NAC switches to new freight handlers in Nome, Kotzebue
Alaska Transport Services is handling cargo for Anchorage-based NAC in Nome, while Village Aviation has taken over the freight contract in Kotzebue.
"It was a business decision we had to make," said Todd Wallace, NAC’s vice president of sales and marketing.
Marge Baker, owner of Kotzebue-based Baker Aviation, said her company had been handling freight in the two communities since 1988.
"It was a mutual decision,’’ Baker said of ending the freight contract last month. "We wanted to make a change, and they wanted to make a change ... I hope everyone is happy now."
Baker said three employees in Kotzebue and two in Nome have been furloughed.
Village Aviation and Alaska Transport Services each will handle about 400,000 pounds of freight and mail monthly for Northern Air Cargo, Wallace said.
Village Aviation already was under contract for freight handling in Bethel.
Russ Ferguson, Village Aviation station manager in Kotzebue, said his company also will handle about 1 million pounds of fish annually for the airline. Northern Air Cargo ships about the same amount of fish each year from Bethel to Anchorage, he said.
With a fleet of Boeing 727 and Douglas DC-6 aircraft, Northern Air Cargo serves some 19 destinations within Alaska from its hubs in Anchorage and Fairbanks.