For decades, Era Alaska and its family of partners have been connecting some of the Last Frontier’s most famous destinations, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Bethel, Cordova, Homer, Valdez, Kenai, Kodiak and beyond.
Whether as Era Aviation, Hageland Aviation or Frontier Flying Service — combined, our companies have been flying here for about as long as Alaska's been a state. In fact, our operations and experience have grown right alongside the Last Frontier.
Era Alaska family is now proud to offer scheduled service to more than 100 communities statewide. Our team of professionals on the ground and in the air has the history and experience to offer the highest level of customer satisfaction today — and for the future. Passenger groups and odd sized cargo up to 6,000 pounds, the group has charter authority for anywhere in our great state, Canada and the Lower 48.
One of the earliest pieces of the Era Alaska puzzle fell into place in 1948. Era Aviation began operations that year as Carl Brady flew the first commercial helicopter to Alaska to work on a mapping contract for the U.S. government.
These small mapping routes grew over the years until scheduled passenger service took flight in May 1983. At that time, the company was wholly owned by Rowan Companies.
After a series of owners, Era Aviation joined with the combined Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service in 2009 under the Era Alaska family umbrella. The newest partnership formed the largest airgroup in the state by serving more cities and passengers with the largest airplane fleet in Alaska. Era’s scheduled regional passenger and cargo flights offer comfort, convenience and impeccable service primarily using a combination of Bombardier Dash-8 and Beechcraft 1900D and 1900C aircraft.
Frontier Flying Service
Retired Air Force Col. Richard McIntyre founded Frontier Flying Service in 1950, catering to Alaska bush communities, primarily around Fairbanks. The company provided charters throughout the state as well as mail service for Wien Air Alaska.
In 1974, Frontier was purchased by John Hajdukovich. The company continued to grow with its acquisition in 2005 of Cape Smythe Air Services, taking on that company's equipment and infrastructure.
Frontier and Hageland Aviation Services began talks in 2008, eventually combining their forces to form HoTH, the parent company of the Era Alaska group of carriers. In the new mix, Frontier mainly provided service between major Alaska hub communities with Beech 1900c aircraft, while Hageland provided point-to-point service out of the hubs to smaller villages. The combined operations made the two the largest passenger commuter operation in the state by fleet size and number of routes.
In 2009, HoTH, acquired Era Aviation which ultimately completed the re-branding and transformation.
Hageland Aviation Services
Founded in Mountain Village by Mike Hageland, Hageland Aviation started as the youngest member of Era Alaska's extended family. A veteran of the Army European Command with experience as a flight engineer in Vietnam, Hageland began his Alaska operations in September 1981 with just one Cessna 180, which he used to transport passengers and cargo to the state's smaller communities.
In 1982, Hageland added a C-207 to its operations as well as Tom Hawkins as a partner. The following year, Hageland Aviation Services became a corporation. Throughout the '80s, the company added more aircraft, more pilots and more routes, including the Aniak, McGrath and Unalakleet regions served by Ron and James Tweto. Into the 1990s, Hageland continued to expand, acquiring a certificate to transport mail in addition to building hangars in Bethel, St. Mary's and Kotzebue, with new bases eventually in Barrow and Nome.
At the end of the 20th century, Hageland continued to add planes to its fleet, including its first Cessna Caravan II. While bulking its numbers to nearly 20 aircraft, the company maintained safety as a priority by becoming an active member in the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation and the Alaska Air Carrier Association in 2000.
As in earlier years, the company continued its steady growth through the first decade of the new century, adding the Beech 1900C to its stable and relocating its headquarters to the former Reeve Aleutian Airways facility near Anchorage International Airport. Frontier and Hageland combined in 2008 to form the parent company HoTH and rebrand their new services as "Frontier Alaska." The following year, with the acquisition of Era, Frontier Alaska was rebranded as Era Alaska.