Another airline is set to take to the skies amid a pandemic, say hello to Northern Pacific Airways.
In an event held at San Bernadino Airport last week, Chief Executive Officer of Northern Pacific, Rob McKinney, along with other members of the airlines’ leadership revealed the carrier’s first aircraft, formally N206UW, a US Airways and American Airlines 757-200. The airframe has been re-registered as N627NP and is now wearing the colors of the Anchorage-based airline.
Northern Pacific, plans to start service from cities such as New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to Anchorage in Summer 2022. From Anchorage, the airline will also serve Osaka, Nagoya, Seoul, and Tokyo. The airline isn’t just using Anchorage as a connection hub, Rob McKinney told The Jet Set’s Bobby Laurie in an exclusive interview “we’re going to encourage travelers to enjoy a longer stopover in Alaska.” McKinney stated the airline plans to utilize a mini-IMAX theater in its lounge at Anchorage airport to entice travelers to explore more of Alaska. The parent company of Northern Pacific, Anchorage-based
FLOAT Alaska, also operates a regional carrier within the state, Ravn Alaska, allowing for regional connections throughout. McKinney said he is “shamelessly” copying Icelandair’s model of extended stopovers because they’ve been so successful with it noting “Anchorage is the Reykjavik of the other side of the world” thanks to its geographical position.
With the average flight time around seven hours, McKinney says they’re “really working hard to ensure their inflight entertainment system is cutting edge, these are long flights and people need things to do.” The system is planned to contain countless hours of entertainment to help pass the time. Further, they’re hopeful passengers will have the ability to stream their own personal Netflix accounts on their devices. Also on their personal devices, McKinney added “we’re going to make it so people can order snacks, food, and drinks a la carte …they’ll be able to order on their device and their order will show up.” The last airline to utilize in-flight on-demand food and beverage ordering was Virgin America, but that service was discontinued when the airline was sold and merged into Alaska Airlines. McKinney confirmed in the interview with The Jet Set that he got the idea from Virgin America saying of the service, “it was wonderful.
Northern Pacific was originally planning to launch service with economy class seating and roughly twelve “premium seats” but those plans have changed. At the livery reveal event it was announced the airline plans to have an economy, economy plus, and business class service available and had their economy and business seats on display. The seats are designed with the airline’s “N” logo sewed into the headrest, and the backrest features a nod to the mountains of Alaska. The aircraft livery also contains design elements of the northern lights on the tail and, a more colorful display, on the winglets.
At launch, the airline says they plan to be within 15-25% cheaper than current fares between the cities they’ll serve but they’re still in need of three more 757’s before service can begin as planned with twelve aircraft.