A Glance Back at the History of Bering Air
Since 1979, Bering Air has been helping Alaskans get around. Our company started out fairly small, but as the Rowe family grew, so did our aircraft service.
Today, we offer a variety of services for residents of Western Alaska, including scheduled passenger, domestic charter and cargo flights. We operate seven days a week and serve 32 communities from our hubs in Nome, Unalakleet and Kotzebue. We charter flights to destinations throughout Canada and to the Russian Far East.
Our history spans more than four decades. Follow our timeline of events below, from our humble beginnings to our thriving present.
Highlights from Our History
1974: Jim and three college friends set out in a Cessna 195, traveling from Northern Michigan to the Baja Peninsula in Mexico and finally to Nome, Alaska. After working for the summer in Nome, Jim returned to Michigan to marry Christine. Soon after their honeymoon, the newlyweds settled in Nome to live the Alaskan dream.
1979: In Nome, Jim and Christine open Bering Air, an FAA certified US regional air service. The company’s first aircraft was a single engine DeHavilland Otter, though it wasn’t long before they were operating more aircraft. Earliest models include several Otters, a Beaver, a Cessna 206 and a Cessna 207.
1983: With the arrival of bypass mail, Bering Air introduces schedule service with a brand new Piper Navajo aircraft and enters an agreement as an Alaska Airlines commuter service.
1988: Jim makes aviation history as he pilots his Piper Navajo from Nome across the International Date Line. It was the first non-military flight across the border since prior to the Cold War. With Iron Curtain now broken, Bering Air introduces charter flights to several destinations in Russian Far East, including Chukotka Region.
1995: Bering Air begins operating C208 Caravans.
1999: The official commuter agreement with Alaska Airlines is terminated and Bering Air begins operating as its own carrier.
2015: A deal is signed with Cessna Aircraft Company for 8 brand new airplanes, all to be delivered this year. Caravans that have arrived so far include N241BA, N952BA and N573BA, which are all online and working. The next caravan will be 4BA.
Over to You
Looking back over 40 years, we’re proud of the achievements in travel and accessibility we’ve made in our region of Alaska. Today, we’re enthusiastic about helping Alaskans get around safely for decades to come.
Have you flown with us in the past? What do you remember about Bering Air from over the years? Share your story with us in the comments.