Northern Pacific Airways Files Its First Flight Schedule

Northern Pacific Airways started out with a strange business plan to fly one-stop between several U.S. cities and Asia via a connecting hub in Anchorage using used Boeing 757s (including retired American Airlines planes).

They offered a scammy-sounding investment pitch, akin to a crypto scam, and didn’t bolster confidence further when they announced their frequent flyer currency would be what seems like a crypto scam (“FlyCoin”).

They pivoted their business plan to fly between the U.S. and Mexico, and then they pivoted saying they wanted to base at Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, operating from there to destinations throughout the Asia Pacific region (huh).

While they had never operated a flight they claimed to be worth $350 million, but pitched investors that they’d gladly accept funds at a $280 million valuation (I’d bet they would!).

The plan was to launch in 2022, and they kept sticking to that until the end of 2022. Would you believe, though, that they’re inching closer to operating a flight? They’ve filed a schedule to begin operations June 2… with scheduled service from Ontario, California to Las Vegas.

Southwest operates 7 peak daily flights on the route. Frontier flies once daily. And Northern Pacific has filed once-weekly Thursday service to Las Vegas through July 27 with returns on Sunday through July 30.

I’m seeing pricing starting at $93 all-in each way ($72.65 base fare):

Some online travel agency sites appear to list this for a bit less, at $91 and for $84.01 – though it does not appear possible to book this on the Northern Pacific website, or Ravn Alaska which is the airline behind the airline here.

I can see operating some test flights before a full launch, especially if they do not have government permission for international service. It’s not clear, though, exactly what their business plan is at this point.

There’s going to be very little demand for connecting from major U.S. cities to Tokyo or Seoul, when passengers can already fly non-stop. Boeing 757s are cheap but narrowbodies aren’t a great customer experience for long haul. If they still want to hub in Anchorage, that’s both a highly seasonabl destination and one that’s seen increasing competition. And long haul low cost carriers don’t have a strong track record of success.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Gary – Sure it seems like they don’t have a viable business model NOW, but what you don’t know is that there are major discussions behind the scenes about a merger with Baltia Airlines followed by a Joint Venture with Global Ghana Airways. Once that gets DOJ approval, they will be in great shape to compete with any airline on the planet.

  2. @Doug – SURELY there is a bigger opportunity to partner with Avatar Airlines than with Global Ghana, at least initially.

  3. My Grandparents used to take the Northern Pacific Railway to the West Coast. Terrific food & nice sleepers. And a good Safety record. No crypto accepted.

    I wish them success and hope they get the safety part correct. Anchorage is quite expensive both ways. I think there is some opportunity there.

  4. Where is Seth Miller or Noel Phillips when you REALLY need them to try a new route and airline 🙂

  5. One of their major investors was the prince of Nigeria who recently passed away. So all other Northern Pacific investors need to do is wire the money to cover the government taxes and fees.

  6. They must be really serious about operating at Ontario. They have posted a position for a
    Full Time B757 Aircraft Maintenance Technician.

    Too bad that Ravn Alaska/Northern Pacific doesn’t follow California regulations by failing to post the wage and/or salary (required in all job postings as of 1/1/23) for the position – unless they expect to have less than 15 employees in California?


  7. Weren’t these guys trying to become the Icelandair of the West? I think that’s why they went with the 757 and the Anchorage connecting hub.

  8. Did Alaska move its headquarters to SEA precisely because of the dearth of traffic within Alaska? I can see KEF and HEL (and PTY) work as “transfer once in a non-hellish airport” appeal, but there aren’t enough mid-sized cities on the west coast that don’t already have a direct flight to Tokyo where a midpoint hub could fill in pent up demand.

    Add in the fact that most major Asian cities are in a geographic line / great Circle path from ANC and those 757s aren’t making it past Shanghai, it seems like there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the geography of the Northern Pacific at Northern Pacific Airways

  9. Although the larger Asian cities already have nonstops to larger US cities, there’s a lot of vacation destinations like Kyoto and Busan that don’t. But like you said, the fact that the US doesn’t have sterile international transfer (can’t serve canada-to-asia routes) and the 757’s limited range really hamper it here.

  10. If they get ETOPS certifications and can do a polar route, they can also connect Northern Europe to Hawaii

  11. I wonder if they got permission from BNSF Railway to use that name. (BNSF Railway = merger in the late 1990s of Santa Fe and Burlington Northern; BN = merger in 1970 of Great Northern, Northern Pacific and Burlington railroads).

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