Mark Air Pilot Hat Badge 1st Issue
Anchorage, AK 1946-1998
The airline began its life as Interior Airways in the late 1946 carrying cargo throughout the state of Alaska. In 1972 it changed its name to Alaska International Air to reflect its international charter business. In 1980 Alaska International Air bought a regional passenger/cargo airlinenamed Great Northern Airways. In 1984 new colors and the name MarkAir were brought to the airline as it inaugurated passenger/cargo service from Anchorage to the Alaska bush communities. In the mid-1980s MarkAir and Alaska Airlines entered into a codesharing agreement with MarkAir operating as Alaska Airlines to several communities in Alaska. In the late 1980s MarkAir bought several air taxis (airlines operating small six to nine seat aircraft from larger communities such as Bethel to Alaska's Native villages) and under the name of MarkAir Express. In 1990, Alaska Airlines abruptly cancelled its codesharing agreement with MarkAir and MarkAir inaugurated service to key Alaska Airlines markets. In 1992 the airline expanded its Lower 48 route network. However the head-to-head competition with Alaska Airlines caused MarkAir to find itself in bankruptcy by the end of 1992. MarkAir Express continued services within the State of Alaska taking over all of MarkAir's jet routes. In 1996 MarkAir was forced to shut down. MarkAir Express remained until 1997 and was reorganized into the all-cargo carrier, Alaska Central Express. MarkAir's assets were purchased in bankruptcy by the private equity firm Wexford Capital Management, the majority owners in control of the present day Republic Airways Holdings.