Reeve Aleutian To Suspends All Scheudled Services. Pioneer Airlines Will Continue Charter And Contract Flights

Reeve Aleutian To Suspends All Scheduled Services. Pioneer Airlines Will Continue Charter And Contract Flights  

Anchorage, Alaska, December 5, 2000 -- Reeve Aleutian Airways, Inc. the oldest regional airline in Alaska, suspended all regularly schedule flights today. While the airline will continue to fly its charter and contract flights, it will also file for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The move came, said Reeve President Dick Reeve, as a last resort in the effort to keep the airline flying. 

"Competitive forces over the last several years have eroded our business base to the point where we don't have enough customers on our scheduled flights to support our operations," said Reeve. "Our aged fleet has increased maintenance costs to an all-time high, and the spike in fuel costs this year was definitely a factor in our decision. Ironically our business in the Russian Far East tripled in the past two years, but it wasn't enough to support the rest of our operations."

While employees are being retained to run Reeve charter flights, the company was forced to lay off 250 employees today. Reservations counters in Anchorage, Adak, Bethel, Cold Bay, Port Heiden, Sand Point, St. Paul Island and St. George Island have been closed. Employees effected by the lay-off will be eligible for company-paid for job counseling and placement services. "We have the best employees in the industry," said Reeve. "They're loyal and have worked very hard during the last several years in support of the company. I think having to lay off employees is the worst part of today."

Reeve Aleutian Airways, Inc. has been in operation since 1932 when its founder, Bob Reeve, began flying miners and their supplies into gold mines in Alaska that were accessible only by air. During World War II, Reeve was the only civilian authorized to fly in the Aleutian Islands area, and following the war he began scheduled commercial air service (passengers, freight and mail) from Anchorage to the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian, Shumagin and Pribilof Islands. Reeve was the recipient of the United States Federal Aviation Administration's "HIGH FLYER" safety award in December 1992 for 34 years of accident free flying.


The Founder, Robert (Bob) Campbell Reeve was born in Waunakee, Wisconsin on March 27, 1902. Restless and stubborn as a youth, Bob enlisted in the Army at the age of 15 later to be discharged as a sergeant at the end of WWI. The rest of his teenage years were spent in maritime service in the orient. 

At the pleadings of his father, Bob returned to Wisconsin and finished the last three years of high school in six months before entering the University of Wisconsin in Madison. By this time, Bob had made up his mind that flying was where his heart was. He set out to learn everything he could about this still fledgling mode of transportation. Six months short of graduating, he and his friends cut one too many classes to go barnstorming with the local pilot and Bob found himself expelled from college. Bob was determined as ever. He took up traveling with Hazard & Maverick, a barnstorming

show, throughout Texas. They gave him three hours of instruction and then let him solo in exchange for two month's work. "It's a good thing that I was what you would call a natural-born flyer." Bob gained experience as a pilot and mechanic and in 1926 when the Air Commerce Act was put in effect, he applied for and got one of the first Engine and Aircraft Mechanic's licenses, as well as his commercial pilot's license. In 1928, Bob went to work for the Ford Motor Company delivering new aircrafts to South America where aviation had taken off like nowhere else. The demand for planes kept Bob busy until the U.S. Postal Department established Foreign Air Mail Route Number 9. This was the longest aviation route in the world and the job to fly it was offered to Bob Reeve. He jumped at the opportunity to fly the nineteen-hundred-mile stretch between Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile.


The experience that Bob gained in South America and his natural pioneering spirit brought him to the town of Valdez, Alaska where he carved out a niche in the last frontier's flying business. It was in Valdez that Bob serviced the areas gold mines year round by taking off on skies from the mudflats so he could land on the snowy glaciers where the gold lay. This is where Reeve Airways was begun in 1932. After a few years of moving himself and his growing family around, Bob settled in Anchorage at the out-break of WWII. Reeve Airways landed an exclusive contract with the military to fly men and supplies to military bases all over Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. With the end of the war, Bob upgraded his single engine Fairchild to a fleet of surplus DC-3s and kept the Aleutian air routes as his designated flying area. Reeve Airways became Reeve Aleutian Airways.

 It is here on the Aleutian Chain and Pribilof islands that Reeve Aleutian Airways has maintained consistent service for the past five decades. Recently, service from Anchorage has been expanded to include destinations in south-western Alaska and scheduled charter service to the Russian Far East. Our world wide charter service has brought us to all points around the Northern Hemisphere and throughout the South Pacific. Reeve Aleutian Airways has held fast to Bob Reeve's motto, "Anywhere you'll ride, I'll fly!"

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