Air Transport World

U.S. small regionals-commuters. (air line statistics; includes list of various purchases, mergers, failures and new services) (23rd Annual Market Development Report)

U.S. small regionals/commuters

Aero Virgin Islands: Outstanding traffic growth marked 1985 at Aero Virgin Islands as it flew 157,667 passengers in its fleet of six Douglas DC-3s. The total was up 51.7% over 1984, and the 1986 forecast is for a further 23.7% increase in boardings.

Air Hawaii: The latest of a long list of new entrants to attempt an invasion of the West Coast-Hawaii market ended up following its predecessors into bankruptcy. Air Hawaii began service last November with two McDonnell Douglas DC-10s, sparking a brief fare war. It suspended service three months later and filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.

Air Kentucky: The Allegheny Commuter was sold to private investors in December 1985 and the new owners in March implemented a system realignment aimed at building local traffic and boosting yields and aircraft utilization. The changes are expected to produce a 64.5% increase in passenger boardings and a 44.6% rise in RPKs this year.

Boardings were down 8.9% in 1985 to 94,812 but RPKs were 2.4% higher at 22.4 million. Air Kentucky operates a fleet of six Beech 99s.

Airlift Int'l: When the calendar ran out on 1985, time also ran out on Airlift's exemption to the noise rule, grounding its McDonnell Douglas DC-8-54F and two DC-8-61s. The company, however, is still in business and has a letter of intent leasing its DC-8-61s for European summer flights. It also has an active repair station and ground support equipment shop.

If certification of a noise suppression nacelle kit by Quiet Nacelle Corp. continues apace, Airlift could have its freighter flying by July and its dash 61s returned to service in late 1986. It is hoped the European lease will finance the purchase of a 727.

The carrier flew 212.7 million RPKs in 1985, down 19.1% from the 263 million reported to DOT in 1984. Freight traffic increased, however, from 7.8 million to 12.5 million FTKs.

Revenues of $14.3 million and expenses of $13.8 million produced an operating profit of $524,064 and a net profit of $445,981.

Airpac: The Alaskan carrier flew 49,000 passengers in 1985, a 53.1% increase over the 1984 total, according to data filed with DOT.

Air New Orleans: The carrier considered acquiring defunct Skyway of Ocala last year but terminated the negotiations although it did pick up a couple of that carrier's aircraft. It now operates six Beech 99s, three Piper 1020s and two Navajos. Traffic data for 1985 were not available.

Air Sedona: The Arizona commuter enjoyed a 60% growth in traffic in its second full year of operation in 1985 as it added a Cessna 206 and a second Cessna 172 to its fleet. It also flies a Cessna 182.

Passenger boardings were up 61% to 2,614 last year and RPKs rose 61.2% to 402,157. Similar growth is forecast for 1986.

Air West: The carrier was unable to make a go of the Dash 7 service it launched in 1984 between West Houston/Lakeside Airport and Love Field in Dallas, and operations were suspended last August.

Alliance: The Kenosha, Wis.-based carrier, which launched operations in 1985, flies from four small cities to a Chicago-O'Hare hub with a fleet of two Cessna 404s and a 402. It flew 7,907 passengers and 2.2 million RPKs in 1985.

All Star: The Boston-based carrier, which operated scheduled service in the Northwest briefly in 1985, bas suspended its flight operations.

Alpine Air: The Utah carrier's passenger boardings were up 6.3% in 1985 to 2,322.

American Central: The Dubuque, lowa-based carrier operated through last July 24 under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but finally was forced to shut down completely and liquidate its operations.

Atlantic Gulf: The Florida carrier, which is operating under Chapter 11, flies two BAC-111s on routes to Tallahassee, Miami, West Palm Beach and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Its traffic for 1985 was not available.

BAS: The Ohio carrier's traffic continued to decline sharply in 1985. Passenger boardings and RPKs were both off 30%, to 8,085 and two million, respectively.

Best: The Kentucky-based charter carrier, which launched operations in 1982, suspended its service last November and sold its two McDonnell Douglas DC-9s and its certificate to Jet America.

Big Sky: Implementation of a code-sharing Airlink agreement with Northwest Airlines was the highlight of 1985 for the Montana carrier. …

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