Grant Aviation, Kenai Aviation to add flights following Ravn exit

Kenai Aviation and Grant Aviation both announced earlier this month that they will expand their scheduled flight services between Kenai and Anchorage to fill a gap in service left by Ravn Alaska, which ended service in Kenai on Oct. 21.

Grant Aviation added 50 flights per week between Kenai and Anchorage starting Oct. 21 and Kenai Aviation will add 14 flights per week starting Nov. 1.

Joel Caldwell, director of operations at Kenai Aviation, said last Thursday that they’re looking to fill gaps and “maximize the use of our current fleet.” Next spring, he said they’ll evaluate further expansion, potentially including acquisition of new equipment.

Any expansion, Caldwell said, has to come while ensuring they can continue to provide reliable service as “the local, hometown carrier.”

“It’s a significant increase,” he said. “The biggest thing is making sure we have reliability.”

According to an Oct. 17 release by Grant, their additional flights between the Kenai Municipal Airport and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport represent a “nearly 30 percent increase in service” compared to existing levels of service.

Grant says in the release that they are “exploring opportunities” to further expand service on the route.

“This is a route many of our customers count on, so we are grateful to be able to provide more service to the communities of the Kenai Peninsula when it is needed most,” said Dan Knesek, Grant’s vice president of commercial, in the release. “I also want to thank the incredible, hard-working professionals at Grant, who, along with our loyal customers, allow us to make this positive change.”

Kenai Aviation’s commuter service flies two Tecnam Travellers — each seating 11 including pilots. Ensuring that the service can grow without compromising its ability to effectively ferry every passenger is central, he said.

Their scheduled service debuted over a year ago, on Oct. 3, 2022. Caldwell credited the community’s response to and support of the service with making next month’s expansion possible.

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