Virtual Luncheon featuring Alaska Seaplanes CEOs
POW Chamber Office: I tried not to change the wording so please be aware of transcript limitations.
I just would like to welcome everybody online. I know that there's still a few folks chiming in. I'm going to talk a little bit about what we're doing. Today before we dive into the meat and potatoes. I'd like to thank you, folks for joining the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce virtual luncheon. We do these on a semi regular basis to open up topics of interest to our membership and other people in the community at large. If you're not a member of the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce, and you're thinking about it, this is one of the huge benefits that you would get from being a member. Wendy is going to be recording this meeting today and after the Zoom we'll probably be posting this so that folks who can't be here at this time would be able to listen to the conversation as well. I'd like to introduce myself and then I'll let Mr. Fitzpatrick my cohost introduce herself. I'm Karen Peterson. I'm a former board member for the POW Chamber of Commerce. I work for SE Conference, and I moderate these sessions for the Prince of Wales Chamber. Misty.
Hi. Good to see everybody. My name is Misty Fitzpatrick. I'm from Coffman Cove and a business owner here on the island. I'm also on the board of directors for the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce.
We are going to welcome today the folks from Alaska Sea Planes out of Juneau. You probably have heard that they have recently purchased Island Air Express and there's been a lot of questions on the island about how that might change our local airline here. We're going to be welcoming Kent Craford, who is the president and co-owner of Alaska Sea Planes, Andy Klein, who is the marketing director for Alaska Sea Planes, and Carl Ramseth, co-owner and general manager for Alaska Sea Planes. I believe that Scott Van Valen may be joining us as well. I don't see him online yet. And as we all know he's the founder and the Operations Director for Island Air Express. I'm going to turn this presentation over to the folks at Alaska Sea Planes and I think they've got a quick presentation for us. After they're done, we'll open up the floor for a question and answer period.
My name is Andy Klein. I'm the marketing manager and Ken Crayford and Carl Ramseth are here with me in this conference room and as you saw and heard there's a few other folks from Seaplanes online as well. We'll call on them if they have an area of expertise that comes up in questions, but we wanted to just let people know a little bit about what's happening with Sea Planes. As you said, there's been some developments with Island Air coming in and also, we just wanted to talk to people and have a kind of conversation with the community it's very important to our service and the rest of Prince of Wales Island. Without further ado, we've got a small presentation only take a few minutes and we just thought we'd kind of run through that. Our president and co-owner, Kent Craford, who's right over here is going to do that now. I'll start sharing the screen and we'll go through that.
He knows me well enough to know, too long winded to keep it to a few minutes. We definitely want to get into questions and discussion. Thank you all for joining us. I know during summertime everybody's often very busy. We appreciate you all making the time to join us this afternoon. My name is Kent Craford. I'm the president and a co-owner of Alaska Seaplanes. I have six partners, two which are here with us today Carl Ramseth and Jody Garza. My partner Mike Steadman and my dad and I, the three of us, acquired Alaska Seaplanes in 2011, and we've been at this ever since. Mike was in the aviation business in general for about 30 some years prior to that with Wings of Alaska. Several of us used to work for Wings of Alaska. Carl, were there prior Erica cirrhosis who's on the line with us as well. A lot of us have been involved in southeast aviation for many years. And today we want to talk about not just the present where we are with aviation but where we're going and what the combination of our two companies Alaska Sea Planes and Island Air mean, and especially what it means for POW. I want to apologize that Scott Van Valen isn't joining us. We had a mechanical last night that actually we had to take an engine off of an airplane in clock and so at 5am This morning, we flew a spare engine down. It's getting changed out right now. But there you go. It's kind of one of the immediate, like obvious benefits of our two companies coming together. They had an engine issue and we had a spare engine, and that airplane should be up and flying probably by this evening. Otherwise, they would they would have that airplane down for probably a couple three weeks. We're already starting to see some of the benefits of sharing resources back and forth and I'll expand on that a little bit later. So, in terms of agenda, what we wanted to talk through is first off what it means for our two companies to join forces. We want to talk about fares. It's no secret that our fares have been rising that Islander Express's fares have been rising. You're seeing Alaska Airlines fares rising. We're in this inflationary environment. And we want to talk a little bit about why it's been so acute in the aviation industry. And then finally, we want to talk about safety. It's a huge part of what we do in Alaska sea planes. It's a hallmark of island air Express, which has a virtually perfect safety record and their history which is almost unparalleled in our industry. It’s a big part of why our two companies have been able to come together so well as we were both founded on a on a really strong safety culture. And we want to talk about talking about that a little bit and some new things we have in development. For those of you first off, I heard a compliment for Seaplanes I really appreciate that. Shout out to Mark. Thank you very much, Mark. I appreciate that very much. We just want to really thank the POW community all the communities on Prince of Wales for the support over the last several years, I think this year marks Gosh, since 2017. This is our sixth year serving Prince of Wales originally from Sitka and now also from Juneau and you know, we have grown our station there. Over that time, our traffic continues to grow. And it's thanks to all of you. For those of you that have flown Seaplanes, we just want to thank you for your business. We are the largest commuter airline in southeast we serve 14 communities, from hubs in Juneau and Sitka. We are the first part 135 in the state of Alaska, to undergo a full FAA approved safety management system voluntarily. I'll talk a little bit more about this later, but it really sets seaplanes apart from a lot of our peers in the industry. As we've grown, we really dedicated resources towards you know, safety and reliability. And that's something we share with Island air. We are also in the 12 years that we built this company. We've really built out what I think to be the A team in aviation in the state of Alaska. We have a broad deep and very, very experienced Flight Operations Management Team pretty much best in the business. Island air Express is no stranger to any of you. You know, I've been back probably don't even need to walk you through this. But you know, as you well know the catch can clock air service route is the largest in southeast Alaska. Islander Express is moving more people and cargo back and forth on that one route every day than then the two largest other routes combined and southeast it is a major thoroughfare. They are the only IFR carriers serving the island, of course, and they've been at the forefront of technology in our industry in terms of upgrading their equipment. They were one of the first to use the Chelten System. Tt's a navigation avionics package that was installed pretty much in aircraft around the state many years ago but Island air Express was the first to use it in an IFR environment. For all flights. That was a real that was really cutting edge in its day a lot of people do it now including Alaska sea planes, but in its time, they were real pioneers and they have continued that innovation. I mean today they have an all-turbine wheel plane fleet with all state-of-the-art Garmin avionics, the approvals for some of these avionics to be used in what we call advanced RMP navigation that only happened within the last year. So that actually showed goes to show you just how advanced eyelid air Express has been in in the development of avionics for general aviation sized aircraft. They have also been an incredible innovator in the development of proprietary instrument approaches. They were one of the first in the world to develop proprietary approaches with a precision level of navigation that's almost as good as the jets into places that previously people thought you couldn't you couldn't possibly develop an instrument approach. They're one of the I think they are the first in the world to develop a proprietary instrument approach for a seaplane to a water landing, which is El Capitan Lodge, which, as you probably know, Scott Nani van Valen own and operate. They've been a huge innovator. In our business, you know, in my opinion, I've always considered them to kind of be the gold standard in our industry in terms of their advanced capability. Seaplanes has been catching up though, you know, we've taken a page out of their book, and three years ago, we also started developing our own proprietary approaches. And we're now on the cusp of getting a very advanced approach approved into Juno, which will allow us to get down to minimums almost as close as Alaska Airlines not quite but as close as you can get with a general aviation aircraft that is going to dramatically improve our safety margins, and most importantly, our reliability, meaning fewer weather cancellations, fewer delays, and greater capability especially in inclement weather. The big question I'm sure everybody's asking is what becomes of Island Air Express now that they're part of the cleaning family of companies? That's our broader family of aviation companies. The short answer is from a customer standpoint, nothing will change Island Air Express. It is continuing to operate as an independent company. Scott & Nani Van Halen continue to run it day to day. What is changing is a lot of the back-office functions. We have taken over a lot of their human resources administrative and accounting functions which were previously done in Arizona. All of that's come back to southeast and is now being done closer to home. And we've been able to share resources with them and the maintenance department which has really been a huge benefit to Island air. It's also been a benefit to us. They've helped us out a couple of times to further we're able to do flying for each other. We have an airplane down there today flying for Island air because they have one airplane that's down for maintenance. Over the weekend. They had some flying that they were doing for us because the automated weather observation service and Co Op was down which we depend on for weather information. And so, we couldn't fly the clock but they could. They were able to pick up some fly for us to sit on which was terrific and prevented us from leaving some passengers stranded so we're already doing a lot of sharing back and forth but as far as you know, the operations are concerned trial and error expressed it's our plan will continue to operate under its own brand with the same aircraft, same pilots that you've come to know. I want to talk a little bit about fares. We want to address this issue head on because it is no secret that fares have been rising. And the simple reason is our costs continue to rise and we have to pass those on. As you may know there's a national pilot shortage in the United States. This is a problem. This was a problem before the pandemic. It's largely a demographic problem we had the baby boomers are simply retiring and there's not enough people young people getting into flying. That was compounded by some rules that the FAA put in place that make it harder and more expensive, unfortunately, to become a commercial pilot. Our pilot line is not quite what it used to be for new pilots, and then finally you drop the pandemic on top of that and it was just a mess. I mean, we are as an industry, we're really struggling. And what you've seen is the major airlines began to lower their thresholds for pilot qualifications to the point where some of their thresholds are now below Alaska. sea planes and island air thresholds for what we require. It is sometimes easier to get a job flying a regional jet than it is to get a job at an island air Alaska sequence. Consequently, the what we have the compensation for pilots, and it's gone through the roof and the last five years and so we've got to be competitive, you know, we're not going to we're not going to compromise on our standards. As such, you know, we're paying what it takes and it takes a lot and, and so that's a big driver of fares here recently. The same has been true in the maintenance space. I found out recently this really stung me 1/3 of aircraft and powerplant mechanics in the United States are over the age of 55. We have a huge demographic problem with aviation mechanics. And so, you know, wages in that space have been growing pretty dramatically. And then of course, you see this with labor all over, you know, in any industry. You know, whether you're running a tourism business, whether you're, you know, in transportation like us, Camille, Labor's just becoming more expensive. You know, we're seeing that national trend and that hits us too and some of our other positions. We've seen a lot of inflation and fuel of course, and last two years, you know, we were really enjoying, you know, the low fuel cost back in 2020. And, and the years prior to that, and then its uptick sharply in 2021. And, you know, that's, that's a major, major cost driver for us fuel. The same is true with parts, materials, you know, again, COVID had a lot to do with that we are seeing some plateauing which is good. We're not seeing costs come down but we are seeing things start to plateau and that's been encouraging. Finally, insurance is a huge driver in our business. You know, we're in a high-risk industry. I don't have to tell all of you that, you know, he as you well know, there's been a lot of Ketchikan area accidents in the last several years. And part 135, aviation, all of that affects our insurance rates, even if we have a fairly, you know, positive safety record. The underwriters still tar us all with the same brush. You know what you're in commercial aviation and Alaska. Well, we got it, you know, you're at higher risk, we gotta raise your rates. So that's unfortunately been a headwind for the industry here in the last several years, as well. Nonetheless, we've been working on strategies to try and at least mitigate some of these cost drivers. Something we've done is we've simply gone to a more traditional airline pricing model; we have a wider band of fares. And the bottom line is if you plan early, and you're more flexible, you can get lower fares, and if you're flying last minute and you're inflexible, you're probably going to pay more. We're not much different than Alaska Airlines. We used to really you know, I used to it was like a badge of honor that we had one flight one price and it was kind of a no gimmicks, no BS, you know, kind of thing and that worked well for us for many years. But as we have these cost pressures grow, if we want to keep any lower fares available, we've got to have higher fares to offset that. And the best way to offset that is to charge those people you know, we're planning last minute because they will pay higher fare and so therefore, we've gone to a very conventional airline pricing model and, and it has worked to allow us to keep lower fares. Available more of the time. The other thing I'll say is our fares to clock, you know, I feel like we've still kept them in pretty close range with where they've been historically, especially on the Klawock to Sitka route.
Finally, we have seen some curbing and fuel costs recently, and because we've moved to this dynamic pricing model, we have been able to offer fares or CSV sales, and we have a fair sale going on right now. Again, it might not be for the flight you want at the time you want to go it may be a little less attractive. You know, but nonetheless, if you want to try and grab a deal, we do have deals available and we're trying to make those available more often. Finally, just want to end on a safety note. You know, as I said, you know, Alaska seaplanes has been the first and one of the really on the cutting edge in the development of our own SMS program. When we got this approved by the FAA last year. At that time, they told us I think we were one of was it 14 1717 or something like that part 135 operators in the country that has a fully developed SMS and that's out of about 5000 certificate workers. So, it goes to show you how, you know small and group were among. It's a lot of work. We have a full-time safety manager. We have implemented a very sophisticated software system to manage this. All of our employees every single employee has to go through SMS training, no matter what your job function, you have to pass a rigorous test you have to pass it with 100%. And, and it's a true terrific data collection tool. So far since we implemented the program, we do flight risk assessments before each flight where the pilot has a numerical score and they go through all the various factors weather and aircraft maintenance and so forth. And they actually do come up with a numerical score that assesses the risk for that specific flight. It's a very detailed form. They have to do it again before each flight has to be approved. We now have over 15,000 of those flight risk assessments on our system. It’s a terrific way to pull data and look at trends. It's a great way to audit ourselves. We're still learning to be honest, like how to use it, and what you know how to use this information. It's incredibly powerful information. It has really been good and that is you know, one thing over time, not immediately, but probably over the next few years. We would like to see Island Air Express. Come on to the SMS program as well. All that said, you know, islanders got a spotless safety record. They have zero incidents since their founding. That is, that's an incredible track record. And I think it really speaks to not only their safety, culture and the innovation that they've put into place, but also just the, you know, the high caliber of their pilot and Maintenance Group. And finally, you know, just in terms of the components of you know, the safety it really starts with the pilots and mechanics. I mean, it starts with the people that are flying and maintaining this equipment. It's a technology and infrastructure it's the training, training, training, training, we train intensively. And you know, we develop processes around all this. But it also drives a lot of our costs, you know, we invest a lot and safety and so, but the good news is that, you know, we're spending our money wisely. We continuously are reinvesting in our businesses, and I think it's paid off. With that, thank you for bearing with me. I appreciate the opportunity to share a little bit about Seaplanes and Island Air and happy to take any questions.
Thank you. That was awesome. I appreciate you taking the time to run through all of that for us and I have to admit I appreciate the safety record that both sea planes and island air have. I have quite a bit of confidence in flying with those with you guys and them I've never flown Sea Planes actually. So, Island air at any rate, because I know that they are spot on with that. I'll go ahead and open it up for questions. If you want to just unmute yourself and ask or if you want to raise your hand. I'll call on you, either one. I've got a couple of questions if folks don’t. We had our POWCAC meeting yesterday and one of the people there commented that sometimes in the summertime at least on Seaplane side not with Island Air. Flights are difficult, only early morning or late afternoon because you are also involved in flightseeing or those kinds of activities and your planes are used up for that. Is that true? Because I don't know if that's true or not.
If we have if we have scheduled flights scheduled, we have aircraft dedicated to scheduled flights so if it's a question of you know reliability or something the things that differ between us and island or express is that we're coming from somewhere else that's the biggest difference. Whereas you know islands starting from clock in the morning we have to either start from Juneau or sick and you know, especially is you know, is tough with weather. And so that is more often than not something that can hamstring us but no with respect to tours. We do we do have a we do tours with our subsidiary above and beyond Alaska. Those are all in flow planes. So no, there's no conflict between our floatplane tour operations and our per wheel plane service to pow
pow but what about other parts or is it all the same?
The other parts you mean
Karen Petersen 31:07
like now like yeah other destinations? Like, I don't know, further north.
You mean? Small plane destinations.
See, and there you go. I don't even know that you have floodplains. So,
Yeah, we have floatplanes. But then we serve four communities on Skid was scheduled service on floats NGO and antenna key and Pelican and elfin Cove. Of our eight float planes, we only dedicate one of those to the tours. We have seven aircraft available. And really, that's way more than we need. You know, we've been serving those communities for 25 years. And historically, we served them with four airplanes, and now we've got eight so we have tons of capacity. We that's there's really no conflict. We wish we had more business on the flip side right now, to be honest. Well,
I like I say this was a question that came up at a different meeting. The other question that came up and this has nothing to do with your operation whatsoever, but I don't know if you have any comments or thoughts about it. We've just learned that our medivac carrier is no longer flying at night. And we aren't sure what the issue is, other than maybe risk aversion, but I don't know if you folks fly or anything like that. I know Island eras IFR, so it's easier for them.
I mean metal backs have flown at night here for years there. There are some places that where they won't fly at night, like Skagway, which is VFR only has no instrument approaches. I know. I believe they won't find a Skagway at night as I correct
even when it was perfectly clear because of the terrain there are rules on that you can follow into Skagway. It's my understanding.
Yeah, it's in a box scan. It's very tight. It's when you fly in there you feel like you could reach out and touch the treetops. It's so close you know it's but I would be surprised if they couldn't fly to clock at night. However, one other thing that's been going on lately that we could talk about and I see Todd is on here. And maybe he could speak to this. But the automated weather observation system and clock has been going down frequently. And this has been a problem for years and it's actually something and I'm glad Brenda's on here and maybe she could speak to this. We are going to draft up a letter that we we'd like to get support from all the communities and tribes on pow we'd like to send a letter to the FAA urging them to replace the AWOL system and clock. They've been putting band aids and chewing gum on this thing for a decade and it's become intolerable.
When the weather system goes down at a walk. We can't fly IFR at o'clock. The reason Island air Express has been able to is because they've been so you know, forward thinking and they developed their own weather observation program which seaplanes is now adopting for itself as well. But this is an issue that hamstrings not only us but the men of x as well and it's a life safety issue. And it's just I think, you know, we've had it and I think you know it's you all are well within your rights to say to the FA like, dang it, you know, it's, you know, it's time this is ridiculous. We passed this multibillion-dollar infrastructure package, you know, a couple of years ago, there's plenty of money available for this kind of thing. This is aging infrastructure. It's gone far too long. It's a life safety issue. We need to ashcan that thing and put a new system in there that's reliable. We're going to be circulating a letter expect to hear from Brenda about that. But we'd really appreciate your support for that.
I'll go ahead and chime in and say that there's two entities that you need to run that through. One is the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce, which is obviously a membership organization with most of the businesses on Prince of Wales Island and the other is Powercat Prince of Wales Community Advisory Council. The chair for Powell CAC is Brian Templin at the city of Craig and that is a membership organization where every single community and tribe on Prince of Wales has a vote and we annually pass transportation resolution supporting transportation initiatives and this is well within topics that we have discussed in the past. The airport upgrades and safety are really of concern to Powercat
that's great, and I see Wendy's put Bob Ryan's email in the chat and we'll definitely follow up with them. That's terrific. Thank you.
I've been hogging the questions. I'll go ahead and now that everyone's gotten over their nervousness, is there anybody else has got any questions or comments that they would like to make?
I really appreciate you all being here and kind of breaking down what's been going on and highlighting the positives of this merger and kind of the are two organizations separately. One thing that I heard you talk about was the lack of pilots that can fly and so you know, as we're looking towards workforce development is what does like the path to becoming a pilot look like for you guys?
That's a great question. Thanks, Abby. I that pilot or mechanic because our industry really needs both? Well, the first thing I would say, you know, it's it's always the first question and what kind of these are very lucrative jobs right now? I think the best thing you could tell a high school graduate man No. Pow is if you want to make good money and a trade, become a pilot. And guess what? There are jobs available here right at home for that high paying job. The path to becoming a pilot has gotten more difficult. Like I mentioned, the threshold for commercial pilot is 1500 hours. So at least that's our threshold and most of the major airlines social dicho. Recently they lowered that to as low as 1200 hours at some of the major airlines we still we still maintain a 1500-hour threshold for consideration. But and so to get that time, you got to become a private pilot. You got to then most people the path they take because they become an instructor. It's a way to build time, a lot of time quickly. And then sometimes they'll get a freight job or cargo job or something like that as a way to build time, more time. Those jobs tend to accept pilots with less time than we do those, you know, airlines flying passengers. But I mean, it's you know, it's a well-worn path. I mean, it's, you could call up any flight school and or go online and it's right now. I mean, they promised the world I mean, the guaranteed interviews when you get out of flight school, you're almost guaranteed a job unless you're not a good pilot. If you didn't develop the time by then, you know, chances are if you meet the standards, so we at sea planes don't have our own specific development program, in part because, gosh, it's really hard to keep your hooks into a person.
I mean, it's hard to, you know, but what I will say is, we are enthusiastic about any local that comes to interview with seaplanes, my business partner, our Chief Operating Officer, Sean Lim, he is from Hoonah. And, you know, started off commercial fishing and then decided to get his pilot's license became a pilot and came to us with a wet behind his ears, you know. I have a candidate and we hired him and 10 years later, he's director of operations chief operating officer and, and, and part owner of Alaska sea pines. It's a great job, you're home every night. You know, you're not on the road. You're not in some hotel in Miami or whatever. I mean, it's you know, I can't say enough for locals who are interested in this and this is a career it's really rewarding and like I said, lucrative. Same goes for maintenance. So, I mean, if you have anybody interested, we'd be happy to give them some direction. The other thing I'd offer is you know, if you have high school groups or you know other groups of kids that are looking for more information, we'd be happy to send a pilot or mechanic to a class one day and give a presentation and talk about seaplane talking about the job talking about what it takes and the process they went through. You bet. I mean, we'd be happy to do any and all that whatever we can do. To get more kids in a pilot mechanic pipeline we're having now.
We have a lot of school. We have a lot of schools here on Prince of Wales, so you better be careful what you ask for. So Excellent. Well, we don't need to keep everybody online if no one else has any other questions. I know that there has been a lot of folks concerned or worried about things. I don't know if Kent and Andy and Carl were able to answer any of the questions that you folks had. Misty, did you have any comments?
You do? And most of my questions were answered. One of them was, you know what resources that sea planes or Island air might have for our local high school graduates who do want to become pilots. And then just to piggyback on that, and you answered that question. Thank you. Just to make a comment that I am astounded by how many young people I talked to graduating from our Island schools, that want to become pilots, I've found personally, that number is really high and I've always thought that was interesting. I don't know if it's just the adventurous spirit that were raised in here or I don't know, but I think that's great. And hopefully that has some impact on your workforce. In the future. I
Give me just one sec here. I think one of the things that I haven't heard them talk about is the opportunity to become a mechanic though. So maybe there might be an opportunity to sort of, I guess, bring that to light. One of the things the Chamber's talked about for quite some time. hasn't come to fruition yet. I've heard other organizations on the island also talk about some kind of an effort. And maybe it's a cooperative effort between several entities to engage with the high school seniors or, or perhaps the juniors when they're making those kinds of decisions and to bring employers in to the classroom and talk to them about the different opportunities. What you mentioned about being available to participate in some kind of effort like that. It sounds like that it's a possibility for the future. So had that comment also just wanted to comment as a business owner, we have a local contracting business and a bulk of our work is in places like Angoon. We use your services a lot to get our electricians up to those remote locations. We've really appreciated the quality of the service and so I just want to thank you for that and also to comment that the letter of support to get that equipment upgraded. The next POWCAC meeting is scheduled for September 23. If you think that letter is going to be developed in the next couple of months that might be a good date to shoot for to try to get that into Brian Templin’s hands, maybe at least a week prior to that date.
2020 Okay. Yeah, thank you. Okay. And that was my last comment, except also just to thank Karen Peterson, who is a longtime board member of the chamber but who's retired but agrees to help us moderate these virtual luncheons. She's very good at it. And we we appreciate that. A great deal. Thank you, Karen.
Yep, no problem. When do you have a customer comment? You're muted. Yeah, there we go. I do. I
I don't see anybody's unmuting themselves and I don't see anybody raising their hand. Oh, go ahead, go ahead.
Hi, this is Brenda. I just wanted to comment quickly on the letter of support. I'll be reaching out to as soon as you know Ken is going to be drafting a letter and I'll be reaching out to a variety of entities I mean government to government we're talking like the tribe, the city's search I would think also because we do handle not only regular customers and passengers but we handle people are who are going for medical be it you know, the patients from search or veterans seeking out medical care, you know, we also handle the labs so those are vitally important that we think that you know, being the search now is a HERSA clinic which is open to both native and non-native alike. You know, we handle both demographics, all demographics, so it's really important. I think that you know, not only Powell CAC, I am in touch with Brian Tamplin via email, I have his pal CAC email. But just being in touch with everybody, not just you know, I'm talking about the cities, the tribes, the local clinics, and you know, things like that. That's what I would like to see. And maybe I think that would be a good strong, you know, show of support for this Island. Island wide, you know, so that was my comment to that. Janelle will be looking for a letter you know, in the near future for some support in getting our Aois system replaced, hopefully.
Well, thank you, Brenda, and I left my email in the chat too.
Okay, thank you. Kathy and John mentioned the schools as well, right Brenda? You can always come to Wendy, in the office, and brainstorm with her on how to send out these emails because the chamber has quite a few of these email groups out there. Excellent. You're welcome. Any other comments or questions?
This is Greg Anderson. Just wanted to thank you all for the information was very informative, appreciated.
You're welcome. Greg, thank you for joining us today. Any last comments from Kent and you guys up there up in Juneau? No sale.
Opportunity we really appreciate it. And, you know, please, if you've got classes or groups that would like to know more about the aviation industry and careers. Just please ask. We've got a lot of pilots and mechanics who I'm sure we'd be happy to come share their experiences and talk through the path to an aviation career. So please call on us
Yeah, and it is something that we have done in other communities that we are you know, have been serving cake as a as a regular job there where we participate and, and communicate with kids there and we've done it in Hoonah. And
it was a really interesting program actually, in Sitka, where there's an actual class that a teacher at Mount Edgecombe is teaching and he's come to our hangar, and we've actually had the students take a couple flights with us. He's really doing kind of a like a ground school type. Of situation there. Something to think about for curriculum. It definitely fits into the stem kind of curriculum and something that's really practical for kids, especially who are really interested in flying.
And it's not part of it's an adventurous lifestyle and Prince of Wales but it's also how you get from point A to point B. It’s a necessary trade. Essential.
Well, we'll start combing the ground for potential candidates to send your way so be prepared for that.
I would want to just offer one more thing, Karen, which is just like anyone ever has a question about anything that's happening with sea planes Island air, please just give me a drop me an email. You know, it's funny you see social media stuff, wild speculation. Anytime you ever want to get the real story on what's going on, feel free to just email me at Andy at fly Alaska sea planes.com I'll put it in the chat as well. Or just info at fly Alaska sea planes.com And that'll get to the right person. So happy to happy to talk about anything that's happening that affects the communities we serve. And I got one more thing, Karen.
I feel like Colombo, just one more thing. This is, ya know, amazing. I'm dating myself. But this is for everybody. If you aren't a member of seaplanes higher flyer rewards program, sign up today because when we're talking about fares, the best thing you can do to give yourself a 10% discount on every flight is be a member of our rewards program. We have the most generous program in the state fly 10 times you get a flight free. It's that simple. It's basically a punch card. Save yourself a bunch of money sign up.
I have a question about that. Will our island air miles count on your flights?
One thing you know, on Island Air, we'll be moving to the take flight reservation system which Seaplanes uses probably sometime this winter. It's going to be a great thing for islanders, employees, and customers. It's a much better program much easier to use much more user friendly. Everyone in Ireland is looking forward to that. We're looking forward to that because it's a lot better to the back end. When that happens. There will be we will have the ability to share back and forth so the answer is yes. That's probably going to come this winter.
Alright, what was your question? Misty
If there's a such thing as a reward membership that's attached to a business as opposed to an individual like for example, we fly our employees all around they use their own personal board member and then so they're essentially then later flying for free themselves as opposed to the company itself.
At this point, so at this point, it's been tied into the individual. We have had some inquiries such as yours over the years. It's definitely something we can try to figure out how we can make that work for everybody involved. We haven't had a come up with a great solution to that at this point. But with more minds working together, maybe we can figure that out.
Yeah, I think we might be able to come up with a cheat for you, Misty, that allows you to basically control the mileage accounts for those individuals. So let us follow up with you individually about that.
Okay, that sounds good. And then I did have someone made a comment to me that they would appreciate if sea planes and or Island air would consider implementing a separate rate for locals. So just passing along that comment.
Well, I can tell you Island air does lower their fares in the wintertime basically to service the local market and you know, we anticipate that continuing so after September 15. You will see lower fares on island again.
Great, thank you. You bet. All right, last chance. Excellent. Well,
thank you everybody for joining us today. The chamber periodically has these virtual luncheons. It's a great way for us all to get together and eat lunch while we're listening to something informative about businesses in our local area. We look forward to hosting more of these and if you have any ideas or suggestions on topic, let Wendy know. In the meantime, I'd like to again thank Kent, Andy, and Carl for joining us today and we look forward to great things from you in the future