Tag Archives: Memphis International Airport

Frontier Airlines adds more routes from Chicago O’Hare and more service from Cleveland

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will again expand its flights from Chicago O’Hare to Phoenix, Arizona and Salt Lake City, Utah as well as between Memphis, Tennessee and Dallas/Ft.Worth, Texas effective October 26.

Frontier Airlines will now 12 cities from Chicago O’Hare and three destinations from Memphis International Airport.

Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new nonstop service (all effective October 26):

Chicago-O’Hare to Phoenix is daily with Airbus A320s

Chicago-O’Hare to Salt Lake is daily with A320s

Dallas/Ft. Worth to Memphis is operated except Saturdays with Airbus A319s

Additionally Frontier Airlines is again expanding its service to and from Cleveland with more flights to recently launched including Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona, Orlando, Florida and Fort Myers, Florida beginning on October 26.

Beginning October 26, service from Cleveland will increase as follows:

Las Vegas – increase from flights twice weekly to daily service

Phoenix – increase from twice weekly to four flights a week

Orlando – increase from daily flights to twelve times per a week

Fort Myers – increase from four flights per week to six times per week, and in December increase to daily service

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N204FR (msn 2325) with Freedom, the Bald Eagle, on the tail taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways to add three new routes from Philadelphia

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have announced the addition of new regional service in June from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Yeager Airport (CRW) in Charleston, West Virginia, Blue Grass Airport (LEX) in Lexington, Kentucky, and Memphis International Airport (MEM) in Memphis, Tennessee, adding three new routes to the airline’s network.

Following the launch of the new service, American Airlines and US Airways will serve 127 destinations in 25 countries from Philadelphia.

US Airways Express service between Philadelphia and Charleston will be operated once daily (except Saturday) by regional partner Piedmont Airlines with a Bombardier DHC-8 aircraft.

US Airways Express service between Philadelphia and Lexington will be operated three times per day by regional partner Air Wisconsin with a Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft.

US Airways Express service between Philadelphia and Memphis will also be operated three times per day by regional partner Air Wisconsin with a Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Piedmont Airlines’ Bombardier DHC-8-102 N936HA (msn 145) approaches Washington’s Reagan National Airport for landing.

US Airways Express-Piedmont Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

US Airways Express-Air Wisconsin: AG Slide Show


Southern Airways Express meets with new capital investors

Southern Airways Express Caravan N807JA (Grd)(SAE)(LR)

Southern Airways Express (Memphis) today announced that it is embarking on its secondary capital raise in order to further expand the carrier’s increasing demand for flights across its five-state footprint.

Credited with helping secure a new tower for the Destin Airport due to its daily passenger service there, Southern has been a welcome amenity to those Memphis and Oxford beach homeowners and vacationers wanting direct and convenient flights.

“Our demographics support what we know people are looking for, and that is direct service without bag fees, security hassles, or parking charges,” said Stan Little, Chairman of Southern Airways Corporation. “However, the airline is not just for vacationing travelers. It also serves many of the metro area’s business men and women trying to get to meetings within the southeast region.”

The airline wants to continue to boost travel to Destin, Gulf Shores, and Panama City but also to serve other markets. With Delta having already cut non-stop destinations out of Memphis from 93 to 29, and with more anticipated cuts coming to Memphis International Airport in the future, Southern is counting on rapid growth and hoping to move quickly to meet demand.

“We need the next round of funding to secure more aircraft, expand our routes, and add the resources we need to do it right,” said Little. To date, funding has come initially from private Mississippi investors, but the next level is being considered by a group of venture capitalists out of New York.

“We’ve enjoyed being a Mid-South airline, and our corporate headquarters will remain here. Obviously, future growth plans will be dictated in large part by the wishes of our investors, and I know that the New York group is interested in our duplicating the Memphis-Destin model in the New York-Hamptons-Cape Cod markets,” Little continued. “Until this year, Memphis was an airline hub in the Southeast region for the better part of half a century. Under our model, it can be once again.”

Images: Southern Airways Express.

Route Map:

Southern Airways Express 2:2013 Route Map

The End of an Era: FedEx Express retires the last Boeing 727 today after 35 years

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.

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show

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.

Delta to drop Memphis as a hub this fall, will cut 230 jobs

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to de-hub the money-losing Memphis hub this fall. Delta reached a high 0f 240 flights a day in June 2009. MEM is a former hub of Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul).

Memphis will be looking for other airlines to fill the vacant routes.

Read the full report from The Washington Post: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta is concentrating on its largest and most profitable hubs like New York (JFK). Airbus A320-212 N376NW (msn 1812) prepares to depart the runway at JFK.

Delta Air Lines:AG Slide Show

MEM Airport Map (Memphis International Airport):

MEM Airport Map (MEM)