Alaska Airlines has begun regional jet service within Alaska.
Moving 76-seat Embraer E175 planes onto Alaska routes will enable the airline to service more Alaska communities and give it more flexibility to increase frequencies between Anchorage and Fairbanks, it said. Until Sunday, Alaska Airlines was flying only the larger Boeing 737 within the Alaska market.
Alaska has already placed the E175 on the Anchorage-Fairbanks route, offering three services per day with the regional jet while continuing to use the 737 once or twice each day.
Beginning Tuesday, the carrier will also begin a one-stop route with the E175 serving Dillingham and then King Salmon from Anchorage. Both are small towns in southwest Alaska. King Salmon is the gateway to Katmai National Park.
"This has been an especially challenging time for Alaskans, both due to the pandemic and the reduction of air service last spring," Alaska Airlines regional vice president Marilyn Romano said. "The E175 supports additional flying and keeps Alaskans connected within the state and beyond."
The state was especially impacted by the collapse in April of RavnAir Group, which ceased operations of its three Alaska regional carriers, PenAir, RavnAir Alaska and RavnAir Connect. Ravn Air Group served a combined 115 rural Alaskan communities.
Ravn's assets have since been purchased through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. Work toward a relaunch has begun, according to the new ownership.