Northern Pacific Airways is finally launching its first flights, although its first route will be much shorter than originally anticipated.
Instead of linking the contiguous United States to Japan and Korea via Alaska, Northern Pacific Airways will have to be content with serving the Los Angeles to Las Vegas market.
The startup carrier will start flights between Ontario International Airport (ONT), one of the airports serving the greater LA area, and Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) on June 2, 2023.
For the time being, these flights will only be bookable via travel agents, although the airline has announced that it expects to make direct bookings available soon.
Northern Pacific will operate with Boeing 757-200 aircraft, in a two-class configuration (business and economy), which were originally refitted for the trans-Pacific run. The airline is positioning itself as a low-cost carrier, with fares starting at $69 each way.
While the plan to launch trans-Pacific flights remains on the cards, Northern Pacific has encountered several obstacles preventing this from materializing, such as the relatively late post-COVID reopening of East Asian destinations and the need to get ETOPS certification for its aircraft.
In the meantime, Northern Pacific Airways has looked at several alternative markets.
In 2022 the airline hinted that it may start flights between California and Mexico and, in October of the same year, one of its aircraft embarked on a multi-island tour across the Pacific to pitch its services as a potential air operator for the Northern Marianas, an archipelago in the Pacific under US sovereignty.