Portland, OR (June 27, 2013) – Today SeaPort Airlines employees and customers are celebrating the fifth anniversary of its first scheduled flight in the Lower 48 (Continental United States), which took place on June 27, 2008. The company is also marking the 30th anniversary of operations in Southeast Alaska, which operate as “Wings of Alaska.”
SeaPort is celebrating with the Port of Portland by greeting passengers with cake and refreshments at its home airport of Portland International Airport (PDX). At airport terminals across the nation, from Alaska to Georgia, customers are being greeted with birthday cupcakes, and customers on one special flight are receiving unique gifts. On Facebook, the company is offering a chance to win gift bags containing items that are representative souvenirs of the 21 destinations in nine states served by Wings of Alaska and SeaPort Airlines.
“My thanks go to our company’s great employees for guiding us to our 5th year,” said President Rob McKinney. “It is their dedication to providing personal service that keeps our customers coming back and earns the support we receive from community leaders across the country. I look forward to celebrating today’s milestone and working with our team toward more growth and success in the future.”
Founded in Juneau, Alaska in 1982 as “Wings of Alaska,” the company’s first flight took to the air 1983. For nearly 25 years, operations were entirely within the Southeast Alaska region. In 2008, Wings of Alaska was purchased by SeaPort Air Group, LLC and headquarters were moved to Portland, Oregon. Shortly after, flight operations were launched in the Pacific Northwest with a business strategy of operating a shuttle service between Seattle and Portland (hence the name “SeaPort”) offering private terminals and avoidance of TSA screening lines. The hallmark of SeaPort’s service was the personalized customer service that quickly became known as “The SeaPort Experience.”
At the same time, the first generation of regional airlines in the United States began to mature. With rising cost structures, larger average aircraft size, and route strategies dictated by major airlines, these carriers found that service to many small communities became uneconomical. This created an opportunity for SeaPort Airlines and the company refocused on a building a “next generation” regional airline designed to connect small and rural communities with national air transportation.
SeaPort Airlines, Inc. maintains a single FAA operating certificate to provide with flights in the Lower 48 marketed as “SeaPort Airlines” and in Southeast Alaska as “Wings of Alaska.” Flights of both brands are listed in travel guides and GDSs using the “K5” designator and tickets are issued on SeaPort ticket stock.
In late 2012, SeaPort refreshed the Wings of Alaska logo with colors shared by the SeaPort Airlines logo and the tagline: “A Proud Part of SeaPort Airlines.” The commitment to the “Wings of Alaska” brand results from the respect it has earned in the region for 30 years and which the company’s employees work to maintain each and every day.
Today, the company’s approximately 220 employees operate 16 aircraft to provide service at 21 communities across nine states on over 100 average daily departures. The company plans to continue its growth over the next five years, adding new destinations and aircraft, while improving back office systems and fine-tuning operating processes to ensure customers are consistently provided with safe, friendly, and efficient air service.