Ravn Air Group has been conditionally approved by the U.S. Treasury to move forward and seek payroll grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Payroll Support Program (PSP). This assistance will help pave the way for buyers who are seeking to purchase the entire Air Group, maximize creditor recoveries, and enable a successful exit from Chapter 11 that will preserve Alaska’s largest and most vital regional air carrier and the many jobs and essential air service it provides.
In addition, Ravn has worked with its Debtor in Possession (DIP) lenders to develop a process for the airline to sell all, substantially all, or a substantial part of its assets on Wednesday, June 17th, and next week Ravn will be asking the federal bankruptcy judge handling the company’s Chapter 11 case to approve that process.*
“This is great news for our creditors, our employees, our customers, and for the 115 different communities we were serving before the COVID-19 Pandemic hit Alaska and forced our company to seek Chapter 11 protection. We would like to thank Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Alaska’s congressional delegation, Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, and Congressman Don Young for their tireless work in connection with this conditional approval,” said Dave Pflieger, Ravn’s President & CEO.
“The opportunity to receive CARES Act Grants and work with our DIP lenders on a sale process means there is a new path forward by which Ravn could resume operations later this summer,” said Pflieger. “Now, instead of only one path, a planned liquidation, qualified parties who meet strict bidding criteria and guidelines will be able to buy the entire Air Group with all three of its airlines. This is a game-changer for our creditors, our employees, our customers, and the many communities we have served for decades.”
“Saint Paul fully supports everything Ravn is doing to get the airline up and flying again. Ravn provides vital air service to our remote island community, and they have been a fantastic partner over the last year and a half,” said Phillip Zavadil, City Manager for the City of Saint Paul.
For more information on the fight to save Ravn Air Group and preserve its vital role in Alaska, see www.flyravn.com.
About Ravn Air Group
Before it filed for Chapter 11 protection on April 5, 2020, following a 90% drop in bookings and revenue due to the arrival of COVID-19 in Alaska, and a resultant state-mandated travel ban to slow the spread of the Pandemic, Ravn was Alaska’s largest and most vital regional air carrier. The company and its three separate airlines were supported by over 1,300 employees, and it carried passenger, mail, freight, and charter customers to more than 115 destinations throughout Alaska.
Headquartered in Anchorage, Ravn Air Group operated a safe and highly reliable fleet of 72 aircraft on more than 400 flights per day, annually carrying over 750,000 passengers per year, from hubs and communities including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Galena, Barrow, Nome, Kotzebue, Unalakleet, Bethel, Aniak, St. Mary’s, McGrath, Dillingham, and King Salmon. In late 2018, Ravn acquired Peninsula Airways and its five Saab 2000s as part of a sale process that ended PenAir’s two-year financial bankruptcy and added this company to the Ravn Air Group portfolio. Later, in 2019, Ravn Air Group started Essential Air Service flying to St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands with its highly reliable 29 & 37 seat DHC-8 (Dash 8) aircraft.
Ravn Air Group’s two Part 121 air carriers are FAA-approved Safety Management System (“SMS”) airlines. In addition, in May 2018 and again in April 2020, RavnAir Alaska became one of a few regional airlines in the U.S. to pass the challenging International Air Transportation Association’s (IATA) Safety and Operational Audit (IOSA), and in 2019 RavnAir Alaska became the first and only IOSA-approved Part 121 regional airline in the State of Alaska.
* If Ravn’s motion to authorize and approve sales bidding procedures is approved at the upcoming May 27th hearing, bids will be due on Wednesday, June 17th.