Servant Air Taps Into Anchorage Market

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

Those hoping to travel on and off the island might find it a little easier to do so these days. This week Servant Air announced it will be offering regular flights to and from Anchorage – making it one of just a handful of airlines to do so.
Wes Osowski is part owner of Servant Air, which typically specializes in charter flights around the archipelago. He said the addition of a King Air 200 to its fleet will allow for longer distance travel and daily flights to Anchorage.
The plane is small but has a pressurized cabin and can fly at 20 to 25,000 feet. Flight time to or from the mainland is about an hour and five minutes and Osowski said it can hold up to eight passengers with two pilots.
“We’re actually only required to have one but we’re going to have a second guy standing there just to watch and make sure everything goes well and kind of help us make sure that we’re doing everything right. So we’re using it as partly a training platform and also just to have a second set of eyes on everything.”
For now, the service will be offered once a day, four days a week. Later in November, Osowski said the goal is to begin offering service twice a day, six days a week.

“The reason we want to start out slow too is we still have to you know make sure that we’re allotting enough turn time in Anchorage and making sure that the guys I’ve got working in our Anchorage office up there have all their ducks in a row and just making sure that we’re providing a good service before we really hit it hard.”
The Servant Air flights that land in Anchorage will arrive at the international terminal, and then taxi over to the company’s office on the west shore of Lake Hood. From there, staff will provide a shuttle service to and from the main terminal, which is about a three to five minute drive.
In terms of pricing, Osowski said Servant will try to be competitive with Alaska Airlines and Ravn Alaska, formerly known as Era Aviation, in terms of last minute bookings, but probably won’t be able to offer the same prices for folks booking well in advance.
“Just because they are very competitive rates. They do a good job on the folks that can plan ahead. My problem is I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow or whether I’m going anywhere and that’s the kind of people that we’re going to cater to – is the folks that are like me – just can’t seem to plan for enough ahead and need to go to Anchorage now. So we’re not going to do any book anything a year away and get a better deal – it’s just going to be a flat rate for everybody.”
That rate is currently set at $225 each way. Ultimately, Osowski said his hope is to expand the use of the King Air 200 for long-distance charters or group travel.
“We’re hoping to start to target things on the order of when there’s legislative processes going on in Juneau where there’s a lot of people that need to get down there – the King Air could be sitting on the ramp in Juneau in two hours and 15 minutes from departure time. So rather than spend a whole day traveling there to accomplish something in Juneau if we can get enough people that want to go to make it affordable, I can have you there in two and a half hours.”
The plane has five hours of fuel capability, so it can be used to fly pretty much anywhere in the state. He’s hoping the Anchorage market will financially justify having the airplane, and then it will be available for charters to other cities, towns or villages.
Overall, Osowski said making this option a reality has been a huge undertaking for his company, one with considerable financial risks. He said it’s quite scary to go to head-to-head with other larger airlines that connect Kodiak with the mainland.
“So coming up against he big guns is scary, but quite honestly it’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a very long time because it’s so difficult to get off the island.”
Folks looking to book a seat to Anchorage through Servant Air can do so on their website, or by calling the company’s local number to reserve a spot.

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