Air Transport World

ASA selected as ATW's Commuter-Regional Airline of the Year. (Atlantic Southeast Airlines; Air Transport World)

ASA selected as ATW's Commuter/Regional Airline of the Year Atlanta--Three young executives of Southern Airways resigned from their merger-bound company on January 2, 1979 to form their own commuter level airline, and to cast their fortunes in one of the most intensive competitive markets in the Southeast U.S.

Today their airline--Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA)--is acknowledged by its peers to be one of the best in overall performance and growth among commuter/regional airlines. Since the first flight was made by a single de Havilland Twin Otter in June 1979, ASA has grown to rank fourth in the nation in terms of passengers carried by this type of airline. It operates a mixed fleet of 36 aircraft, serves 35 communities and has a financial posture which earns it the envy of competitors and the admiration of the industry.

ASA's President George F. Pickett Jr., speaking for himself and his founding partners--Robert L. Priddy, senior VP-administration and John W. Beiser, senior VP-sales and customer services, said "the competition has been tough but we've been tough, too."

Southern marketing experience

The trio insists that a profitable service base is essential for growth and survival. They see ASA as being a product of the deregulation wave that swept over the airline business in 1978. At that time their former employer, Southern Airways, a local service carrier, was being absorbed into the Republic Airlines system. …

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