Era Alaska (Anchorage and Fairbanks), the brand that represents the family of airlines that includes Era Aviation, Hageland Aviation Services and Frontier Flying Service, is rebranding as Ravn Alaska. The airlines under the Era Alaska umbrella will also undergo rebranding. The move is reflective of Ravn Alaska’s ongoing effort to meet its mission of unsurpassed safety, excellent customer service, reliable and on-time flights, and safe and efficient handling of baggage and cargo. The effort is intended to decrease confusion in the marketplace with the Era name and distinguish the airline from others in the aviation industry – a process nearly six months in the making.
Era Aviation will become Corvus Airlines, and Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service will operate under the brand name Ravn Connect.
“We have worked hard to create an airline network that covers nearly the entire state of Alaska, and like the raven, we are statewide, strong in flight, and part of a united family that sticks together,” said Ravn Alaska CEO Bob Hajdukovich. “For more than 60 years, we have been a part of aviation in Alaska, and we look forward to this next chapter in our company’s history.”
Wherever you see Era Alaska today, you will see Ravn Alaska in the near future. The company will continue to operate in its current structure. There has been no change in ownership, staff or locations served. The rebranding of Era Alaska to Ravn Alaska will happen in phases and will take several months to fully complete. The website will transition from flyera.com to flyravn.com.
Background information on the three companies:
For decades, Era Alaska and its family of partners have been connecting some of the Last Frontier’s most famous destinations, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Bethel, Cordova, Homer, Valdez, Kenai, Kodiak and beyond.
Whether it’s Era Aviation, Hageland Aviation or Frontier Flying Service — combined, our companies have been flying here for about as long as Alaska’s been a state. In fact, our operations and experience have grown right alongside the Last Frontier.
The Era Alaska family is now proud to offer scheduled service to more than 100 communities statewide. Our team of professionals on the ground and in the air has the history and experience to offer the highest level of customer satisfaction today — and for the future. We offer service for passenger groups and odd-sized cargo up to 6,000 pounds, and have charter authority for anywhere in our great state, Canada and the Lower 48.
One of the earliest pieces of the Era Alaska puzzle fell into place in 1948. Era Aviation began operations that year as Carl Brady flew the first commercial helicopter to Alaska to work on a mapping contract for the U.S. government.
These small mapping routes grew over the years until scheduled passenger service took flight in May 1983. At that time, the company was wholly owned by Rowan Companies.
After a series of owners, Era Aviation joined with the combined Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service in 2009 under the Era Alaska family umbrella. The newest partnership formed the largest airgroup in the state by serving more cities and passengers with the largest airplane fleet in Alaska. Era’s scheduled regional passenger and cargo flights offer comfort, convenience and impeccable service, primarily using a combination of Bombardier Dash-8 and Beechcraft 1900D and 1900C aircraft.
Frontier Flying Service
Retired Air Force Col. Richard McIntyre founded Frontier Flying Service in 1950, catering to Alaska bush communities, primarily around Fairbanks. The company provided charters throughout the state as well as mail service for Wien Air Alaska.
In 1974, Frontier was purchased by John Hajdukovich. The company continued to grow with its acquisition in 2005 of Cape Smythe Air Services, taking on that company’s equipment and infrastructure.
Frontier and Hageland Aviation Services began talks in 2008, eventually combining their forces to form HoTH, the parent company of the Era Alaska group of carriers. In the new mix, Frontier mainly provided service between major Alaska hub communities with Beech 1900C aircraft, while Hageland provided point-to-point service out of the hubs to smaller villages. The combined operations made the two the largest passenger commuter operation in the state by fleet size and number of routes.
In 2009, HoTH acquired Era Aviation which ultimately completed the rebranding and transformation.
Hageland Aviation Services
Founded in Mountain Village by Mike Hageland, Hageland Aviation started as the youngest member of Era Alaska’s extended family. A veteran of the Army European Command with experience as a flight engineer in Vietnam, Hageland began his Alaska operations in September 1981 with just one Cessna 180, which he used to transport passengers and cargo to the state’s smaller communities.
In 1982, Hageland added a C-207 to its operations as well as Tom Hawkins as a partner. The following year, Hageland Aviation Services became a corporation. Throughout the ’80s, the company added more aircraft, pilots and routes, including the Aniak, McGrath and Unalakleet regions served by Ron and James Tweto. Into the 1990s, Hageland continued to expand, acquiring a certificate to transport mail in addition to building hangars in Bethel, St. Mary’s and Kotzebue, with new bases eventually in Barrow and Nome.
At the end of the 20th century, Hageland continued to add planes to its fleet, including its first Cessna Caravan II. While bulking its numbers to nearly 20 aircraft, the company maintained safety as a priority by becoming an active member in the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation and the Alaska Air Carrier Association in 2000.
As in earlier years, the company continued its steady growth through the first decade of the new century, adding the Beech 1900C to its stable and relocating its headquarters to the former Reeve Aleutian Airways facility near Anchorage International Airport. Frontier and Hageland combined in 2008 to form the parent company HoTH and rebrand their new services as “Frontier Alaska.” The following year, with the acquisition of Era Aviation, Frontier Alaska was rebranded as Era Alaska.
Top and Bottom Copyright Photos: In June 2013 Era Alaska painted its de Havilland Canada (Bombardier) DHC-8-106 Dash 8 N887EA (msn 351) in the University of Alaska (Anchorage campus on one side, Fairbanks on the other side):