Cargojet Airways (Hamilton) has announced the company has entered into a new Air Cargo Service Agreement with United Parcel Service Canada Ltd. (UPS). This Agreement replaces the agreement originally entered into in 2003 to provide domestic overnight air cargo services throughout Canada.
The initial term of the agreement is for a ten-year period with two, three-year renewal options.
Cargojet is Canada’s leading provider of time sensitive overnight air cargo services and carries over 1,000,000 pounds of cargo each business night. Cargojet operates its network across North America each business night, utilizing a fleet of all-cargo aircraft consisting of 5 Boeing 767-300 ER, 5 Boeing 767-200 ER, 5 Boeing 757-200 and 9 Boeing 727-200F aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Chris Sands/AirlinersGallery.com. Cargojet is one of the last operators of the Boeing 727 in Canada. Boeing 727-223 (F) C-GCJY (msn 22460) departs from Calgary.
US Airways (American Airlines) (American Airlines Group) (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) is currently operating under a single AOC with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth). However it has been using the US code for its flights. This will all end on October 16-17 when it operates a ceremonial last flight (flight US1939, named after the year All American Aviation started operations). The airline has announced the details of the last flight. Flight US1939 will operate on October 16 from Philadelphia to Charlotte, then on to Phoenix and San Francisco and then back to Charlotte arriving on October 17 at 0618. Tragically the last US flight will not touch Pittsburgh where it all started.
Above Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways Airbus A321-231 N578UW (msn 6035) now with “American” titles will be retained in the 2005 US Airways livery as the US Airways legacy aircraft.
The chronology of All American/Allegheny Airlines/USAir/US Airways (by US Airways):
All American Aviation brings the first airmail service to many small western Pennsylvania and Ohio Valley communities with introduction of a unique ‘flying post office’ service.
1948 Piedmont Airlines begins operations.
1949 All American Aviation becomes All American Airways and makes the transition from airmail to passenger service with introduction of the DC-3 and an expansion of its service. Pacific Southwest Airlines begins operations with service in California.
Above: Allegheny Airlines’ 1953 Route Map.
All American’s route system (above) grows and the name is changed to Allegheny Airlines, recognizing the mountains and river of the same name that lie in the heart of the airline’s network.
Allegheny Airlines begins the transition to turbine-powered aircraft with introduction of the first Convair 580, its workhorse for the next several years.
The first jet, a Douglas DC-9-14 (below), makes its debut in Allegheny colors. It is replaced the following year by the first of what would eventually become a fleet of 62 larger Douglas DC-9-31 jets (below).
Above: Allegheny Airlines 1966 Route Map.
The first Allegheny Commuter service begins, between Hagerstown, MD and Baltimore/Washington International Airport by Henson Aviation, forerunner of today’s Piedmont Airlines. It was the beginning of today’s network of 10 regional airlines that provide US Airways Express service to 172 cities throughout the nation.
Above Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Nord 262A-12 N26203 (msn 13) of Lake Central Airlines.
Allegheny merges with Indianapolis-based Lake Central Airlines, expanding the growing route network beyond Pittsburgh to the Midwest including Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati, OH; Indianapolis, IN; and St. Louis, MO.
Allegheny acquires Mohawk Airlines, a Utica, NY airline with service to most cities throughout New York and New England. With the merger, Allegheny acquired Mohawk’s BAC 1-11 jets to complement its DC-9s and becomes the sixth largest airline in the world as measured by passenger boardings.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Mohawk’s Fairchild-Hiller FH-227B N7819M (msn 542) carries an additional Allegheny sticker at Syracuse.
Deregulation comes to the U.S. airline industry. Airlines have new freedom to expand their route systems and more flexibility to develop new and innovative pricing structures, but lose the protection of the fare- and route-setting authorities exercised by the Civil Aeronautics Board, which closes down by 1984.
Allegheny changes its name to USAir to reflect its expanding network, including post-deregulation entry into Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Florida and later, California.
1983 America West Airlines begins operations in Phoenix on August 1 with 230 employees and three Boeing 737-200s, serving Colorado Springs, CO; Kansas City, KS; Los Angeles, CA; and Wichita, KS. The airline’s schedule calls for 20 daily departures.
Above Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Leased Boeing 737-275 C-GCPW (msn 20959) of America West Airlines in the original 1983 livery lands at Las Vegas.
Above: The original 1983 route map for America West Airlines.
USAir introduces its Frequent Traveler program, which provides travel benefits to USAir’s most loyal customers.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Empire Airlines (2nd) Fokker F.28 Mk. 4000 N110UR (msn 11182) taxies from the gate at the Syracuse hub.
Large-scale airline consolidation, a partial product of deregulation, continues. Piedmont Airlines introduces European routes in its system. Competition for the lucrative California market intensifies as local carriers are bought and merged into larger partners. Pacific Southwest Airlines of San Diego becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of USAir Group in May. Piedmont Airlines, the dominant carrier throughout the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, also becomes a subsidiary of USAir Group in November 1987.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. PSA’s BAe 146-200 N384PS (msn E2024) taxies to the runway at San Jose, California.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-301 N316P (msn 23234) taxies at Miami.
1989 Piedmont Airlines is integrated into USAir, the largest merger in airline history. The merger brings with it Piedmont’s international routes as well as its Charlotte, Baltimore, Dayton and Syracuse hubs. Baltimore and Charlotte remain hubs. The merger also brings USAir’s first wide body jets, the Boeing 767-200 ERs now used on its transatlantic and some transcontinental routes.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-2B7 ER N651US (msn 24764) taxies to the gate at MIA dressed in the 1989 color scheme.
USAir expands its international flying with service between Pittsburgh and Frankfurt, Germany, complementing existing Charlotte-London service begun in 1987 by Piedmont; and in 1991, international expansion continues with the introduction of new nonstops between Charlotte and Frankfurt.
Philadelphia-Paris is added to USAir’s transatlantic schedules in January. Daily nonstops between both Philadelphia and Baltimore/Washington International Airport and London Gatwick Airport are introduced in May.
USAir and Trump Shuttle begin a marketing affiliation under which the service becomes the USAir Shuttle. The Shuttle provided hourly service between New York and Boston and between New York and Washington, DC.
USAir’s new terminal at New York LaGuardia opens, as does the new Midfield Terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport.
USAir and British Airways announce an investment/alliance plan, under which USAir gives up its London route authority.
USAir posts its first profitable year since 1988, with earnings of $119.3 million on sales of $7.474 billion. USAir introduces Priority TravelWorksSM, allowing bookings from personal computers.
Stephen M. Wolf is elected chairman effective January 22. Seth E. Schofield retires as chairman after 38 years’ service to the company and three and a half years and chief executive. USAir continues its transatlantic expansion, winning the right to serve Munich, Rome and Madrid from Philadelphia beginning in 1996. USAir introduces ticketless travel. USAir, in a dramatic two-week period, announces what might in time be the largest single order for airliners; then announces a new name, image, identity designed to carry the airline aggressively into the next century. The airline ordered up to 400 new Airbus A319, A320 and A321 narrowbody twin jets for delivery starting in 1998 and continuing through 2009; then within days announced its new identity as US Airways.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2B7 N940UW (msn 27805) displays its new dark blue 1997 livery which tended to fade.
The airline challenged its relationship with British Airways in court, seeking rights to London Heathrow from four U.S. gateways and to require British Airways to dispose of its USAir stock. USAir notifies BA the codeshare between the two will end in March, 1997, and in December, British Airways announces it will sell its shares in USAir and that its three directors will resign.
The name US Airways is put into use officially on February 27. Signs, stationery, ticket stock, business cards, advertisements, marketing materials, ticket folders and counters all start to sport the new US Airways blue, red, gray and white identity, and the first aircraft are painted in the new scheme as the changeover approaches. The US-BA codeshare expires in March.
US Airways Inc., purchased Shuttle Inc., from a consortium of banks. The Shuttle has flown under the US Airways name since 1992, when US Airways became an investor in the Shuttle with a minority ownership stake. US Airways Shuttle flies 17 daily roundtrips between Boston and New York LaGuardia, and 16 daily roundtrips between New York LaGuardia and Washington Reagan.
MetroJet by US Airways starts service, providing the airline with a low-fare unit to compete in the eastern United States. MetroJet’s single-class, using Boeing 737-200 aircraft, proves highly popular.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-2B7 N269AU (msn 22881) displays the unique red fuselage 1998 livery.
Above: MetroJet routes in 2000.
US Airways Express introduces regional jets to its system.
US Airways fleet transformation begins with the introduction of the first of as many as 400 Airbus A320-family aircraft.
US Airways first Airbus A320 aircraft enters service with scheduled daily flights between Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The new 142-seat A320 is part of the US Airways plan to simplify and modernize the fleet by adding Airbus A319, A320 and A330-300 aircraft. US Airways expands its international route network by adding nonstop service between its Charlotte, NC hub and London Gatwick. Charlotte becomes the third US Airways transatlantic gateway.
Colgan Air, Inc. joins the US Airways Express nine-carrier network, expanding service to destinations across the East Coast from Bar Harbor, ME to Atlanta, GA.
The fleet transformation continues with A320-family aircraft arriving at a rate of one per week in the second half of the year.
The US Airways Shuttle begins its transformation to an all A320 fleet (below), retiring the venerable Boeing 727s.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N106US (msn 1044) for a short time wore US Airways Shuttle titles. This A320 would later be ditched in the Hudson River.
US Airways unveils its enhanced and redeveloped website, usairways.com, originally launched in 1996, offering customer-friendly features that include a streamlined process for checking fares, making reservations, purchasing tickets, checking flight status and accessing Dividend Miles account information. The site begins drawing more than 600,000 visitors a week. US Airways begins service to its eighth European destination with the introduction of Philadelphia-Manchester, UK service. US Airways opens an international reservations center in Liverpool, UK.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-301 N350US (msn 23553) wore this unique “No booking fees No brainer” livery to promote the new website.
US Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A330-300 widebody aircraft, making the next step in its fleet transformation. Six A330s will enter the fleet by the end of the year.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-323 N276AY (msn 375) prepares to land at the Charlotte hub.
US Airways becomes the first carrier to fly the 169-seat Airbus A321. In addition to a common cockpit, which vastly simplifies pilot training and scheduling, US Airways’ A320-family aircraft also have common cabin fittings, such as seats, overhead bins, galleys and lavatories, simplifying cabin service and maintenance.
David N. Siegel takes over as US Airways president and CEO in March, naming other new members of the senior management team over the next several months and undertaking a proactive restructuring plan for the company. As part of the restructuring, US Airways enters Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on August 11, with the stated goal to emerge as a leaner, more competitive carrier in March 2003.
US Airways begins implementation of a codeshare agreement with United Airlines, introducing customers of both airlines to more than 3,000 codeshare flight segments in the first half of the year, reciprocal airport club use and simplified ticketing and baggage procedures.
Midway Airlines joins the US Airways Express ten-carrier network, bringing expanded regional jet service to destinations such as Jacksonville, FL and Myrtle Beach, SC.
US Airways joins the Star Alliance network, an alliance of member airlines that share networks, lounge access, check-in services, ticketing and other services.
US Airways Group, Inc. files again for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy code on September 14, seeking to restructure operating costs in light of ever-increasing fuel prices and cutthroat industry competition.
2005 America West Holdings and US Airways Group, Inc. announce plans to merge on May 19. Former America West Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker is chosen to run the combined airline.
In August, America West and US Airways unveil the livery that will appear on the aircraft of the new US Airways. Employees of both airlines, some sporting ‘retro’ uniforms heralding back to various periods in the airlines’ pasts, celebrate the new paint scheme as a freshly painted Airbus A320 makes its way across the country, stopping for special events with union leaders of both airlines.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N109UW (msn 1065) departs from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in the 2005 livery.
The merger transaction is officially complete on September 27, and US Airways Group, Inc. is no longer in bankruptcy. Stock of the merged airline begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the LCC ticker symbol.
Throwback liveries are dedicated mirroring the schemes of PSA, Piedmont, Allegheny and America West. Events are held in the progenitor airlines’ hub cities. The airline posts profits for both the first and second quarters of the year, surpassing analyst expectations and contributing tens of millions of dollars to employee profit sharing programs. The airline employs more than 35,000 aviation professionals and its route map encompasses 3,800+ daily flights serving 239 destinations and 28 countries/territories.
Above Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N744P (msn 1287) departs from Charlotte in the legacy Piedmont livery.
US Airways agreed to add seven Airbus A330-200s to the airline’s widebody fleet to be used to support the airline’s international growth plans.
The airline obtained a single operating certificate from the FAA, hired a new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Robert Isom, and announced plans to build a new 60,000-square-foot flight operations control center in Pittsburgh.
US Airways inaugurated its first-ever service to London Heathrow from its international gateway in Philadelphia. US Airways also announced plans to operate year-round, daily nonstop service to Tel Aviv from Philadelphia, scheduled to begin July 2009. US Airways announced three new transatlantic flights to begin spring 2009: Birmingham, UK and Oslo, Norway from Philadelphia; and Paris Charles de Gaulle from Charlotte. Transatlantic flights in 2009 will total 27 daily flights to 23 destinations.
US Airways successfully activated the airline’s new, state-of-the-art Operations Control Center in Pittsburgh where all flight control and dispatch functions for US Airways’ 1,300 daily mainline flights are carried out.
On January 15, the crew of flight 1549, bound from New York LaGuardia to Charlotte successfully ditched their crippled aircraft in the Hudson River. All 155 passengers and crew survived.
US Airways was awarded and began year-round service from its Charlotte hub to Rio de Janeiro, resumed its Charlotte to Paris service and began service from Charlotte to Rome. Also in 2009, the airline began nonstop flights from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv and from Phoenix to Montego Bay. During the year, the airline entered into codeshare agreements with Qatar Airways, ANA and TACA.
In the third quarter US Airways announced an airport slot transaction with Delta Air Lines. Upon regulatory approval, US Airways will obtain 42 pairs of slots (roundtrip flights) at Washington Reagan and will acquire the rights to expand to Sao Paulo and Tokyo. US Airways will transfer to Delta 125 pairs of slots used to provide US Airways Express service at New York LaGuardia. US Airways also announced that, once the transaction is complete, the airline would provide service to 15 new destinations from Washington Reagan. The airline announced that the transaction is expected to improve profitability by more than $75 million annually.
In October, US Airways announced a strategic plan to strengthen its core network by realigning its operational focus on its hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix and its focus city Washington, DC. These four cities, as well as the airline’s hourly Shuttle service between New York LaGuardia, Boston and Washington Reagan will serve as the cornerstone of the airline’s network and will present 99 percent of the airline’s available seat miles, compared to the 93 percent in 2009, by the end of 2010.
In March, the airline launched wireless internet through Gogo® Inflight Internet on five of its Airbus A321 aircraft, with the remaining fleet of A321 aircraft outfitted by June. Gogo allows passengers to use their laptops or Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices to access the web, email, log in to corporate Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and access online entertainment options.
In May, Delta and US Airways announced a new agreement to transfer takeoff and landing rights at New York’s LaGuardia and Washington D.C.’s Reagan National airports, which will enable Delta and US Airways to expand service and increase competition at two of the nation’s key cities, and provide the opportunity for additional access to LaGuardia and Reagan National for new entrants and airlines with a limited presence at the airports.
Under the agreement, Delta would acquire 132 slot pairs at LaGuardia from US Airways and US Airways would acquire from Delta 42 slot pairs at Reagan National and the rights to operate additional daily service to Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2015, and Delta would pay US Airways $66.5 million in cash. In addition, the airlines will divest 16 slot pairs at LaGuardia and eight slot pairs at Reagan National to airlines with limited or no service at those airports. The completion of the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including government and regulatory approvals. A slot pair is the authority to operate one takeoff and one landing.
Also in July, the Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively approved the proposed slot transaction, announced in May, at New York-LaGuardia and Washington-Reagan National airports.
In October, Delta Air Lines and US Airways welcomed the decision by the Department of Transportation to approve the proposed slot transaction at New York-LaGuardia and Washington-Reagan National airports, subject to certain conditions. The DOT’s final order represents a clear recognition by the Obama Administration that the slot transaction is in the public interest because of the service benefits and efficiencies that would result in both New York and Washington, D.C.
US Airways: A Heritage Story. By William Lehman.
Founded in 1937, Allegheny Airlines started its life as All-American Airways. Like several other airlines, it began by carrying airmail for the United States Post Office. All-American started airmail service on March 12, 1939, using the single-engine Stinson Reliant aircraft serving several small communities in western Pennsylvania and the Ohio valley. All-American crafted a unique tail-hook, which hung beneath the aircraft to pick up the cloth mail bags, using the same techniques that the railroads had developed in the late 19th century.
After the end of World War II, with a huge surplus of military aircraft that could quickly be converted to carry passengers, the Civil Aeronautics Board started getting swamped with applications from the airmail carriers to be allowed to carry passengers.
All-American was no exception, which was now designated as a local-service airline. The C.A.B. issued All-American a three-year temporary certificate to carry passengers in January 1949; however, passenger service did not begin until March 7, 1949, using a recently acquired Douglas DC-3 which was configured to carry 24 passengers, 2 pilots, and a stewardess. The C.A.B.’s authority for All-American covered Maryland, New York, Ohio, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania.
Already, as of November 1949, All-American was flying 28 flights a day to 36 cities in six states. All-American decided that Pittsburgh would be a good home base for this local-service carrier, which was becoming one of aviation’s early success stories thanks to a route system centered around heavy industry and the East Coast, which was the most densely populated part of the United States. At the time, because of where All-American flew, passengers and employees alike starting calling it “the Allegheny Airline” or “Route of the Allegheny’s.”
Above Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Allegheny Airlines’ Douglas C-47A-DL (DC-3) N151A (msn 9471) is pictured in the 1953 “boomerang” livery.
On January 1, 1953, All-American officially became Allegheny Airlines, with 13 DC-3’s making up the fleet. As the 1950’s marched on, Allegheny’s growth continued, but the DC-3’s were limited in range. Allegheny needed another type of aircraft that was capable of flying farther. At the same time, two airlines – California Central and Pioneer Airlines – put several used Martin 202 aircraft that had flown earlier for TWA and Northwest Orient Airlines up for sale. Acquiring the Martin 202’s became the focus of Allegheny’s expansion plans.
Above Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Martin 202 N172A (msn 9142) rests between flights in the first livery worn by the Martins.
The first Martin 202 began service with Allegheny on June 1, 1955. The Martin 202, like the DC-3, was unpressurized, but the “Martin Executive”, as they were called, quickly became a favorite among businessmen. On January 1, 1956, Allegheny was issued a permanent certificate to carry passengers by the C.A.B. By now, Allegheny had expanded to sixty cities with a fleet of 14 DC-3’s and 5 Martin 202’s; the airline was so happy with the performance and range of the Martin 202 that it would eventually acquire and operate a total fleet of 18 aircraft.
Toward the end of the 1950’s, several local-service airlines needed to move beyond the piston airplanes that had faithfully and safely carried thousands of passengers to the more powerful and reliable turbo-props, and Allegheny Airlines was no exception.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. A busy ramp scene at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) as Convair 440-97 N8422H (msn 465) prepares to depart the gate. The propliner is painted in the 1965 livery with the slanted italic titles.
Earlier, Convair Aircraft Corporation of San Diego had produced the popular Convair 340 and Convair 440 aircraft. Due to the arrival of the Lockheed Electra plus the Douglas DC-8 and Boeing 707 jet aircraft, several Convairs were being parked and stored in the deserts of California, Nevada, and Arizona.
Above Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. This rare photo shows the short-lived Napier-powered Convair 540 N440EL (msn 445) parked at the gate.
The Napier Engine Company in England recognized this as an opportunity and immediately began work on converting the reciprocal piston engines to turbo-props for the Convair aircraft. Allegheny management quickly seized this opportunity and leased the aircraft now called the Convair 540 (above), which began service with the carrier on July 1, 1959. Allegheny leadership realized that the Convair 540 was the right choice for replacing the DC-3’s. The Convair 540’s were pressurized, a first for Allegheny, carried 44 passengers, flew faster, at greater attitudes, and had higher daily utilization than the DC-3’s and the Martin 202’s.
Allegheny had decided that it was time to start retiring the DC-3’s and Martin 202’s as they were starting to show their age, so an aggressive program to acquire more Convair 340 and 440 aircraft was started with eventual plans to convert all aircraft to Convair 540 standards with the turbo-prop conversion.
At the same time the Board of Directors for Allegheny decided to change the corporate logo from a “boomerang” to the “speed wedge” (above), which would stay with Allegheny well into the 1970’s. In addition the operations and maintenance base was moved from Washington National Airport in Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh.
However, across the pond in England, Rolls Royce acquired Napier Engine Company. Immediately, Rolls Royce decided they would discontinue the conversion program after only seven aircraft had been delivered to Allegheny. This forced Allegheny to convert some of the Convair 540’s back to piston-driven Convair 340 or 440’s. At the same time Allegheny acquired additional Martin 202’s and Convair 440’s so that the DC-3’s could be phased out and removed from the fleet.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The Allison Convair 580 turboprop conversion is seen on N5845 (msn 52).
In 1965, United States-based Allison Engine Corporation, which had been already providing turbo-prop engines for the Lockheed Electra and military C-130 aircraft, offered the power plant for retrofitting existing Convair airframes. Called the Convair 580, it had powerful four-blade turbo-prop engines that quickly shaved minutes off of the piston driven Convair 340 and 440’s. The Convair 580 captured the attention of Allegheny management in Pittsburgh. Without hesitation, Allegheny added this “new” turboprop to the fleet. Allegheny would eventually operate 44 Convair 580 “vistaliner” (above) aircraft.
Above Copyright Photo: Ted J. Gibson/Bruce Drum Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. The Fairchild F-27J were relatively short-lived type with Allegheny Airlines. F-27J N2707J (msn 118) sits at Marana, AZ after its retirement.
Later that same year, Allegheny also acquired the first of ten brand new Fairchild F-27J aircraft (above). With its Rolls Royce Dart turbo-prop-powered engines, high wing, and large oval windows, it was an instant hit with passengers and crews. With the introduction of the F-27 Allegheny started retiring the Martin 202 aircraft. Three Martin 202’s would be reconfigured to carry freight aircraft only.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The very first jetliner for Allegheny Airlines/USAir/US Airways was this leased Douglas DC-9-14 registered as N6140A (msn 47049). This rare photo shows N6140A ground-loading its passengers at Philadelphia bound for Hartford/Springfield and Providence.
Allegheny Airlines knew that the jet age had arrived for local-service carriers. West Coast-based Bonanza Airlines needed to lease out a Douglas DC-9-14 aircraft (above) that had been recently delivered to them due to a downturn in traffic. Allegheny entered into a one-year lease agreement with Bonanza Airlines with the first Allegheny jet flight taking place on September 1, 1966.
Above Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 N969VJ (msn 47421) displays the updated 1966 livery introduced with the DC-9s.
Allegheny would receive their first Douglas DC-9-31“vista-jets” in mid 1967 and immediately place the aircraft into service. This would be the first of more than 70 of the popular twinjet and the start of a long and positive relationship with Douglas and its successor McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Corporation.
In September 1967, Allegheny retired the last of the piston powered Convair 440 aircraft. For the first time, Allegheny operated a pure turbo-prop and jet aircraft fleet, made up of Convair 580’s, Fairchild F-27’s, and Douglas DC-9’s.
The first of what would be several mergers occurred on March 14, 1968, when the Civil Aeronautics Board approved the acquisition of Lake Central Airlines by Allegheny. Allegheny was able to further expand the route system and with the merger pick up important new cities in Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois.
Above Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. French-built Nord 262A-44 N26203 (msn 11) is painted in the special “wine and cheese” livery. The airliner was also named “Nicole d’Allegheny” in concert with the French theme.
The merger also brought more Convair 580’s, plus a new type of aircraft not previously flown by Allegheny called the Nord 262 aircraft (above). The twelve 29-seat French built Nord 262’s would become a huge headache for Allegheny Operations and Maintenance personnel, due to continuous issues with the Turbomeca Bastan turbo-prop engines that then proved to be very unreliable. Eventually Frakes Aviation in the United States would work to convert the engines to the much more reliable Pratt & Whitney PT-6 engines to finally solve the problem. At the same time the Nord 262 was renamed the Mohawk 298.
Allegheny made a bold experiment with Mohawk 298 aircraft by repainting nine of the twelve aircraft in a purple and gold paint scheme and naming them after flight attendants. The plan was to promote a business atmosphere with select wine and cheese on flights targeting the business community. While this did not last long it did prove to be very popular with passengers.
The Mohawk 298 would go on to faithfully serve Allegheny and the spin-off of the nations first organized commuter feeder to mainline airlines called Allegheny Commuter.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The Nord-converted Mohawk 298 N29811 (msn 42), operated as an Allegheny Commuter carrier by Ransome Airlines (Philadelphia), sits at the gate at Philadelphia.
After the merger with Mohawk Airlines, and with the final phase-out of the Martin 202 aircraft, Allegheny found that several cities could not support the larger turbo-prop and jet aircraft due to either small populations or small airports. In 1967, with approval from the C.A.B. the Allegheny Commuter network was set-up. Allegheny Airlines set up marketing agreements with several small commuter airlines that included one-stop check in and seamless travel from the commuter network to mainline Allegheny flights. This included painting aircraft similar to Allegheny as well as providing advertising and marketing.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 727-200s were operated on the higher-density routes such as Philadelphia-Pittsburgh. This rare photo shows Boeing 727-2B7 N751VJ (msn 20303) departing from Philadelphia.
By mid 1970 Allegheny purchased two brand new Boeing 727-200 aircraft (above) to add capacity to the fleet. However, with the addition of a Flight Engineer, and the high cost of maintaining just two aircraft, Allegheny sold both aircraft to Braniff International as the home office had decided to stay with the twin jet DC-9 and found other airlines willing to lease their DC-9 series 30 aircraft at very reasonable lease rates.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. BAC 1-11 204AF N1118J (msn 100) taxies at the former Syracuse, New York stronghold of Mohawk Airlines.
The second merger with Mohawk Airlines was approved by the C.A.B. on April 12, 1972. In the merger Mohawk brought to Allegheny twenty-three BAC One Eleven’s (above) and seventeen Fairchild Hiller FH-227s.
At the time Mohawk was in deep financial trouble and needed the merger to survive. Shortly after the merger was approved, Allegheny purchased additional BAC One-Eleven aircraft from Braniff International, which was phasing out that aircraft type.
By late 1973, Allegheny had continued to grow to become the sixth largest airline. Allegheny leadership continued to aggressively pursue new route opportunities and had a constant presence in Washington D.C. to push for more cities to be added to Allegheny’s network. At the same time, Allegheny was able to purchase additional DC-9-32s from Delta Air Lines, which had earlier merged with Northeast Airlines.
By 1974 Allegheny decided that a new paint scheme and rebranding was in order. The current paint scheme was worn out and dated. Gone was the speed-wedge and blue cheatline that had faithfully served Allegheny for over thirty years. The bold new paint scheme featured a large stripe that went from red at the nose to maroon by the tail, with a three-stripe tail in bright red, dark red, and maroon.
At the same time, while other airlines were introducing First Class on their DC-9’s, Allegheny decided against it. Instead, Allegheny used the “Custom Jet Class” to promote the all-coach configuration with new interiors that provided ample legroom with new seats, and overhead bins to give the aircraft a “wide-body” look.
Above Copyright Photo: Elliot H. Greenman/Bruce Drum Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Short-lived McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 N923VJ (msn 47665) rests at the Pittsburgh International Airport maintenance base in the new 1975 livery.
The new look premiered with a new aircraft type: the DC-9-51 aircraft in 1975. This new airplane provided more capacity, and kept costs down as it was simply a stretch of the DC-9-31 aircraft. Allegheny thought this would achieve the balance in higher density markets that had been tried five years earlier with Boeing 727-200’s.
However, shortly after delivery of eight aircraft, the DC-9-51 was severely weight-restricted in several key Allegheny markets. What was originally thought would be a benefit was now another headache; reduced passenger capacity, and less ability to carry mail or airfreight made the aircraft too expensive for Allegheny’s needs.
Allegheny and Eastern Airlines entered into an agreement to swap Allegheny’s DC-9-51’s for an equal amount of Eastern’s DC-9-31’s. The final transaction was completed in 1978.
Also in 1978, Allegheny phased out the last Convair 580. While the Convair 580 continued to serve the airline well, a decision was made to have a pure jet fleet and have Allegheny Commuter continue to operate the 580’s. Allegheny was now a pure-jet airline flying BAC One- Eleven and DC-9-31/32 aircraft, with the exception of the 12 Mohawk 298’s.
Allegheny continued to push the C.A.B. for more routes in the midwest and west. While frustration was mounting over lengthy hearings and long delays in being awarded new routes or raising airfares, the mood in Washington D.C. was changing. Airlines such as Texas International, Ozark, Piedmont, Hughes Airwest, and Allegheny called for the end of a regulated market, and lobbied heavily for full deregulation of the airline industry.
In late 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed the “deregulation act,” which would forever change the industry. Allegheny no longer needed permission or approval to start or stop service and for the first time could set its own fare structure.
As deregulation marched forward United Airlines starting parking older Boeing 727-100 aircraft. Allegheny acquired eleven of the popular tri-jet, while at the same time aggressively ordering additional DC-9-30’s from McDonnell Douglas and new 727-200s from Boeing.
Above Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-United Airlines Boeing 727-22 N7044U (msn 18851) is pictured at Pittsburgh.
At the same time, then Chairman and President Ed Colodny decided the name Allegheny Airlines sounded too regional, especially with planned expansion to the west, which had been a long-time goal of Allegheny. After receiving board approval, Mr. Colodny announced to the world that Allegheny Airlines would become USAir on October 28, 1979.
Above Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Initially the re-named USAir would operate under the 1975 Allegheny livery. USAir (later US Airways) was a large Boeing 737 operator, operating the pictured 737-200 type along with the updated 737-300 and 737-400 models.
The new USAir would retain the Allegheny paint scheme, and proudly have the new name placed on the upper forward fuselage and tail. However, the white fuselage would give way to a polished aluminum aircraft, which would weigh less, and save money, a technique used successfully for many years at American Airlines. For USAir, this was just another chapter in the story of a great airline.
The Allegheny Airlines Fleet:
Douglas DC-3 24 — 1953-1966
Martin 202 5 — 1959-1963
Convair 340 17 — 1960-1967
Douglas DC-3 11 — 1948-1962
Convair 440 27 — 1962-1974
Convair 580 40 — 1965-1978
Fairchild F-27J/Fairchild-Hiller FH-227 27 — 1965-1974
Nord 262 13 — 1968-1977
Mohawk 298 9 — 1975-1979
Douglas DC-9-14 1 — 1965-1966
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31/32 70 — 1966-1979
Boeing 727-100 11 — 1978-1979
Boeing 727-200 2 — 1970-1971
BAC One-Eleven 31 — 1972-1979
American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):
Myanmar National Airlines (formerly Myanma Airways) (Yangon) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) yesterday (June 11) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first Next-Generation 737-800 leased from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing arm of GE. The celebration also marked the first all-new Boeing airplane to be delivered to any Myanmar-based airline.
The airplane is the first to feature Myanmar National Airlines’ new livery and interior, and the airline plans to expand its network outside Myanmar with the introduction of its 737.
“Our new 737 will allow us to expand our network to international markets and offer an even better experience for our passengers,” said Myanmar National Airlines CEO Than Tun. “Investing in new technology aircraft such as the 737 will ensure Myanmar National Airlines continues to be the pride of the country and positions us for future success.”
Myanmar National Airlines, previously Myanma Airways (below), has the most extensive route network within Myanmar, serving more than 25 domestic locations, and is headquartered in Yangon.
Copyright Photo above: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Myanma Airways Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW XY-AGP (msn 19000154) taxies at Yangon.
Founded in 1948 as Union of Burma Airways (below), the flag carrier is also one of Asia’s pioneering airlines.
Copyright Photo above: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Union of Burma Airways Boeing 727-193 XY-ADR (msn 19620) is pictured at Hong Kong.
Top Photo: Boeing. The formal ceremonies of the handover of Myanmar National Airlines new Boeing 737-86N XY-ALB (msn 43405) at Seattle’s Boeing Field via GECAS.
There are pilots, and there are aviators. When Captain Connie Tobias shut down the engines of her Airbus A321 at the conclusion of US Airways Flight 1967 on March 17, 2015, it brought to an end one chapter in a remarkable career of a remarkable aviator.
Above Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Connie Tobias in the left seat of the retirement Airbus A321.
Below Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The Airbus A321 receives a congratulatory water cannon salute on arrival at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).
In over 40 years of flying, Connie has logged over 22,000 flight hours and flown over 70 different kinds of aircraft, ranging from a 1902 Wright Glider (below) and 1909 Bleriot (below) to the Airbus A330-300. That, in itself, would be a career to be proud of, but the career of Connie represents so much more.
Connie has not lost any of the feistiness that must have been necessary to break through one barrier after another as a woman born in 1950. She reflects, “When I was a five year old girl, I was expected to play with dolls. I did…sort of. I lined them up at an imaginary airport waiting for the imaginary airplane that I was pretending to be! Even at that age, I was captivated by the lure of flight. In those days, of course, women were not expected to pursue careers as professional pilots.
In fact, when I went to a military recruiter in 1969 to see about becoming a military pilot, I was told rather strongly to go home and be a wife to someone. A year later, I sent a letter to American Airlines seeking employment, I received a similar response. Today, such a response would seem outrageous, but 45 years ago, those answers were generally accepted as the norm.”
However, Connie Tobias is anything but the norm. She does not claim to be a rebel, nor is she an iconoclast. She is, however, a strong-willed woman who sets out to accomplish what is important to her. She notes, “People will try to steal your dreams. I refuse to let that happen.” In 1975, Connie, always a fitness freak, set out to bicycle her way across the United States, from California to Delaware. While taking a rest stop somewhere in Missouri, she had her epiphany. “I looked up to the sky and saw a jet airliner cruising high above, leaving a condensation trail in its wake. It was at that exact moment that I decided that there was no way I could spend the next 40 years working in an office cubicle which may or may not have windows. No, that was the moment that I decided that I would do whatever I had to do in order to make the cockpit of an airplane MY office.”
Connie began to take flying lessons in 1975 in Xenia, Ohio. Later, she used a unique angle to build up time. “I washed planes at Ohio University Airport in Athens, Ohio. A freshly-washed airplane needs to be dried quickly, and what better way to dry an airplane than to fly it? I looked for any way possible to build up hours. I flew for a truck and oil field manufacturer, in and out of Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana. I earned my Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating and built up hours that way. I even flew as a “bird dog” for fire patrol operations, flying single-engine and light twin-engine aircraft. Basically, I did whatever I could to build up flying time.”
Connie’s big break came in 1982 when she applied for a pilot’s position that was posted at Aeromech Airlines, a regional airline based in Clarksburg, WV. She recalls with a wry grin, “The owner of Aeromech was a Greek gentleman, Angelo Koukoulis. The folks in Personnel at the airline accepted my application from Connie Tobias, probably believing that they were getting a Greek man. Of course, I was neither! In those days, female pilots were very few and far between. I was the second female pilot hired by Aeromech Airlines (below). Let’s just say I was generally not greeted with open arms into the fraternity that was almost exclusively male.”
Above Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Aeromech Airlines Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante N615KC (msn 110230) is parked at the commuter terminal gate at Washington’s National Airport in Allegheny Commuter colors in February 1980.
As soon as she was checked out on the Embraer Bandierante, Connie was advised that she would have to earn an Air Transport Pilot (ATP) rating. Using pretty much the last of her meager savings, Connie passed her ATP practical with flying colors, and her written exam with an astounding 99%. Soon afterward, she learned that none of the male first officers at the airline had ATP ratings! Rather than being angry, she made up her mind that the best way to flourish in any environment was to be the happiest, most positive personality that she could be. Before long, she had built up an impressive stack of complimentary letters. While the aviation fraternity was still slow to accept her, it was apparent that the flying public loved her.
In 1983, Aeromech Airlines merged with Cleveland-based Wright Air Lines, and Connie found herself based in Albany, NY, flying the Convair 600/640. While the Bandeirante was configured for 15 seats, it was a new generation airplane. While the Convair held up to 50 passengers, it was late 1940s technology, devoid of any power-enhanced controls. “The Convair really had to be man-handled, and it was quite a challenge for someone of my size. I worked hard to develop the proper technique to control the Convair, and I believe that that helped earn respect and acceptance from some of the male pilots I flew with.”
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Wright Air Lines Convair 640 N862FW (msn 9) is seen in Miami on October 30, 1983.
Unfortunately, the merger between Wright and Aeromech proved to be a bad marriage and before long, Connie received word that the airline was on its last legs. “First officers for regional airlines were generally earning something below poverty-level wages, and Wright was no exception. I was living paycheck to paycheck, and I knew I had to do something. I had enough money to apply to exactly one airline.” She elected to put in an application to Piedmont Airlines (1st), which was known to be actively hiring women as pilots. In mid-1984, Connie Tobias was hired by Piedmont, becoming the 16th female pilot flying for the company. Today, by comparison, women make up approximately 5% of the US Airways pilot workforce.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Northeast Airlines/Delta Air Lines Boeing 727-295 N1643 (msn 19448) displays the 1974 livery for Piedmont.
In the mid-1980s, Piedmont was growing by leaps and bounds. Connie started out as a first officer on the Boeing 727 (above), a dramatic step up from the archaic Convair. Piedmont proved to be the Land of Opportunity for Connie, and a mere 26 months later, she became a captain on the company’s Fokker F-28. In rapid succession, she graduated to captain on the twin-engine Boeing 737 and later, the larger tri-jet Boeing 727.
In 1989, Piedmont merged with USAir, later US Airways. As the airline added larger aircraft, Connie made a decision to trade in her low-seniority captain’s seat in exchange for a more comfortable lifestyle of a high-seniority first officer. Connie was able to hold a position in the right seat on the transcontinental Boeing 757 (below) and intercontinental wide-body Boeing 767. She later became a first officer on the largest and longest-range aircraft in the US Airways fleet, the Airbus A330. By all measures, Connie had beaten the odds and broken through the glass ceiling, achieving success in a field that had been considered a male world when she began her journey.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. USAir’s ex-Eastern Boeing 757-225 N604AU (msn 22199) taxies at Miami in the 1989 livery.
Some seven years ago, however, Connie suddenly found herself facing a new battle, this one against Mother Nature. She explains, “To discuss my medical challenges would take another entire article, but let’s just say I had a total of 13 medical issues. Altogether, I was out of work for six years. I was told that I would probably never again be able to pass a first class medical exam that airline pilots must pass twice a year.”
Connie took on the greatest battle of her life with the same tenacity as she faced other challenges. “I was determined to finish my airline career in the cockpit, and not in a hospital bed. To that end, over the course of six years, I required the services of 19 doctors, and was put under anesthesia ten times. This was the biggest battle of them all in my career, and my life.” But Connie has never been one to accept “No” for an answer, and in typical fashion, she fought back. First, she literally clawed her way back into a healthy body. Once that was accomplished, she worked unceasingly to bring her flying skills back up to speed.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N765US (msn 1371) painted in the 1997 color scheme departs the runway at Charlotte.
Finally, in 2013, she was restored to flying status with US Airways, on the Airbus A320 family (above). After being off flying status for six years, she was required to fly in the right seat for six months, but in July of 2014, Connie Tobias once again earned the right to wear the four stripes of a captain on the Airbus.
As inspiring as the story of her airline career is, there is much more to the story of this aviator. She explains, “You might say that an aviator has a love affair with the sky. I love flying, and as airliners become more and more automated, it is easy to get a little bit bored. Sure, there are times when I get to exercise and challenge my piloting skills, but I wanted to do more piloting…more aviating…than what airline life was offering me. I began looking at opportunities outside of the airline environment to get my piloting fix.”
That search took Connie to the Collings Foundation, a private non-profit educational facility dedicated to the preservation and public display of transportation-related history, including historic aircraft. For an aviator like Connie Tobias, it was a dream-come-true. “The Collings Foundation gave me the opportunity to fly all sorts of exotic aircraft, from a McDonnell F4D Phantom II (below) to a 1909 Bleriot XI Monoplane. Of course, in order to fly these aircraft, I had to earn a variety of ratings and endorsements, including seaplane and glider and taildragger skills. I also took an extended course in aerobatics and upset recovery. Ironically, while flying the Phantom was one heck of a kick in the pants, it was the Bleriot that required the greatest challenge and the most research…and opened the most unique of doors for me.”
It started with Foundation founder Bob Collings running into Connie one day and remarking, “You know, you look like Harriet Quimby. Will you portray her and, while you are at it, learn to fly the Bleriot?” Quimby was an award-winning photojournalist as well as a movie screenwriter who was also interested in aviation. On August 1, 1911, she became the first woman to earn a pilot’s license in the United States. The following year, she became the first female to fly across the English Channel. There is a saying that it is a lucky man who hears opportunity knock, but it is a wise man who opens the door. Obviously, the same applies to a woman, and Connie Tobias proved to be an extremely wise woman who opened the door that led to her parallel career and unique claim to fame. She took Bob Collings’ suggestion and developed a presentation of the life and accomplishments of Harriet Quimby, which she has performed for audiences around the world.
She says, “It is an honor and privilege to be in a position where I can be an inspiration to future aviators, especially girls and young women. In the days when I was breaking into the aviation world, there really weren’t many female role models I could emulate. I’d like to think that between my own accomplishments in aviation and my portrayal of Harriet Quimby, I can inspire others to dream big.”
Flying the Bleriot required intense preparation. Connie relates, “One day, I was watching the movie ‘Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines’. As the movie concluded, I realized that all of the pilots had one thing in common. They all crashed. It was a stark reminder that those early airplanes were very crude in their design, and extremely delicate to fly. I wanted to fly the Bleriot, but I wanted to make darned sure that I was successful. I spoke to the folks at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, home to a number of pre-World War I airplanes including another 1909 Bleriot. The Bleriot guru at Old Rhinebeck suggested that I contact another expert in Texas, and I kept following one lead after another, taking in as much as I could about flying an aircraft that was controlled by powered wing warping. Wing warping was a system for lateral control of early aircraft, and basically a precursor to the aileron.” Connie even referred to Louis Bleriot’s writings in her quest to understand everything she could about the Bleriot and wing warping. In the end, she did, indeed, fly the Bleriot, and she flew it well.
Success begets success. The popular concept is Six Degrees of Separation, that we are connected with anyone in the world by six or fewer steps. In the aviation world, it is closer to Two Degrees of Separation. In 2003, the owners of the Wright Flyer collection were looking for pilots to fly both the 1902 Wright Glider replica and the exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer, which made the first powered flight. Thanks to her exposure flying the Bleriot, Connie Tobias was selected as one of a handful of pilots to fly the Glider. She wow’ed the organizers by using her skills honed by her tons of research, including hang gliding, by choosing the proper moment to fly the Glider in a near-perfect hover on the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, NC. Of those pilots, only Connie had previous experience flying an aircraft that utilized powered wing warping. Late in 2003, she became the first and only woman to fly the 1903 Wright Flyer exact replica. When asked what airplane in her logbook was the most memorable, she answers, “The 1903 Wright Flyer. After all, how many men or women can say that they flew that airplane?”
Connie’s commitment to inspiring students with Quimby’s story along with her involvement in flying the 1903 Wright Flyer and 1909 Bleriot has won her special recognition from The National Aeronautic Association and the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Connie has appeared in numerous documentaries, is a Distinguished Graduate of Engineering, holds the Medal of Merit from Ohio University, and has been inducted into the Amelia Earhart Forest of Friendship. She has been generous in her donations to a cause near and dear to her heart, a scholarship fund at her alma mater, Ohio University. The scholarship assists young men and women in pursuit of a career in aviation. She says, “I remember what it was like trying to break into the aviation world with an empty bank account. There were several times early in my career when I was literally down to my last few dollars. If I can help young men or women avoid some of the financial struggles that I went through, I am happy to do so.” This scholarship is appropriately named The Harriet Quimby Scholarship.
Above Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Connie poses with the cabin crew on her last flight with US Airways.
Now that Connie Tobias has retired from her airline job, what does she plan to do with all that free time? “Free time? What free time? My last flight with US Airways was on March 17. The following day, my birthday, is being spent packing for a long-awaited trip to a gala birthday party in Paris. I leave on the 19th, and will spend a little time touring Europe. Once I get home, I will have plenty to keep me busy. I plan to do some hiking, learn another language, and play the piano better. I’d love to continue to fly small airplanes and regain those skills. I still have my instructor’s rating, so that is a possibility. I still have a dream of flying a Bleriot across the English Channel. There is a possibility that the Wright airplane collection will be going to China, and if it does, I plan to go over there for that. I have also thought about flying for the Collings Foundation. And, of course, there is still a demand for Harriet, so I plan to continue portraying her as time permits. I expect to have a full dance card for the foreseeable future.”
If that is not enough, Connie is involved with the following organizations”
International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISA), Ninety Nines (99’s), Women in Aviation International (WAI), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Aviation Advisory Board and Board of Visitors – Russ College of Engineering – Ohio University, National Alumni Board of Directors – Ohio University, National Aviation Hall of Fame – Board of Nominations
Free time? What free time? We can all learn from the life of Connie Tobias. US Airways is losing a senior captain, but aviation is not. No way.
Copyright Photo Below: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Fellow female pilots come to salute Connie on her last airline flight and her arrival at gate D7 at Charlotte.
Czech Airlines management engaged in intensive negotiations with all company shareholders regarding their potential investments in the company immediately after the Czech Airlines shareholders unanimously approved a Czech Airlines restructuring plan at the beginning of September.
There has been a significant shift in negotiations with Korean Air. Czech Airlines management has received a letter from Korean Air confirming the company’s decision to become financially involved in the Czech Airlines stabilization process and a proposal of its capital contribution to Czech Airlines.
Czech Airlines management has been reviewing Korean Air’s proposal thoroughly and will present it to Czech Aeroholding management at the earliest date possible. Czech Aeroholding has promised to review Korean Air’s proposal and is also ready to provide Czech Airlines with a capital contribution in the capacity of a private investor.
Czech Airlines appreciates the decision made by Korean Air and views it as a demonstration of strong support by a private shareholder and a positive signal regarding Czech Airlines’ future. Czech Airlines management is convinced that this important move will help stabilize Czech Airlines in the immediate future.
Korean Air has conditioned its capital contribution to Czech Airlines by implicit execution of all measures outlined in the company’s restructuring plan. Czech Airlines management will negotiate additional strategic investments in Czech Airlines with all shareholders upon completion of the entry of Travel Service into Czech Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Czech Airlines’ ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) F-GRPK (msn 727) with the special 90 Years – 1923-2013 emblem blocks at the gate.
Transmile Air Services (Subang, Malaysia) is being restructured and rebranded as Raya Airways after its sale to Amrul Nizar Anuar Resources according to The Malaysian. The new owners intend to replace three aging Boeing 727-200F freighters with four newer and larger Boeing 757-200F freighters.
The carrier operates for DHL. The contract was renewed in September.
Air Canada (Montreal) and Cargojet Airways (Hamilton) today announced they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore strategic opportunities in both cargo and airline operations within Canada and in international markets.
The carriers intend to pursue strategic opportunities and increase cooperation in various areas such as global sales and marketing, expanded interline opportunities and enhanced connectivity that would increase revenues and reduce operating costs. Both airlines would work towards providing optimized services to the shipping community on their respective networks.
“We are looking forward to working with Air Canada towards improving the depth and reach of both companies’ air cargo services, both domestically and internationally, among other strategic opportunities,” said Ajay K. Virmani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cargojet.
“We are very pleased to be in discussions with Cargojet to explore opportunities for revenue growth and synergies that will be mutually beneficial for both our companies and customers,” said Lise-Marie Turpin, Air Canada Cargo Vice President. “Developing further our relationship with Cargojet is an exciting opportunity.”
The implementation of new strategic initiatives would be subject to Air Canada and Cargojet making any necessary filings, obtaining regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation.
Air Canada Cargo provides direct cargo service world wide offering the shipping community business solutions that meet their needs efficiently and cost effectively. Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the world’s 10 largest commercial airlines and in 2012 served close to 35 million passengers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 49 destinations in the United States and 67 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.
Cargojet is Canada’s leading provider of time sensitive overnight air cargo services that constitutes over 50 per cent of domestic overnight air cargo capacity. Cargojet operates its network across North America each business night, utilizing a fleet of thirteen all-cargo aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Cargojet is still an operator of the Boeing 727 but it has also added a Boeing 757-200 and two 767-200 freighters for its longer-range cargo routes. Former Eastern Airlines Boeing 727-225 C-GCJB (msn 21855) waits at Vancouver for the next assignment.
FedEx Express (Memphis) has replaced and will retire the last Boeing 727 (N481FE) at Memphis today.
The company has just issued this statement:
For 35 years, Boeing 727 aircraft were a reliable workhorse for the world’s largest express transportation company. Today, the venerable 727 narrow-body freighter closes an enduring chapter in aviation history as FedEx becomes the last major carrier to retire the aircraft from service. The retirement is part of the company’s aircraft modernization strategy.
The 727’s domestic mission will conclude at 1:30 p.m. CDT as FedEx aircraft N481FE touches down at the FedEx Express World Hub at Memphis International Airport. Greeting its arrival will be more than 1,000 company executives, air operations team members and other guests who will mark the airplane’s historic last flight with a special ceremony.
A departure ceremony at the FedEx hub in Indianapolis, which has served as the company’s primary base for 727 general maintenance checks, begins the historic farewell flight.
“For more than three decades, our Boeing 727 fleet was instrumental in our company’s domestic growth,” said David J. Bronczek, president and chief executive officer, FedEx Express. “Today, we are opening a new chapter for company growth and opportunity as we continue to modernize our global fleet with more technologically advanced, fuel efficient, lower emission cargo jets.”
History of the 727 at FedEx
Introduction of this larger, mid-size jet freighter to the FedEx fleet was made possible by deregulation of the airline industry in 1977, giving the upstart express carrier access to more domestic markets and bringing immediate operational efficiencies because of greater payload capabilities. FedEx operated only small Dassault Falcons before the industry was deregulated. An exemption then allowed a company to enter the common carrier business if its payloads were less than 7,500 pounds.
It was January 14, 1978 when then-Federal Express took delivery in Memphis of its first 727 aircraft, which was purchased from Eastern Airlines. On that day, Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer, FedEx Corporation, told several hundred employees and guests at the delivery event, “Many people look at this airplane and believe that Federal Express has arrived at the end of a long road. This is not the end of anything. It is simply the beginning.”
Early FedEx acquisitions of used 727s from other carriers were followed by new aircraft purchases from Boeing, with the last 727 leaving the manufacturer’s assembly line and being delivered to FedEx in 1984. The express carrier at one point was the world’s largest operator of 727s, with 170 of the aircraft in its fleet at any one time.
Modernization of the FedEx Fleet
FedEx began retiring its 727-200 fleet in 2007 and replacing them with more modern Boeing 757 airplanes. The retirement cycle accelerated under the fleet modernization program that through the last several years included more 757 freighters, as well as new Boeing 777 long-range freighters, which are the biggest in the FedEx fleet and the world’s largest twin-engine cargo aircraft. This fall, FedEx begins taking delivery of new Boeing 767 aircraft to replace its aging MD-10 freighters.
As with the other aircraft types being introduced, the 767s will provide significantly improved reliability and are substantially more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly than the aircraft they will replace. FedEx is committed to reducing its aircraft carbon emissions 30 percent by the year 2020 under its fleet modernization program. It expects to source at least 30 percent of its jet fuel from alternative fuels by the year 2030.
“As we celebrate our company’s 40th anniversary, we can look back at an aircraft bloodline that has been impressive,” Bronczek said. “From the small Falcons, which served us well when the company was young, to our 727s, to what is now the largest fleet of express cargo aircraft in the world, our transportation capabilities for global customers is unmatched in the industry. Equally impressive are the innovation, technology and environmental benefits of the new aircraft we are adding.”
Continuation of Service
Not only are FedEx 727s being retired, but nearly half of the fleet has been donated coast-to-coast to aviation schools, colleges and local communities in the last several years.
From Anchorage to Austin, from Billings to Buffalo, from Sioux City to Shreveport and many points between, FedEx aircraft donations support school curriculums that are developing the next generation of aviation professionals. The donated aircraft are also being used for training by emergency response teams at local airports and fire departments.
For FedEx pilots like Capt. Chip Groner, who piloted a 727 for about 10 years, closing the door on 727 operations is a turning point not only for FedEx but for the aviation industry.
“The 727 was a mainstay aircraft and one of the most dependable we ever had in our fleet. More importantly, it was the plane that really put FedEx on the map as an overnight express carrier,” the 35-year FedEx crew member said. “It’s the end of an era, but it’s only natural because of changing technology that improves the fuel and operational efficiencies of today’s new aircraft. The 727, for many pilots, will always be the airplane that really brought the airline industry into the jet age.”
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Still wearing its Eastern Airlines registration, the pictured Boeing 727-25C N8161G (msn 19717) in the original 1973 Federal Express livery, later became N125FE with FedEx.
Video: The MEM Airport water saluted the last FedEx 727 arrival, operated by ex-Braniff Boeing 727-227 (F) N481FE (msn 21463).
Video: This FedEx Boeing 727 was donated to the University of Alaska’s Aviation Department. It is pictured landing for the last time at Merrill Field’s runway 25 in downtown Anchorage.
FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) announced today it had permanently retired or will accelerate the retirement of 86 aircraft and 308 related engines as it continues to modernize its aircraft fleet and improve the global network of FedEx Express.
The permanent retirement of aircraft and related engines announced today includes:
Two Airbus A310-200 aircraft and four related engines;
Three Airbus A310-300 aircraft and two related engines; and
Five McDonnell Douglas MD-10-10 aircraft and 15 related engines.
The impact of retiring these aircraft, engines and parts resulted in an impairment charge of $100 million recorded in May 2013.
In addition, FedEx will accelerate by several years the retirement of:
47 McDonnell MD-10-10 aircraft and 172 related engines;
13 McDonnell MD-10-30 aircraft and 55 related engines; and
16 Airbus A310-200 aircraft and 60 related engines.
As of July 1, 2013, FedEx Express will complete the final retirement of the Boeing 727-200 fleet.
“We are modernizing our aircraft fleet by retiring older, less-efficient, and less-reliable aircraft and replacing them with modern aircraft to build a fleet with higher reliability and better cost efficiency,” said David J. Bronczek, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Express. “With the planned acquisition of new aircraft and projected slower economic growth than previously forecast, FedEx Express is lowering maintenance costs by aggressively parking and retiring aircraft.”
The impact of accelerating the retirement of aircraft will result in additional year-over-year depreciation expense of $74 million in FY14.
FedEx Express Aircraft Fleet Facts
As of February 28, 2013, FedEx Express’s fleet totaled 660 aircraft, including 368 jet aircraft.
During the four quarters ended on February 28, 2013, FedEx Express spent $3.8 billion on 1.2 billion gallons of jet fuel.
The Boeing 757-200 is significantly more fuel efficient per pound of payload and has 20% additional payload capacity than the Boeing 727 it replaces.
The Boeing 767 will provide similar capacity as the MD-10s, with improved reliability, an approximate 30% increase in fuel efficiency and a minimum of a 20% reduction in unit operating costs.
The Boeing 767 shares spare parts, tooling and flight simulators with the B757.
The Board of Directors today declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share on FedEx Corporation common stock, an increase of $0.01 per share over the previous dividend payment. The dividend is payable on July 1, 2013 to stockholders of record at the close of business on June 17, 2013. FedEx remains committed to paying higher dividends to shareowners in years to come.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 727-233 (F) N221FE (msn 20932) was originally delivered as a passenger aircraft to Air Canada as C-GAAA on September 25, 1974.