Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

New air carrier to test Haines market

 

January 11, 2018



Harris Air started flying from Haines to Juneau last month, filling the gap left by Wings of Alaska.

Harris Aircraft Services President Scott Harris said the company made plans to move into Haines after Wings shut its doors last March.

“As things changed in the Juneau market we started looking at Haines and other locations mainly because slowly there was becoming less choice,” Harris said. “We were going to look at (servicing Haines) this summer and beyond but we decided to enter in December.”

Harris Air is now flying a nine-passenger twin engine Piper Navajo Chieftain twice a day, six days a week from Haines to Juneau at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. for $120—$5 cheaper than Haines’ only other air carrier Alaska Seaplanes. Flights from Juneau to Haines are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Those times might change, Harris said because he wants to offer earlier flights. He said the company will consider offering more trips based on demand.

“I do have plans to expand but I have to be careful about what that market means to Harris Air and be cautious with my fleet,” Harris said. “I don’t have a lot of airplanes.”

Harris said he plans to operate a facility at the airport but that might not happen until this fall, when a site permit will likely be available from the Alaska Department of Transportation.

Harris Air has a certificate to haul mail but doesn’t have the space in its planes to do so. The company might consider carrying freight based on the market, Harris said.

“Logistically speaking the equipment presents some challenges as far as being a combination passenger freight,” Harris said. “I can see us hauling mail out of there to points from Juneau. Again we’re looking at it, but I have to be cautious.”

Harris said he wants to build a flight schedule based on the needs of Haines residents and said anyone with feedback should contact the airline.

“We want to be part of the community so let us know,” Harris said.

This year marks Harris Air’s twentieth year in business. They’ve been flying passengers since 2000.

 
 

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