Alaska has warned the US Government that its largest regional airline, RavnAir Group, as well as many other airlines are in danger of bankruptcy which could leave rural communities completely isolated.
RavnAir has experienced an “astonishing” decline in bookings and revenue due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline filed for bankruptcy on 5 April and laid off most of its staff and grounded its fleet of 72 planes, claiming that “government aid would not arrive before it ran out of cash”.
With over 80% of Alaskan communities accessible by air, the country depends on passenger and air cargo transport. A lack of air travel could “damage our other industries such as oil and gas, mining, seafood, and tourism” according to Alaska’s congressional delegation.
RavnAir stated that the airline was working towards resuming its air services that are essential to communities and the state of Alaska. It hopes to receive rescue funding under the CARES Act from the US Government, – which expects to distribute $32 billion across the aviation industry. If the Alaskan carrier is successful in its bid to receive funding, it “hopes to restart operations with as many of its laid-off employees as required.”