Air Transport World

U.S. large regionals. (1984 Market Development Report)

U.S. Large Regionals

Air Illinois: The former large regional, which halted scheduled operations in 1984, has signed a letter of intent to merge with Atlantic Gulf, which entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall and has been wet-leasing Air Illinois' one remaining BAC-111 with which to continue its operations. Atlantic Gulf said the merger would combine that carrier's staff and reservations system with Air Illinois' aircraft, flight and maintenance expertise.

Air Midwest: The Wichita-based carrier had one of its most eventful years in 1984, acquiring Arkansas regional airline Scheduled Skyways, putting into service the first two of a programmed fleet of five Saab-Fairchild 340s, and chalking up record traffic, revenues and earnings.

Scheduled Skyways, the purchase of which was completed in January 1985, is being operated as a wholly owned subsidiary under the name Air Midwest Skyways.

Air Midwest in 1984 boarded 475,586 passengers to post a 22.4% increase over 1983. RPKs were up 19.1% to 145.9 million while freight traffic rose 6.1% to 2.1 million lbs. In 1985, the carrier is forecasting increases (including Air Midwest Skyways traffic) of nearly 100% in passengers and RPKs.

On the financial side, Air Midwest posted an operating profit of $5.3 million and a net of $3.5 million in 1984 on revenues of $39.5 million. In 1983 the carrier had revenues of $33.3 million, operating income of $4.2 million and a net profit of $1.8 million.

Air One: Intense competition and a paucity of passengers forced St. Louis-based Air One to shut its doors in October, but at this writing it was still attempting to resume operations. A plan filed with the bankruptcy court calls for Zenith Int'l. to acquire up to 90% of Air One's stock and for Air One to aid Zenith in beginning an all-first-class transcontinental scheduled service.

Prior to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Oct. 26, Air One, which launched service in April 1983, had flown 211,000 passengers and 246 million RPKs during 1984.

Air Virginia: Although its traffic tailed off in the waning months of the year, Air Virginia still managed to post healthy increases of 14.3% to 248,102 in passenger boardings and 9.7% to 73.8 million in RPKs in 1984.

Early this year, Air Virginia joined American Airlines' American Eagle commuter network; will begin carrying the American Eagle name and colors on its 19 Metro lls.

Air Wisconsin: With its merger with Mississippi Valley Airlines early this year, Air Wisconsin in 1985 will easily achieve the more than $75 million in revenues required to move it into the ranks of the national carriers.

In 1984, Air Wisconsin's revenues surged 30.8% to $71.6 million and it posted an operating profit of $10 million and a net of $4.3 million--up, respectively, from $8 million and $4 million in 1983. Passenger boardings soared 36.3% during the year, reaching 1,094,680, while RPKs jumped 35.1% to 262 million.

The traffic and revenue increases were directly attributable, says the carrier, to the addition to the fleet since mid-1983 of five 100-passenger BAe 146s. Two more 146s are on order, as are 12 new Fokker F27-500s that will replace the merged carrier's de Havilland Dash 7s and used F27s. Four BAC-111s also are being added to the fleet.

Early in 1985, Air Wisconsin opened new routes to New Haven and Bridgeport/Stratford, Conn., and to Lincoln and Grand Island, Neb., and these cities will represent the east and west limits of the merged carrier's route system, which also extends from Minneapolis on the north to St. Louis on the south.

American Int'l.: The post-deregulation carrier, which shifted from charter to scheduled service in late 1983 and was flying seven McDonnell Douglas DC-9s from a Philadelphia hub, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 1984 and halted all service two months later. At this writing, it was hoping to resume operations shortly.

American Trans Air: The Indianapolisbased charter carrier had another good year in 1984, posting increases of 81.1% to 1,119,000 in passenger boardings and 100% to 3.3 billion in RPKs.

Arrow: Changing its hub from Miami to San Juan and dropping its London and Denver routes, Arrow increased its traffic 34% in 1984 to 1.25 billion RPKs. Freight traffic reported to DOT was up 19.3% to 113.1 million FTKs.

While still headquartered in Miami, Arrow now concentrates on its San Juan hub with flights from New York, Miami, Montreal Toronto and Philadelphia, with an Orlando route to start in late May. …

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