Era Alaska announced Thursday it will be phasing in a new name, Ravn Alaska, over the next six months. According to a press release, the name change is an effort to "...decrease confusion in the marketplace with the Era name and distinguish the airline from others in the aviation industry." Era's member airlines will also be individually affected. Hageland Aviation, which operates primarily in the Bush, and Frontier Flying Service will both become Ravn Connect, and Era Aviation itself will become Corvus Airlines. Collectively, the trio will be known as Ravn Alaska.
Frontier Flying Service and Hageland Aviation merged in 2008 and formed a new company, HoTH. However, their aircraft were still recognized primarily by their former company names. In 2009, HoTH then acquired Era Aviation, which operated fixed-wing aircraft. Era Helicopters was not part of this purchase and has remained an independent company. (This is the likely source of the Era name confusion alluded to in the announcement.) Other longtime Alaska carriers Cape Smythe Air Service and Arctic Circle Air were also purchased by Frontier Flying Service prior to this period.
Era Alaska attained some degree of fame over the past few years as the Tweto family, associated with the Hageland Aviation portion of the company, was highlighted in the popular Discovery Channel television program, "Flying Wild Alaska." A multiple fatality accident involving a Hageland Aviation aircraft near St. Mary's in late November is still under investigation.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Ravn Alaska rebrand will not extend to the air carrier operating certificates, at least initially; Frontier, Hageland and Era Aviation will simply be operating under a "d.b.a." arrangement under their current certificates. The press release does not specify if there will be any changes to the aircraft livery, although the company's colors appear to be the same regardless of its name. The website will change from flyera.com to flyravn.com sometime this year.
As to the unique spelling of the word "raven," Bob Hajdukovich, Ravn Alaska CEO, says "(it) is to keep it simple and for artistic reasons."