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TRAVEL ADVISORIES: PenAir Files for Chapter 11 Reorganization Learn more.

PenAir

Travel Advisories

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today’s Date: August 7, 2017

CONTACT: Melissa Roberts, PenAir V.P., Marketing and Sales

Alaska-based PenAir filing Chapter 11 reorganization plan; Service within Alaska to continue unchanged

Alaska-based PenAir has initiated the process of filing Chapter 11 reorganization with the State of Alaska. This action will keep scheduled air service operations in Southwest, Alaska and Boston, MA area intact, while PenAir’s Portland and Denver hubs will begin the process of shutting down scheduled service over the next 90 days.

“The steps we are taking today will allow PenAir to emerge as a stronger airline, while continuing our focus on safe operations,” said PenAir CEO and Chairman Danny Seybert.“We will be working with a restructuring officer to present a reorganization plan that will allow the management team to focus on our employees, safe operations, retiring debt and taking care of our customers.”

PenAir recently announced the termination of the Portland area regional routes as part of an immediate cost-cutting plan in the Pacific Northwest. All, but the EAS route in Crescent City, Portland, will be shut down effective close of business on Monday, August 7.This impacts scheduled flight operations between Portland and Klamath Falls and North Bend/Coos Bay, OR as well as Redding and Eureka/Arcata, CA. Today, PenAir added they will be closing the Denver, CO hub as well pending approval from the Department of Transportation.

PenAir is filing a request with the DOT to end Essential Air Service (EAS) routes between Crescent City, CA and Portland, OR and all regional routes served from its Denver hub. This will impact EAS routes operating between Denver and Liberal and Dodge City, KS and North Platt, Kearney and Scottsbluff, NE. Once approved, this transition usually takes 30 to 90 days until a new carrier can be secured in the market.

PenAir flies to eight destinations within Alaska including Dutch Harbor, Cold Bay, Sand Point, King Salmon, Dillingham, St. Paul, St. George and McGrath and three routes in the Boston area including Bar Harbor and Presque Isle, ME and Plattsburgh, NY. Passengers in both markets can expect continued operations with no changes to scheduled flight service. Employees in these markets will play a critical role in the reorganization process. “Our employees are a key part of our success and are doing everything we can to keep our PenAir family intact,” said Seybert.

Passengers scheduled to fly out of the Portland markets may contact the airline their travel was originally booked on, or PenAir at 800-448-4226.

About PenAir - PenAir, founded in 1955 by Orin Seybert in Pilot Point, Alaska, is one of the oldest family owned airlines in the United States. The airline is also one of the largest regional airlines in Alaska and the Northeast U.S., and one of the largest operators of Saab 340 aircraft in the US. System wide, PenAir has 700 employees and serves 25 destinations.

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Bear Spray Prohibited

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, Bear Spray is no longer permitted on PenAir passenger aircraft, but must be shipped as Cargo. According to the FAA, sprays containing more than 2% by mass of Tear Gas (CS or CN) are prohibited in checked baggage. Bear Spray rarely contains 2% or less by mass of Tear Gas. One 4 ounce (118ml) container of Self Defense Spray, however, is permitted in checked baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge and contains 2% or less by mass of Tear Gas. You can find all of this information at Restricted Items.

 

Kearney AWOS Maintenance

The AWOS system at Kearney Regional Airport is under maintenance. As a result, flights in and out of Kearney could be subject to delays and cancellations that are outside of PenAir’s control. The FAA requires a functioning AWOS system for air carriers to operate in and out of the airport, regardless of weather.

The FAA is currently working to resolve the issue.

We understand the inconvenience this causes, and although it is outside of PenAir’s control, we will continue to do everything we can to assist our customers. Please contact our Reservations department at 800.448.4226 to confirm your reservations.

What is AWOS?

AWOS (Automated Weather Observing System) are automated sensor suites which are designed to serve aviation, observing needs for safe and efficient aviation operations. Automated airport weather stations are the backbone of weather observing throughout the country. The AWOS is mostly operated, maintained and controlled by the FAA; however some are owned and operated by the local state or governments, including airports.

Boston Delay Programs

Due to heavy air traffic at Boston Logan International Airport, Air Traffic Control is running “Airspace Flow Programs”, which can cause delays. We will continue to work with Air Traffic Control to operate on time, however, we may experience delays and/or cancellations that are outside of PenAir’s control. If you are traveling to/from Boston, we strongly recommend that you contact our Reservations Department at (800) 448-4226 to confirm your flight times.

What are Airspace Flow Programs?

The sky is like a highway, and airport runways are like on and off ramps for planes. There is a limit to the number of cars that can fit on a highway safely. In the same way, there is a maximum number of aircraft that can fit in the sky. Sometimes, the sky becomes congested at busy airports, often as a result of busy seasons, airport construction, thunderstorms, or turbulence. Just as traffic lights may stop or allow cars merging onto a highway, Air Traffic Control (ATC) may require pilots to depart at a specific time. The times are generated by a software program intended to reduce delays by controlling air traffic. It is important to note that pilots and airlines do not have any control over the times they are given, or associated delays.

If PenAir has a scheduled departure time which our flight crew members arrive on time for, delays imposed by ATC may, unfortunately, cause our crew to time-out (reaching the time limitations of their “duty day”). When this happens, according to FAA regulations, those crew members are no longer allowed to operate without “legal rest” (also dictated by the FAA), and the flight has to be “re-crewed or cancelled”. Since airlines are often not aware of these delays until just prior to departure time, they are also unable to call in a replacement crew to operate the scheduled fight.

We recognize the frustration this causes our travelers who are trying to get to their destinations; it’s equally as frustrating for the airline who can’t get you there.

Weather Observer Service in St. Paul Island being discontinued

The National Weather Service (NWS) has advised that effective March 15, 2017, they are discontinuing the service of providing a weather observer to augment or provide weather observations on St. Paul Island. The loss of this program means that whenever the Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) is out of service or has a system failure of any kind, which could be as simple as not reporting the temperature or wind speed, FAA regulations dictate that PenAir cannot operate its flights into the island. This required information must be provided by either a trained and qualified observer or by a certified system such as the AWOS.

We believe that it would be in the best interest of your communities to reach out to U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, as well as Representative Don Young for assistance. This is a federal program; not a program of the State or PenAir.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s Staff member responsible for aviation issues is Ephraim Froehlich at 1-877-829-6030. Sen. Dan Sullivan’s office numbers are (202) 224-3004 in Washington D.C., or (907) 357-9956 in Anchorage. Rep. Don Young’s office numbers are (202) 225-5765 in Washington D. C., or (907) 271-5978 in Anchorage.

Please share all communication on this matter with us as we too are working to get the National Weather Service or other approved entity to remedy this situation.

Travel Ban: Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a travel ban. Effective immediately, customers who own or possess a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 may not transport this device on their person, in carry-on baggage, in checked baggage, or via air cargo shipment. The Galaxy Note 7 has been classified as a forbidden, hazardous material and poses a risk when transported by air. If a passenger refuses to remove the Galaxy Note 7 from their person, that passenger will be denied travel on the aircraft. For more information on returning your recalled Galaxy Note 7 device to the manufacturer, call 1-800-SAMSUNG or 1-800-726-7864.

 

For more information on the travel ban issued by the U.S. DOT, visit Transportation.gov.