Folks flying in and out of Homer can expect to find two, rather than three, airline options at the Homer Airport in the new year.
Kenai Aviation will no longer be offering service in Homer after Dec. 31.
The airline began serving Homer in May 2022 in order to provide extra options for air travel for the Homer community, according to president Jacob Caldwell. At that time, the only airline servicing the Homer area was Ravn Air.
Aleutian Airways moved into Homer and began offering scheduled service in mid-September. Three weeks after that, Caldwell told Homer News on Friday, Dec. 1, Ravn Air announced that they were pulling out of Kenai. These factors prompted Kenai Aviation’s decision to exit Homer and focus on serving Kenai.
“Homer is overserved by air service,” Caldwell said. “With Aleutian Airways (on the scene), Homer has more than enough seats available on the market.”
Caldwell said that the understanding at Kenai Aviation was that Homer “doesn’t need help quite as much” — meanwhile, Kenai is “desperate.”
“Kenai needs as much lift as we can possibly get,” Caldwell said. “We’re transitioning out of Homer to give Kenai what it needs right now.”
Aleutian Airways director of branding and communication Ashley Hammers submitted a statement to Homer News regarding the company’s commitment to fulfilling Homer’s travel needs upon Kenai Aviation’s exit.
“At Aleutian Airways, we are thrilled to deepen our commitment to Homer in collaboration with Kenai Aviation. … Teaming up with Kenai Aviation allows us to ensure a seamless transition for guests, as Kenai Aviation focuses on expanding support in their home city,” Hammers wrote. “The trust Kenai Aviation places in us is an honor, and we are dedicated to maintaining the high standards they’ve set. The support from the Homer community has been pivotal, and we eagerly anticipate further growth and positive contributions to the local economy.”
Ravn Air did not respond to requests for comments.
Caldwell added that Kenai Aviation has loved serving the Homer community.
“If there’s ever a need to fill, we’ll be back,” he said.