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New Pacific Airlines Proposes EAS Contracts

New Pacific Airlines could soon be flying its first Essential Air Service (EAS) routes.

Two completed New Pacific Airways airplanes at Ontario. (Photo: New Pacific Airways)

New Pacific Airlines, or more specifically known as Ravn Alaska, has proposed service to two Essential Air Service (EAS) communities in the Midwest.

Back in 2022, Sun Country bid for and won its first EAS contract in Eau Claire, Wis., which AirlineGeeks flew onboard. This set a new tone in the EAS world, with ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCC) now winning contracts with communities that before only saw conventional hub and spoke airlines. Now, multiple airlines in the lower 48, outside of the typical major and commuter carriers, are beginning to place bids as well, including airlines like Sun Country and Breeze.

However, these new carriers’ bidding doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll win every time. Sun Country proposed EAS flights to several communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin back in the Fall of 2023, all of which they lost. In addition, there are other small commuter operators seldom heard of such as ‘Cool Air’ which never gained any steam.

Enter Ravn, an Alaska-based airline that serves 11 destinations within the state with its Dash 8 under the Ravn brand. In addition, the airline operates two routes out of Ontario, Calif. using its Boeing 757 under the New Pacific Airlines brand.

New Pacific’s first Boeing 757-200 at an unveiling event in Southern California (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Zera)

North Dakota Routes

New Pacific, under the Ravn name, proposed service on multiple routes out of Denver to communities in Kansas and Nebraska, all of which the carrier lost. But that hasn’t deterred it as the company is trying again; this time for Jamestown and Devils Lake, both of which are located in North Dakota. The airline is proposing service to Minneapolis/St. Paul 14 times a week from Jamestown and 12 times a week from Devils Lake.

Currently, both communities see service with SkyWest under the United Express brand and are part of a tag routing to Denver. The aircraft starts in Denver and flies to Jamestown, where it will then load up and drop off passengers before continuing to Devils Lake and finally back to Denver. The routing also occurs in reverse with Devils Lake acting as the first stop.

A United Express CRJ-200 arriving into Chicago O’Hare (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

With Ravn, each city would get its own nonstop flights, but they would be downgrading from a 50-seat CRJ-200 to a 37-seat Dash 8. Ravn also mentioned that it has interline agreements with five airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Sun Country, the latter of the two both having hubs in Minneapolis.

If the airline does win the contract, it would be the re-entry of Dash 8 service into the lower 48 states since Alaska ended Q400 service a couple of years ago. The current contract doesn’t expire in either community until June 30, 2024, so there is still some time for this to all play out.

In both communities, they also have two other applicants; Boutique Air, which is proposing service to Minneapolis on its eight-seat Pilatus PC-12s, and current carrier SkyWest which is proposing what it currently operates.

Joey Gerardi

Author

  • Joey Gerardi

    Joe has always been interested in planes, for as long as he can remember. He grew up in Central New York during the early 2000s when US Airways Express turboprops ruled the skies. Being from a non-aviation family made it harder for him to be around planes and would only spend about three hours a month at the airport. He was so excited when he could drive by himself and the first thing he did with the license was get ice cream and go plane spotting for the entire day. When he has the time (and money) he likes to take spotting trips to any location worth a visit. He’s currently enrolled at Western Michigan University earning a degree in Aviation Management and Operations.

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