Northern Pacific Airways experiences operational hurdles Following maiden flight.

Northern Pacific Airways (NPA) seems to be hitting turbulence shortly after its maiden commercial flight on 14th July, from the Los Angeles metropolitan area to Las Vegas, as it grapples with operational challenges.

The fledgling airline's second scheduled passenger flight from Las Vegas to Ontario, initially planned for 16th July, never ascended, remaining grounded due to minor mechanical issues with the aircraft.

On 17th July, Northern Pacific acknowledged the cancellation of the flight, stating, "All passengers have either been refunded or accommodated on other flights or alternate transportation." The airline further pointed out that these hiccups are not uncommon when launching a new airline.

The problematic aircraft, bearing the registration N628NP, is a 28-year-old Boeing 757-200. Of the four Boeing 757-200s forming NPA's fleet, only one is currently in service while the remaining three are stored. NPA received its first aircraft 17 months prior.

After experiencing delays in obtaining regulatory approvals, NPA, initially intending to commence commercial service earlier this year, finally received its air carrier certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration last week, greenlighting its passenger flights.

NPA’s initial flights are scheduled between Ontario International airport, located approximately 58 miles northeast of Los Angeles International airport, and Las Vegas, catering primarily to Los Angeles residents seeking a Las Vegas weekend getaway.

Despite the technical glitch grounding its only serviceable aircraft in Las Vegas, NPA anticipates resuming the Ontario-to-Las Vegas route later this week.

CEO Rob McKinney declared last week that NPA is set to initiate charter and ACMI operations as early as August. McKinney envisages NPA mimicking the model of Icelandair across the Pacific, offering low-fare flights with stopover options, specifically from Anchorage to South Korea and Japan.

With plans to commence these routes next year, the company has applied to operate through Anchorage in several countries, including Canada and Mexico. McKinney anticipates that the charter and ACMI businesses will keep NPA occupied until the transpacific route launch, targeted for the second quarter of 2024.