Ravn rearrival likely two weeks out

Oct 16, 2020

Ravn Alaska received approval to start up operations from the Federal Airline Administration Tuesday.
Credit Avery Lill/KDLG

 Two long-awaited changes at the Kenai Airport are landing this fall. Ravn Alaska is expected to resume service under its new owners in less than two weeks and the airport will cut the ribbon on its two-year terminal remodel mid-November.

Ravn’s return has been a long time coming. The air carrier, now under FLOAT Shuttle, Inc., recently re-entered an airport lease agreement with the city, following its bankruptcy under previous owners this summer.  But it was still working out the details on when it would restart service, pending approval from the Federal Airline Administration and Department of Transportation.

The airline received approval from the FAA Tuesday. Kenai Airport Manager Mary Bondurant says that’s when she heard about Ravn’s new timeline.

“The last update that we received from Ravn Alaska was on Tuesday, Oct. 13 and it looks like about two weeks before they could start service into Kenai,” she said. “They’re waiting for the final step in approval with the DOT and then they should be good to go.”

That final step involves a two-week window during which members of the public can inform DOT if there are reasons Ravn is not fit to reopen, called a “show cause order.”

Bondurant said the airport is ready for the air carrier to move in once they’ve received the green light.

On the peninsula, Ravn plans to offer service between Kenai and Anchorage, and Homer to Anchorage. Peggy Swisher, the Ravn manager for Homer, confirmed that ticket sales will resume in Homer on Oct. 28. 

In other local aviation news, the Kenai Airport overhaul, which started in 2018, will finish up Nov. 13.

That involved the creation of a larger area for baggage processing and new office space, as well as some aesthetic changes. Much of the $12 million bill is being covered by the FAA.

Bondurant said there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for that project at 1 p.m. Nov. 13.