Airflow, Inc., an aerospace company building a next-gen electric Short Takeoff and Landing (eSTOL) aircraft, today announced a letter of intent with Ravn Alaska, the Anchorage-based regional airline, to supply 50 airplanes. This agreement brings Airflow’s total order book, including other customers, to over $200 million for its innovative aircraft that enables operators to greatly expand where they can fly, improve their operating economics, and reduce emissions on a near-term timeline with entry into service planned for 2025.
Airflow’s hybrid-electric aircraft are able to enter into service with no new infrastructure requirements and limited certification hurdles compared to other electric aviation market entrants. Airflow’s unique aircraft offers operators the ability to reduce operating costs, noise signature, and expand their route network. Future aircraft models from Airflow will feature autonomous systems to further improve cost efficiency and safety.
Airflow was founded in 2019 by five former Airbus Vahana team members to bring eSTOL capabilities to the passenger and middle-mile logistics market. The team is passionate about expanding aviation’s benefits to the world and has deep experience in aerospace and technology development.
On April 5, 2020, in the midst of travel disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ravn shut down its entire operation, laid off all staff, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The leadership of the North Slope Borough attempted to take possession of the airline as a way to keep flights and shipments coming to their rural communities, but the Alaska Attorney General stated that it was improper. The decision to stop all operations stranded dozens of communities in rural Alaska, leaving them without regularly scheduled air service. Wright Air Service and other small air carriers have been performing air service on a charter flight basis.
At the bankruptcy auction in July 2020, the Ravn Connect part 135 airlines were sold in pieces to other airlines of Alaska. The part 121 airlines Ravn Alaska and PenAir were sold to FLOAT Shuttle, a commuter service based in Los Angeles.
On October 14, 2020, Ravn Alaska received approvals from the FAA to resume operations. While the company was still awaiting approval from the US Department of Transportation authority for scheduled operations, it resumed a Public Charter service that only lasted two weeks. On November 13, 2020, the airline resumed service to Dutch Harbor (Unalaska), Homer, Kenai, Sand Point, and Valdez using Public Charters managed by Ravn Travel. Each market was served 4 days a week from Anchorage.
As of November 30, 2020 Ravn Alaska scheduled route authority was received from the US Department of Transportation and has resumed scheduled flights to and from Anchorage, Dutch Harbor (Unalaska), Homer, Kenai, Kodiak, and Sand Point.
Ravn Alaska destinations in Alaska.
Ravn Alaska aircraft slide show: