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Era Alaska takes school spirit to the skies with Seawolf/Nanook aircraft

FAIRBANKS, AK—The friendly intrastate sports rivalry between the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks reached new heights when Era Alaska added a newly painted Bombardier Dash-8 to its fleet in May.  One side of the active-service aircraft is UAA green and gold with the Seawolf mascot; the other side sports UAF blue and gold with the Alaska Nanooks mascot.

The 34-passenger plane is a new addition to the Era Alaska fleet and will carry passengers to and from Alaska’s cities and rural villages.  Era Alaska covered the cost of painting the plane in support of the aeronautics-based curricula and intercollegiate athletics programs at both universities.  “The aviation degree programs offered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Anchorage are a critical component to the success of our airline in the future,” said Era Alaska CEO Bob Hajdukovich.  “This aircraft underscores the value of the partnership and synergy between Era, UAF and UAA. We look forward to this beautiful aircraft highlighting the UAF Nanook and the UAA Seawolf everywhere Era flies.”  Celebrations in Fairbanks and Anchorage Friday, June 7, will recognize Era’s gift and allow university and community officials to see the new aircraft. The plane will land at Fairbanks International Airport at about 1 p.m. and Era Alaska representatives will give a short presentation at the UA Board of Regents meeting at the Butrovich Building on the UAF campus at 3 p.m. A celebration will kick off at 4 p.m. at the Fairbanks International Airport; the plane will then depart Fairbanks for Anchorage at 5 p.m. and a landing celebration will be held at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport upon its arrival. Members of the University of Alaska Board of Regents will join university and Era Alaska executives for the celebrations. 

“I am thrilled to see this partnership between UAA, UAF and Era Alaska become a reality,” says UAA Chancellor Tom Case. “The newly painted Seawolf/Nanook plane is an excellent testament to the outstanding universities we have here in Alaska. It’s an honor that Era Alaska has chosen to represent us in this way.” 

The new aircraft offers a new level of statewide visibility to both universities, said UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers.  “I want to thank Era Alaska for their commitment to our programs and to the UAF community,” Rogers said. “Now Alaskans from Barrow to Kodiak, Gambell to Fort Yukon, will be reminded of the great educational opportunities available to them through the University of Alaska, not to mention one of the state’s best sports rivalries.”  The UAF and UAA athletics programs are inextricably linked because of the conferences they both belong to, Rogers added. "Neither could belong without the other. While we compete on the rink, court and trail, we cooperate on ensuring a strong student-athlete experience at both institutions."

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