- Key Airlines
Key Airlines, formerly known as
Sun Valley Airlines, was a charter United States airline.
The early years: Commuter operations
The airline was originally based in
Sun Valley, Idaho. In the early 1970s Sun Valley Airlines and Key Airlines merged to form Key Airlines. The airline's base was Salt Lake Cityand by this time the aircraft of choice was the Convair 440.
The jet era
In 1983 the airline was sold and relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada and the aircraft retitled with Key Air on the fuselage of the aircraft. The Boeing 727-100 was used and charter flights were commenced to
Miami, the Caribbeanand Mexico.
Key Air was purchased by
Presidential Airwaysin 1986 and then one year later by World Airwaysbut in both instances continued to fly under its own colors. With the World Airways ownership, the Douglas DC-10was introduced for charter flights to Europeand Asiaon behalf of World Airways and the base was moved to Savannah, Georgia. In 1992 Key Air was sold by World Airways and by then the financial situation was difficult; service had to be cut back and aircraft disposed of and by 1993 the company sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Many of the 727s were sold and two new leased McDonnell Douglas MD-83 were put into service, but the end came a few months later when in May 1993 the airline was liquidated. [Airlines Remembered by BI Hengi, Publisher Midland Publishing]
During the late 1980s, Key Air was contracted by the
US Air Forceto operate dozens of daily flights between Nellis Air Force Baseand Tonopah Test Range, where the F-117 Nighthawkaircraft was being secretly tested. The service continued until early 1991 when the contract was awarded to American Trans Air. One of these aircraft regularly operating this route was N29KA, a former Northwest Airlinesaircraft which had been hijacked in 1971 in the enigmatic D. B. Cooperincident.
*IATA Code: KWY
Historical Fleet Information
*4 - Convair CV-440 Metropolitan
*3 - de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter
*5 - Boeing 727-022
*1 - Boeing 727-051
*3 - Boeing 727-095
*2 - Boeing 727-228
*1 - Boeing 727-247
*1 - Douglas DC-10-10
*1 - Boeing 737-204
*3 - McDonnell Douglas MD-83
* [http://rzjets.net/operators/operator.php?opid=718/ Fleet and code information]
* [http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/zn.htm Key Airlines - Sun Valley Key Airlines]
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