- Air Midwest
:"This article is about the regional airline based in Wichita, KS. For the article regarding the renamed Midwest Express, see
Midwest Airlines."Infobox Airline
airline = Air Midwest
logo_size = 125px
fleet_size = 11
destinations = 28
US Airways, Mesa Airlines, and Midwest Airlines
IATA = ZV
ICAO = AMW
callsign = AIR MIDWEST
Mesa Air Group, Inc.
founded = May 1965 (as Aviation Services)
commenced = April 1967
ceased = June 2008
headquarters = 2230 Air Cargo Rd, Wichita,
Kansas, United States
Greg Stephens( President)
Kansas City International Airport
frequent_flyer = MesaMax
website = http://www.mesa-air.com
Air Midwest, Inc. was a
Federal Aviation AdministrationPart 121 certificated air carrier operating under air carrier certificate number AMWA510A issued on May 15, 1965. It is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, United Statesand is a subsidiary of Mesa Air Group. It operated flights as US Airways Express, including a code sharewith Midwest Airlines, and as Mesa Airlines. It served 28 cities in 12 states.
Air Midwest was founded in
Wichita, Kansasin May 1965 by Gary Adamson as Aviation Services, Inc. Using a single Cessna 206, Adamson transported human remains for area mortuaries. Later, Aviation Services held out for charter and in 1967 began scheduled service flying between Wichita and Salina.
As Frontier Airlines withdrew from the western Kansas market in 1968, Aviation Services moved in to assume air service. In 1969, it changed its name to Air Midwest and ordered Beech 99 aircraft to keep up with its expansion.
By 1978, it was operating a fleet of 10 Metroliners and was expanding from
Kansasand into New Mexico, Iowa, and Nebraska.
In 1985, Air Midwest merged with
Scheduled Skyways, a Fayetteville, Arkansasbased air carrier, in hopes of gaining a codeshareto feed Republic Airlines' Memphis hub. It seemed like a good merger for Air Midwest: Air Midwest would expand by acquiring routes in Arkansasto complement its existing routes in the midwest. Both carriers operated Metros, and Air Midwest had an opportunity to win a codeshare with Republic.
Unfortunately, Republic picked a different air carrier to feed its Memphis hub. Air Midwest discovered many hidden problems with the badly neglected aircraft of Scheduled Skyways, that forced it to perform the required maintenance to keep the aircraft flying. The next few years after the merger with Scheduled Skyways pushed Air Midwest to the verge of bankruptcy.
Although Air Midwest was unsuccessful in gaining a codeshare with Republic through the Scheduled Skyways merger, it was able to acquire codeshare agreements with
Ozark Air Linesas Ozark Midwest, Eastern Air Linesas Eastern Air Midwest Express, and American Airlinesas American Eagle Airlinesin 1985.
Continuing money problems forced Air Midwest to sell its Nashville hub and
Saab 340aircraft to American in 1987. TWA acquired Ozark in 1986 and forced Air Midwest to surrender some of its St Louis routes because TWA already had a code share partner in St Louis, Resort Air(today's Trans States Airlines).
Eastern abruptly pulled out of Kansas City leaving Air Midwest no one to feed. Air Midwest quickly negotiated a codeshare agreement with
Braniff (1983-1990), just in time for the second incarnation of Braniff to go bankrupt.
In 1990, Air Midwest negotiated a codeshare agreement with USAir. On July 12, 1991 Air Midwest published a message to all employees, "St. Louis hub sold to TransStates, all else to Mesa."
Operations under Mesa Air Group
From 1991 until 1997, Air Midwest operated 12 Beechcraft 1900s flying from its Kansas City hub as USAir Express. In 1997, Mesa Air Group underwent a corporate reorganization: Mesa Airline's FloridaGulf, Liberty Express, and Independent divisions were merged into Air Midwest.
Today, Air Midwest operates services for
Essential Air Serviceand also has aircraft operating as US Airways Expressunder an agreement with US Airwaysin Phoenix and in independent operations as "Mesa Airlines" brandand division out of Albuquerqueand Dallas/Fort Worth. Air Midwest also operates as US Airways Express from a hub in Kansas City, with smaller operations at Phoenix, Charlotte, Chicago Midway Airport, Dallas and Omaha, Nebraska. There are currently 20 airplanes in service, down from a height of 118.
On January 8, 2003, Air Midwest had its first fatal accident when
Air Midwest Flight 5481operating as US Airways Expressand departing out of Charlotte for Greenville-Spartanburg crashed 37 seconds after takeoff. All 19 passengers and two crewmembers were killed in the accident.
For a period of three weeks in August 2006, Air Midwest operated as
Delta Connection, flying three Beechcraft 1900D from John F. Kennedy Airport to Providence, RIand Windsor Locks, Connecticut, as a stop-gap measure for Freedom Airlines, another subsidiary of Mesa Air Group, until it was relieved by Chautauqua Airlines.
On February 1, 2007, Air Midwest began operations at
Chicago Midway International Airportin Chicago, Illinoisto three Illinois airports: Decatur, Marion, and Quincy. However, just nine months after beginning this service, Mesa Airlinesannounced that Air Midwest would end all service from Illinois on November 9, 2007.
In May 2007, Air Midwest requested that the FAA allow it to withdraw service from the regional airport in
Vernal, Utah, as soon as a replacement carrier was approved. On Oct. 4, 2007, the federal Department of Transportation announced that Great Lakes Airlineswould replace Air Midwest as the Essential Air Servicecarrier at the Utah airports in Vernal and Moab. At the same time the Department of Trasnportation announced that SkyWest Airlineswould replace Air Midwest as the Essential Air Servicecarrier at Cedar City.
An report published in "
The Wall Street Journal" on January 14, 2008, included a statement from Mesa CEO Jonathan G. Ornsteinthat the company had decided to shut down Air Midwest, citing significant losses stemming from increased maintenance and fuel costs. All cities served by Air Midwest received notices of intention to end service, except for Prescott and Kingman, Arizona. [cite news| url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120031367971488305.html | title=Mesa Air Swings to a Loss Amid Surging Fuel Prices | first=Donna | last=Kardos | work= The Wall Street Journal| date= 2008-01-14| accessdate=2008-01-04] Mesa later announced plans to completely shut down the Air Midwest subsidiary, with all services to be terminated by June 30, 2008. [cite news | title=Mesa Air Group grounds Air Midwest, citing fuel costs | url=http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/05/12/daily29.html | work= Phoenix Business Journal| first=Adam | last=Kress | date= 2008-05-14| accessdate=2008-05-14]
Incidents and accidents
Air Midwest Flight 5481- a Beechcraft 1900D operated by Air Midwest as US Airways Expressunder a franchise agreement, crashed into an airport hangar and burst into flames 37 seconds after leaving Charlotte/Douglas International Airportin Charlotte, North Carolinafor Greenville-Spartanburg International Airportin Greer, South Carolinaon January 8, 2003. All 19 passengers and 2 pilots aboard died in the accident.
*Air Midwest Flight 655 - On April 11, 2007, Flight 655, a Beechcraft 1900D, registration N135YV, from
Chicago Midway Airportto Decatur, Illinoisexperienced a prop strike during pushback for departure at Chicago Midway Airportin Chicago, Illinois. The left engine was started during the pushback when the left propeller came in contact with the towbar and disintegrated. No injuries resulted from the incident.
As of February 2008, Air Midwest has 20 aircraft in its fleet consisting of:
Previous aircraft operated by Air Midwest include the
Cessna 402, Beech 99, Metroliner, Jetstream 31, Saab 340and the Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia.
MesaMax applies to Mesa Airlines flights that are operated by Air Midwest. It consists of a card, upon which flights are recorded with a stamp. Once 16 stamps have been recorded, the card may be redeemed for a single round-trip ticket on Mesa Airlines flights.
last = Henderson
first = Danna
title = Robert Priddy's $1 million Midwest Gamble
journal = Air Transport World
issue = 98
date = 05-01-1989
accessdate = 2006-09-22
author = various
title = Mesa Airlines Company Reports 1991-1993
publisher = The Investext Group
date = various
format = PDF
accessdate = 2006-09-22
author = Mesa Air Group
title = 1995-2005 Annual Reports
date = various
accessdate = 2006-09-22
author = Pacific Business News (Honolulu)
title = Mesa delays financial report to January
date = Friday, December 28, 2007
url = http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/othercities/pacific/stories/2007/12/24/daily22.html?b=1198521999^1569919
accessdate = 2008-01-06
author = Bruce Drum
title = Mesa to sell off Air Midwest, delays financial results
date = Saturday, December 29, 2007
url = http://www.jetphotos.net/news/index.php?blog=1&title=mesa-to-sell-off-air-midwest-delays-fina&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
accessdate = 2008-01-06
* [http://www.mesa-air.com/ Mesa Air Group]
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