Small airline pulls out of Kodiak

Posted: Friday, April 14, 2000

KODIAK (AP) -- Uyak Air is pulling out of Kodiak after 10 years running an air taxi and flightseeing service. It was the second small airline to bow out in as many months.

PenAir, a commuter airline that flew to Kodiak villages and other sites, recently shut down its Kodiak operation after 17 years.

Veteran Bush pilot Butch Tovsen, owner of Uyak Air Service, had cut back his business in recent years. He operated as many as three planes at one time, but said earlier this year he was planning to fly only one this season.

On Wednesday, he said a combination of personal matters, increased operating costs and diminished business opportunities led him to close up shop in Kodiak.

''The cost of doing air taxi business has gone up significantly,'' he said. ''And the (business) opportunities are getting narrowed down.''

Tovsen said he would take care of clients he already has booked for the summer by arranging for them to use other air taxi services.

But Uyak Air is still a business and he will maintain his certifications, Tovsen said. He plans to fly one of his two DeHavilland Beavers commercially this summer out of Anchorage.

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