The Kenai City Council approved a resolution Wednesday that served two connected purposes: end the lease with the old Ravn Alaska and start a new lease with the new Ravn Alaska, now operated by FLOAT Shuttle, Inc.
FLOAT bought a large portion of Ravn’s assets for $8 million this summer, after Ravn filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Ravn, which was previously Alaska’s biggest rural air service, flew with the airlines Corvus and PenAir. FLOAT is based in Southern California.
Kenai City Attorney Scott Bloom said the resolution approved by the council did not stipulate any specific terms for Ravn’s terminated lease. Generally, it will allow the bankruptcy judge to reject Ravn’s ongoing lease with the Kenai Municipal Airport. Ravn will also pay the city its leases that are past due.
“We’re still negotiating,” he said. “I think Ravn’s bankruptcy attorneys are having a difficult time getting information out of Ravn’s accounting office, so we’re still working on some numbers. But, basically, what that will provide for is we will end the lease with Ravn, effective Sept. 8, and they will make payments to us as an administrative claim through the bankruptcy.”
The resolution did offer specific terms for the new Ravn Airline operating agreement and terminal lease at the airport. Under these provisions, it will pay rent from Sept. 8 through June 30, 2025.
The agreement grants approximately 1,452 square feet of space in the terminal to Ravn, as well as 31,755 square feet of apron aircraft parking and ground support space. The lease incorporates the same terms and conditions Grant Aviation follows in its agreement, accounting for differences in leased space.
City Manager Paul Ostrander said he’s pleased with the arrangement.
“We feel that the lease and operating agreement that we put together now is very favorable for the city, and it’s also equitable for the operators, themselves," he said. "So we’re very comfortable with the terms that we’ve negotiated.”
Bloom said when the new Ravn will move into its new, old Ravn digs remains to be determined.
“I know that Ravn wants to get in there, into the airport as soon as possible and start installing equipment," he said. "Sept. 22 was the last date that I heard from them as the earliest date that they would begin having flights coming in and out but … hopefully they’ll make that happen. It seems optimistic.”
A customer service representative from Ravn said the company would try to move into the airport by the end of the month, or mid-October, but there is no set date for when it will begin flying.