erin Reinders has hope the airlines are nearing a deal that'll let travelers use their stockpiled miles rather than shell out cash or forgo trips.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The City Council's top priority is the "stabilization" of Unalaska's commercial flights.

On Tuesday, councilors voted unanimously to update their state legislative initiatives ahead of a lobbying trip to Juneau next month.

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