TRAVEL

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Thanks to a new direct flight, Unalaskans are bringing food and clothes to their northern neighbors on St. George Island, some 200 miles across the Bering Sea.

The community of 60 people has already received dozens of boxes filled with canned goods, winter clothing, and spare blankets.

"I can't thank the people enough in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor for caring about us," said Mayor Pat Pletnikoff of St. George. "It's pretty amazing."

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

Next year, the Tustumena ferry is tentatively scheduled to make its first Aleutian sailing on May 7, according to a summer calendar proposed by the Alaska Marine Highway System.

The draft shows the M/V Tustumena making two monthly trips along the southwest route from Homer to Unalaska. They're slated for the first and third weeks of each month.

State officials say the ferry is expected to make 10 Aleutian sailings in total.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

St. George Island has a new air carrier.

Grant Aviation won the community's Essential Air Service contract this fall, after PenAir decided to drop the route during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Residents of the notoriously hard-to-reach island are hoping the change will bring more reliable flights, but they're not sold yet on their new provider.

KUCB's Laura Kraegel was on the first flight.

City of Unalaska

Creating a public bus system would boost Unalaska's economy — and help certain community groups become more mobile.

Those are the results of a transportation study conducted by the city's Planning Department, which analyzed traffic patterns and hosted two bus trials over the last year.

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.

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