Era Aviation used to be a commercial airline headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska in the United States of America. It was opened in 1948 and operated until February 27, 2009, when it ceased operations due to being swallowed by the Frontier Alaska Group. Era Aviation offered a network of operations, being part of the larger Alaska Airlines Partnerships, having its main base in the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Era Aviation was born out of a mapping contract for the United States government and its operations started when Carl Brady flew the first commercial helicopter to Alaska in 1948. Soon after that, fixed-wing aircraft were purchased and added to the small helicopter fleet they had. However, scheduled passenger flights with fixed-wing aircraft were not started until 1983. Fortunately perhaps, Era Aviation was entirely owned by the Rowan Companies, which owns and operates gas and oil drilling rigs on a large scale. This meant that fuel for their airline came directly from the drilling Rowan Companies.
The first aircrafts which were operated at Era Aviation were Convair 580 turboprops, DHC-7 (“Dash 7”) turboprops and Canada DHC-6 (“Twin Otter”). The operations of Era Aviation ceased in 2009 when it was bought by and became, together with Frontier Flying Service and Hageland Aviation, a subsidiary of The Frontier Alaska Group. This purchase and merger made the Frontier Alaska Group become the largest airline based in Alaska, at least where the number of destinations and passengers transported is concerned. It also has the largest aircraft fleet in Alaska and it is known and presented publicly as Era Alaska.
Before being brought into The Frontier Alaska Group and becoming Era Alaska, Era Aviation flew to and from the following destinations: Kenai, Homer, Kodiak, Iliamna, Cordova, Valdez, Fairbanks, Bethel and Barrow. The “Twin Otter” aircraft was also used to serve a network of villages from Alaska, having a regular base in Bethel. The purchase of Era Aviation came as no surprise, as the airline filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and it had been bought and sold by different companies more than one time before that. At the time of its purchase by the Frontier Alaska Group, Era’s fleet only consisted of three Beechcraft 1900D and three Bombardier Dash 8 Q100. The airline’s slogan used to be “FlySmart. FlyEra” whereas now, under Era Alaska, their slogan is “Bringing Alaskans Together” and, with a fleet of 74 aircrafts, it reaches 97 destinations.