By Joshua Kupietzky 05/27/2022 482 views



Alaska-based startup Northern Pacific is expected to receive 50 aircraft in just four years. Though not for certain, these aircraft will likely all be Boeing 757s. The ambitious upstart is expected to make $1.3 billion in revenue and $120 million in profit in 2026. These figures are planned to be achieved through low costs, as Northern Pacific plans to offer 25% lower fares between the United States and Asia.

 

Northern Pacific models itself after airlines such as Icelandair, Copa Airlines and PLAY. Each of these carriers are headquartered in countries with small populations, but they connect passengers to different countries with convenient stops at hubs. These airlines combine many spoke destinations via a main gateway that handles the majority of their flights. Northern Pacific aims to do this using Anchorage as its hub and to promote stopovers in Alaska to increase tourism as these other, similar carriers do for their hub destinations. 

 

The backbone of Northern Pacific's fleet will be the Boeing 757-200. Photo: Northern Pacific 

 

The aircraft of choice for Northern Pacific is the Boeing 757-200. This will likely serve South Korea and Japan from Anchorage, which is within the aircraft's maximum range. According to the airline's website, it will link these destinations to cities in Florida, Nevada, California and New York. These aircraft are appealing due to the lower price to acquire them, as they are widely available and have decent ranges. The downside of the aircraft is its lower fuel efficiency and higher maintenance costs.

 

Northern Pacific has already acquired four Boeing 757-200s, two acquired in 2021 and two in March 2022, all formerly American Airlines jets. The airline's "launch fleet" will consist of 13 Boeing 757-200s, including six former United aircraft and three from Icelandair, with another 757 expected from Icelandair in 2023. By 2026, the airline expects to have 50 aircraft.

 

Photo of TF-ICR - Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX 8 at MCO
Some aspects of Northern Pacific's operations differ from Icelandair's. Photo: Julian Waller

 

The routes that Northern Pacific will serve are much longer than the average route length of the carriers Northern Pacific emulates. In 2022, Icelandair's average route length is 1,900 miles, while rival PLAY's is 1,793 miles long. Northern Pacific's average route length will be much longer using the assumption it will serve destinations such as Los Angeles, Orlando, New York, Tokyo and Seoul, which the airline hinted were on its radar for growth. The average length of those routes is just over 3,000 miles. So, while Northern Pacific has drawn inspiration from similar long haul, low-cost carriers, its rapid fleet growth and differing flight lengths show this carrier seems to be introducing a new product to the world.






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