Skip to content

New US airline Northern Pacific Airways unveils its first Boeing 757 — and big ambitions

Jan. 19, 2022
5 min read
New US airline Northern Pacific Airways unveils its first Boeing 757 — and big ambitions
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

America’s newest airline is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Anchorage-based Northern Pacific Airways on Tuesday revealed its livery on its first Boeing 757-200 at hangar event in San Bernardino, California.

The most important thing about the livery, designed by Edmond Huot, is how it symbolizes Northern Pacific’s Alaska home, CEO Rob McKinney told TPG in an interview.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

“I had really only left the designer with two instructions,” he said. “One is that I wanted to make sure everyone understood we're an Alaskan company and we're about Alaska and we care about Alaska. And then the other thing was I wanted to be cool and edgy, and I want it be one of those airplanes that when it taxis by everyone goes, 'ooh!'.”

Northern Pacific Airways revealed its livery on the outfit’s first Boeing 757 aircraft in California on Jan. 18, 2022. (Photo by Ethan Klapper, TPG)

Northern Pacific aims to be the Icelandair of the Pacific — selling stopovers in Anchorage as the airline brings travelers between the U.S. and Asia. It plans a low-cost carrier model that it expects to launch in the third or fourth quarter of 2022, McKinney said.

The airline is eyeing five destinations in the lower 48 states: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York and Orlando. In Asia, Northern Pacific hopes to operate to Tokyo, Seoul, Nagoya and Osaka.

Given that Japan and Korea are still closed to tourism, McKinney said his plans are fluid.

Northern Pacific Airways revealed its livery on the outfit's first Boeing 757 aircraft in California on Jan. 18, 2022. (Photo by Ethan Klapper, TPG)

“Obviously we're going to have to pivot based on the timing of the reopening and, you know, there might be a pivot on timing. There might be a pivot on destinations, but, you know, that's just not something we can control, but this is a long lead time endeavor.”

Sign up for our daily newsletter

The first of nine aircraft that Northern Pacific has acquired, registered N627NP, began its life in 1995 with USAir. The aircraft remained in service with USAir, which later became US Airways and then merged with American Airlines. It remained in service until American retired its fleet of Boeing 757s at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aircraft features fuel-saving winglets and Rolls-Royce RB211 jet engines.

Northern Pacific Airways revealed its livery on the outfit's first Boeing 757 aircraft in California on Jan. 18, 2022. (Photo by Ethan Klapper, TPG)

Beyond the nine already secured, McKinney hopes to acquire another three 757s for the airline’s launch.

The airline is targeting a capacity of about 180 seats in its 757s. It’ll feature a three-cabin layout, with about 12 first class seats, as well as premium economy and economy class.

McKinney is currently CEO of Ravn Alaska, an airline purchased out of bankruptcy in 2020. Ravn operates regional turbo-prop flights around Alaska and is being used as a platform to launch Northern Pacific. Each carrier will operate as its own brand under the same operating certificate.

“Ravn Alaska is essentially the same air carrier as will be Northern Pacific,” he said.

Seen here are the winglets on Northern Pacific Airways' first Boeing 757, which was unveiled in California on Jan. 18, 2022. (Photo by Ethan Klapper, TPG)

The airline plans to use Ravn’s cryptocurrency-based loyalty program, FlyCoin, and assume its interline agreements. Most notably, Ravn currently partners with Alaska Airlines.

“You can either buy future travel with your cryptocurrency, or you can put it on the exchange and trade it to some other kind of cryptocurrency, you can trade it back into fiat money,” he said. McKinney said they’re hoping for an agreement that will even allow merchants at the Ted Stevens Airport in Anchorage to accept FlyCoin as a form of payment.

More: How a pilot shortage could leave travelers with higher fares and fewer options

One potential obstacle to Northern Pacific’s launch is the ongoing pilot shortage. McKinney said he plans to target pilots who were forced into early retirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eventually, McKinney says he hopes to vertically integrate the pilot pipeline between Ravn, Northern Pacific and FLOAT Shuttle, another one of his aviation ventures.

“So you'll have from the right seat of a [Cessna] Caravan to the left seat of a Boeing going international, a one-stop shop for your whole career and we’ll be kind of our, our own pilot mill."

McKinney himself is a licensed pilot and has a love for the 757. He hopes one day to get a type rating that allows him to fly the jet.

“I will be sad if I end up going to my grave and I don’t have a 757 type and I ran a 757 airline,” he said.

Northern Pacific Airways revealed its livery on the outfit's first Boeing 757 aircraft in California on Jan. 18, 2022. (Photo by Ethan Klapper, TPG)
Featured image by Northern Pacific Airways revealed its livery on the outfit’s first Boeing 757 aircraft in California on Jan. 18, 2022. (Photo by Ethan Klapper, TPG)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 5X points
5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 150,000 points120,000 points
The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Good, Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.