AIRLINES AND BUSH PILOTS OF ALASKA

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 MarkAir

Chronology

1947
Founded in Fairbanks as Interior Airways, offering small plane passenger and cargo service to the Arctic and Interior.
1950-1965
Company grows by supporting mineral and petroleum exploration activities and remote construction projects.
1969
Company acquires a commercial version of the Hercules cargo plane, and becomes one of the first civilian companies to use the proven 'workhorse" of the US Air Force, the C130.
1971
Neil Bergt named a President and Chief Executive Officer. The company recently reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Airplane fleet standardized with Hercules aircraft.
1972
Company changes name to Alaska International Air due to increased international service. While waiting for pipeline construction in Alaska to begin, company develops substantial overseas charter cargo service.
1973
International sales office is opened in London, and an operations base is established in Africa.
1974
All Hercules aircraft are brought back home to Alaska to assist with pipeline construction.

Neil Bergt forms a holding company named Alaska International Industries (AII).
1975
Heavy pipeline demand keeps aircraft in the air an average of over 13 hours per day, and company establishes industry records for quick turnaround. By late 1975, pipeline activity declines.
1976
Company increases international charter market and expands sales offices into Anchorage, San Francisco and London. In Alaska, company supports oil exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA);  hauls the majority of the Bristol Bay salmon catch to processing facilities in Anchorage; and transports the entire circus from Anchorage to Barrow in the Hercules aircraft.
1977
Fish hauling, NPRA explorations support and transport of remote site construction materials increases in Alaska. Due to international demand, two Hercules aircraft are positioned overseas and cargo operations expand into 36 foreign countries.
1980
Company purchases Great Northern Airlines and adds intra-Alaska scheduled cargo service to complement and enhance the charter business. Drop-in charter service continues.

1981
Neil Bergt makes a $50 million bid to purchase Wien Air Alaska from Household International via his newly formed Eagle International Corporation.

Remote site oil exploration work continues in the Arctic, northwestern Alaska and NPRA. Scheduled cargo service continues to expand, representing 25% of the total flying by the company.
   
   
1982
Oil exploration support continues, and scheduled cargo services expands to 14 Alaskan communities by year end. International charter activities expand into Australia with the construction of the gold and copper mine at Ok Tedi. Chatter activity moves into New Guinea and sales offices are opened in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
1983
The North Slope Borough generates a resurgence of intra-state charter activity, and scheduled cargo service extends to 17 Alaskan communities. One Hercules aircraft is the point to Singapore and carries cargo ranging from relief supplies for Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka to resources for the King of Thailand.
1984
Company takes the name MarkAir and begins intra-Alaska scheduled passenger service. Inaugural flights to Fairbanks, Bethel, and Barrow begin and MarkAir adds the Boeing 737-200 aircraft to its Hercules fleet.
1985
MarkAir becomes a subcontract commuter carrier for Alaska Airlines in the Kodiak, Unalaska, Dutch Harbor, Dillingham and King Salmon markets.
1986
MarkAir joins Alaska Airlines "Gold Coast Travel Mileage Incentive Plan"and offers the program over all MarkAir routes. MarkAir implements the annual "Complimentary Travel Award"program for all graduating high school seniors in the state of Alaska.
1987
MarkAir acquires Hermen's Air, a leading commuter airlines serving over 70 Alaska communities. The wholly-owned subsidiary begins operating under the name Herman's/MarkAir Express. MarkAir introduces "65 Mark," a discount program for senior Alaskans. Company purchases the deHavilland – 7 turboprop aircraft to allow expansion into smaller communities.
1988
Company expands passenger service to Unalakleet, McGrath, and Galena utilizing the newly purchased Dash 7 aircraft, bringing to 17 the number of communities on MarkAir's mainline system.
1989
MarkAir and Herman's MarkAir Express service reaches over 100 rural communities and over 17 major destinations in Alaska. Cargo and charter service supports the cleanup efforts from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound.
1990
Company grows with major expansion of passenger and cargo service into Valdez, Kenai, Homer, Port Heiden, Sand Point, St. Paul, St. George, Akutan, Cold Bay and several other smaller communities. MarkAir fleet gains two additional Boeing 737's (all passenger configuration) and one more deHavilland Dash 7. MarkAir Express headquarters is moved Anchorage to streamline communications. Fairbanks hangar is reactivated to perform all MarkAir "check" maintenance for the Hercules and Boeing fleet.
   
1991 MarkAir expands outside Alaska, establishes Anchorage-Seattle route, triggering fare war with Alaska Airlines and other carriers.
   


1992


MarkAir files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Bankruptcy court judge allows MarkAir to continue operating by expanding further into the Lower 48.
   
1993 The airline emerges from bankruptcy proceedings, offering service from Alaska to New York.
   
1995 MarkAir files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again, announces it will no longer fly in Alaska and lays off an estimated 600 of its 1,200 employees. It establishes new hub at Denver International Airport.

MarkAir staves off IRS attempt to force liquidation. Bankruptcy court judge allows MarkAir to continue flying through Aug. 31 when it will have to show that it can fly profitably.
   
   





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