Corvus Airlines traces its roots back to 1948 and the founding of Economy Helicopters. The company was founded by Carl Brady, when he flew the first commercial helicopter to Alaska to work on a mapping contract for the U.S. government.
In the years that followed, Economy Helicopters renamed itself Era Helicopters and the company saw most of its business by supporting offshore oil drilling. Era's helicopters supported the efforts to build the Alyeska Pipeline and it was during the construction of the pipeline that the company started its fixed-wing division with DeHaviland Twin Otter and Convair 580 aircraft.
After the construction of the pipeline, Era saw an opportunity to scheduled passenger service, which first started in May 1983. The Convair planes were used for service to Valdez, Kenai, Kodiak, Cordova, and Homer. The Twin Otter fleet was based out of Bethel and operated service to many of the small communities surrounding it.
In 1988, Era Helicopters formally changed its name to Era Aviation.
The company endured a very turbulent transition between December 2004 and December 2006, which saw several changes in ownership, the spinoff of the Era Helicopters division, and the company entering and emerging from chapter 11 bankruptcy.