Key Points:

  • Northern Pacific Airways chooses rebranding to New Pacific Airlines over facing a trademark lawsuit filed by BNSF Railway.

  • Despite the name change, the Alaska-based carrier aims for uninterrupted services, anticipating federal regulators' approval.

  • The start-up, which operates flights between Ontario International Airport and Las Vegas, plans future Pacific Ocean operations with Anchorage as a stopover.

Trademark Lawsuit Prompts Rebrand for US Carrier Northern Pacific Airways

ANCHORAGE Anchorage, Alaska-based start-up carrier Northern Pacific Airways is set to rebrand itself to New Pacific Airlines, a strategic move in response to a pending trademark lawsuit, as announced on September 8. Awaiting endorsement from federal regulators, the firm assures that its operations will carry on without interruption.

Rob McKinney, the chief executive of the airline, emphasized that the rename represents a “bold and decisive pivot,” beneficial not just for the business and its clients, but also for the communities they serve and their over 400 employees. He remarked, "This decision is in response to pending trademark litigation and is the right strategic move for our business, customers, the communities we serve, and most importantly, the more than 400 employees of our company.” However, New Pacific Airlines abstained from further commentary regarding the ongoing lawsuit.

The trademark dispute arose with BNSF Railway initiating a lawsuit to safeguard the trademark of its predecessor, Northern Pacific Railway, an entity absorbed through mergers in 1970, eventually evolving into BNSF. This development has led the airline to steer clear of legal complications by opting for a change in its brand identity.

As it stands, the carrier has been utilizing a single Boeing 757 to facilitate flights three times a week between the Ontario International airport located in the Los Angeles area and Las Vegas, a service primarily for leisure travelers aiming to bypass the road journey between these favored holiday spots. The airline’s data reveals the possession of an additional three 757-200s, currently held in storage.

Despite initial plans to commence operations early in 2023, regulatory approvals pending completion nudged the inauguration of its first passenger services to July. The company harbors aspirations to establish routes across the Pacific Ocean, envisioning Anchorage as an elective stopover, emulating Icelandair's utilization of Reykjavik for transatlantic journeys. This ambitious project, however, remains grounded for the time being.