Alaska's Northern Pacific Airways To Start Service With U.S. Domestic Route
Start-up carrier Northern Pacific had previously planned one-stop transpacific service and U.S.-Mexico trans-border flights.
Alaska-based Northern Pacific Airways says it will launch inaugural operations with service between southern California and Las Vegas (LAS) from June 4.
The startup will operate from Ontario (ONT) in California, a secondary airport in the Los Angeles area some 60 mi. from LAX, to LAS 1X-weekly using a Boeing 757-200.
Northern Pacific’s originally outlined plans had called for using refurbished 757-200s to connect secondary airports in the continental U.S. to Asia—the airline previously cited “pent-up” demand in Japan and South Korea—via Anchorage (ANC). But the carrier, a sister airline to Alaskan regional operator Ravn, then pivoted in August 2022 and said it would operate from ONT to Mexican destinations first.
Now, a short-haul US domestic route will mark Northern Pacific’s entry into service. “The airline now has a live flight schedule, purchasable tickets and refurbished aircraft ready to go, and I can’t wait for passengers to meet our team onboard and fly with us,” CEO Rob McKinney says in a statement. "I know that our weekend getaway flights will be an incredibly convenient and cost-effective way for people to enjoy themselves in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas.”
Northern Pacific will compete with Southwest Airlines on the ONT-LAS route, which is not served nonstop by any other carrier.
Northern Pacific notes on its website that it is “still working out details” regarding Asia service, but the company now describes its Asia plans as "flights between points in East Asia,” indicating flights within Asia and within the U.S. are being prioritized over attempts to launch one-stop transpacific service or flights to Mexico.
There is no mention of plans for transpacific flights via ANC, nor of U.S.-Mexico service in the airline’s announcement regarding the Ontario-Las Vegas route.
Northern Pacific has received approval from the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) to serve all countries covered by existing U.S. Open Skies agreements.
This article was originally published on aviationweek.com.