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New Pacific Airlines/Ravn Alaska CEO departs after disagreement with owners 

The veteran airline executive’s departure is due to significant differences with the company’s owners over the strategy and vision for the firm’s future. 

New Pacific Airlines, previously known as Northern Pacific Airways, started up in 2021 with the idea of linking the continental United States and East Asia by way of Alaska. However, the launch of trans-Pacific flights has been repeatedly postponed, reportedly due to regulatory hurdles. 

The airline has since struggled to find an alternative business model and use for its Boeing 757 fleet.  

For some time, New Pacific Airlines toyed with the idea of entering the California to Mexico market. It also offered its fleet to the government of the Northern Marianas, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean, to operate as the local flag carrier.  

In July 2023, the airline finally launched its first scheduled service between its base at Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Las Vegas (LAS), followed by additional services to Reno-Tahoe (RNO) and Nashville (BNA). New Pacific Airlines, however, failed to gain traction on any of these markets and, in April 2024, it announced it was discontinuing all its regular flights to become a charter-only operator. 

New Pacific Airlines is a subsidiary of FLOAT Alaska, which is also the parent company of Ravn Alaska, the largest regional carrier in the northernmost US state. Crypto currency entrepreneur and investor Josh Jones is reportedly the largest shareholder at the airline group. 

The current owners of both New Pacific Airlines and Ravn Alaska acquired the Alaskan regional carrier in 2020, shortly after it filed for bankruptcy, and returned it to service with a reduced structure. 

The two airlines combined formed the kernel of a group that would have offered both long-haul flights across the Pacific and regional connectivity within Alaska for passengers stopping over on their way between America and Asia. This is a model that would have mimicked the one operated by Icelandic carriers Icelandair and PLAY in the North Atlantic market.  

However, the airline faced rather unsurmountable obstacles when it came to the implementation of the model, mostly in the form of ETOPS restrictions on its Boeing 757 aircraft, a problem that was compounded by the closure of Russian airspace to US carriers following the start of the war in Ukraine.  

The airline was also forced to change its original name to the current New Pacific Airlines following a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the Northern Pacific Railroad. 

Tom Hsieh, who until now served as chairman of the airline group, will take over the reins of CEO at the two airlines, replacing McKinney. 

Ravn Alaska is again in the spotlight after it laid off 130 of its 400-strong workforce in March 2024, citing the lack of profitability of some of the routes it operates.  

In parallel to these management changes, Ravn Alaska, which had been experimenting with a blockchain-based loyalty program called Flycoin, and has also cut ties with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.  

The post New Pacific Airlines/Ravn Alaska CEO departs after disagreement with owners  appeared first on AeroTime.

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