Ravn's $12.3M bid wins PenAir at bankruptcy auction
It’s the end of an era for Danny Seybert and his family.
"It's certainly an emotional day, after 63 years, it's kind of sad for me personally," said Seybert, whose family has owned PenAir since his father, Orin, created the airline 1955. Those days are numbered.
Federal Judge Gary Spraker approved the sale of PenAir to Peninsula Aviation, owner of Ravn Alaska, for $12.3 million.
The same company may now own both airlines, but they will remain in business but as separate entities. The head of Ravn calls it a great day for both carriers.
"One, we just saved hundreds, if not, thousands of jobs, in terms of indirect jobs, two, we're going to be able to better serve the communities both carriers fly to," said Ravn President Dave Pflieger.
PenAir filed for bankruptcy in July of 2018, after Seybert said the airline amassed $19 in debt. J.F. Lehman, Ravn's owner, won Wednesday's auction. Lehman is an equity firm based in New York City.
"It's a win-win for our employees, and a win-win for our friends, and our customers," said Seybert.
PenAir employs more than 400 people and is Alaska's second largest regional airline carrier. More than 1,000 people work for Ravn, which is the state's number one regional airline.
PenAir will continue to fly. But, the days of the Seyberts guiding the airline are numbered. However, the sale does not mean we have seen the end of the family.
"You never know, we'll still be in aviation somehow,” said Seybert, who departs into an unknown future, as his days as an airline owner dwindle.
Dave Leval contributed to this story.
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