Air Transport World

U.S. regional/specialty carriers. (World Airline Report 1989)

Aero Coach: Traffic growth slowed at the Florida carrier in 1989 as it flew 130,092 passengers for a 1.7% increase over the 1988 total.

Air America: The Los Angeles-based carrier, which flies both scheduled and charter services, suffered a traffic decline in 1989. Passenger boardings were down 13.4% to 354,152 and RPKs were off 21.1% to 1.3 billion. Revenues, however, were rising through the third quarter, the latest period for which Air America had reported traffic at this writing. Revenues for the first nine months totaled $55.7 million, operating profit was $4.3 million and net was $6 million. For the full 1988 year, the carrier had revenues of $56.9 million, an operating loss of $2.2 million and a net loss of $2.8 million.

Air Kentucky: The Indianapolis-based airline, which flew 133,248 passengers in 1988 as an Allegheny Commuter, ceased operations last June after efforts to improve its financial situation failed.

Air LA: Initiation of service from Palm Springs and Bullhead City to Las Vegas highlighted 1989 for the 10-year-old Los Angeles-based carrier. Last month, it added Tijuana to its route system.

Air LA, which flies two Bandeirantes and has a third on order, boarded 50,000 passengers last year, up 66.7% from 1988, and expects the total to hit 70,000 this year. RPKs in 1989 nearly doubled to 17.4 million and the 1990 forecast is for 40% growth.

Air Micronesia: The Saipan-based carrier, in which Continental Airlines owns a major interest, flies five 727s in services to the U.S. Trust Territories and elsewhere in the Pacific. It reported its finances to DOT for the first time this year, showing revenues of $2.2 million, an operating profit of $989,119 and a net of $955,882. Its traffic results could not be obtained.

Air Midwest: The Wichita-based airline's bad luck with partners continued in 1989 when Braniff, to which it had been providing feeder service at Kansas City since September, 1988, entered bankruptcy a year later. Its previous partner, Eastern, pulled out of Kansas City earlier in 1988. Air Midwest continues to operate Trans World Express service at St. Louis but early this year, it agreed to pay TWA nearly $1 million to settle a dispute over third-party booking fees.

Now, however, the worst appears to be over and President Robert Priddy is forecasting a profitable 1990 as the carrier continues to shed aircraft made excess by the end of its Braniff Express service.

Despite its problems, Air Midwest was able to post an operating profit of $1.2 million in 1989, down from $3.46 million in 1988, on a 9.4% rise to $81.1 million in revenues. Net loss grew to $2.39 million from $1.38 million. Passenger boardings for the year were up 4.4% to 912,032 while RPKs climbed 8% to 291.5 million.

Air Molokai: The Maui-based carrier, which ceased operations last October, is being resurrected by three Maui businessmen who plan to resume Cessna 402 service to Kahului, Molokai and Lanai. It flew 101,723 passengers in 1989, according to the Regional Airline Association.

Air Nevada: The Las Vegas-based carrier flew about 75,000 sightsers to the Grand Canyon last year in its fleet of Cessna 402s and 207s. This year, it is extending its tours to Bryce Canyon.

Air Resorts: The Palomar, Calif., based carrier, which has been wet-leasing its Convair 580s to other airlines, began operating its own scheduled cargo service between Tucson and San Diego last month.

Air Ruidoso: DOT revoked the New Mexico carrier's certificate in December, citing its failure to file for redetermination of its fitness. Air Ruidoso ceased operations in late 1988 but attempted to resume service in early 1989.

Air Sedona: The Arizona carrier flew 4,824 passengers in its three single-engine Cessnas in 1989 to post a 17.5% improvement over 1988. This year, it plans to increase frequencies to Phoenix and perhaps open a new market, and is expecting traffic growth of 10%.

Airways International: The Miami-based carrier launched service in 1989, operating 12 Cessna 402s, and by year end, had flown 13,999 passengers and 4.5 million RPKs. It foresees a 30% traffic increase this year as it adds 10 more 402s to its fleet. Service was extended to Key West and three Bahamas points in the spring, and further expansion is planned with the fall schedule change.

Revenues last year totaled $2.1 million while expenses were listed at $1 million, resulting in an operating gain of $1.1 million and a net of $118,715.

Alaska Island Air: The airline was shut down by FAA in November but was found fit by DOT to resume operations early this year.

Allegheny Commuter: The former Suburban Airlines, a USAir subsidiary, changed its moniker to Allegheny Commuter Airlines Inc. to preserve an "honored name" in the regional-airline business. The USAir Express had another good year in 1989, posting increases to 13.1% to 610,533 in passenger boardings and 8.3% to 177 million in RPKs.

Aloha Island Air: The Aloha Airlines subsidiary showed good growth in 1989, flying 280,999 passengers, up 43.7% from 1988.

Alpha Air: The carrier serves California's Mammoth ski resort from San Jose/Oakland and San Diego with a fleet of four Cessna 402s and a Beech 1900. It also offers day excursions to the Grand Canyon. This year, it is adding another Beech 1900 to its fleet. It did not supply its 1989 traffic.

Alpine: Traffic growth resumed at the Utah carrier in 1989, with passenger boardings rising 45% to 2,612 and RPKs climbing 34.5% to 1.4 million.

AMR Eagle: A subsidiary of AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines, AMR Eagle owns five Americans Eagle carriers--Command, Executive Airlines, Nashville Eagle, Simmons and Wings West. The only non-owned Eagle is Metroflight/Chaparral, which serves American's DFW hub.

AMR Eagle reports that its carriers handled more than 6 million passengers in 1989, an increase of 25% from 1988, and are serving 148 cities in 27 states, Washington, D.C. and 15 Caribbean/Atlantic islands with a fleet of 220 turboprop twins (see individual items for traffic and fleet breakdowns).

To meet the future needs of the Eagle system, AMR Eagle has placed orders and options for more than 250 aircraft, as follows: Saab 340B, 50 orders, 50 options; Saab 2000, 50 options; Jetstream 31, 25 orders, 25 options; Jetstream 41, 50 options; ATR 72, two orders.

Aspen: One of the stalwarts of the regional industry will disappear this year with completion of the sale of its turboprop routes to 11 cities to Mesa Airlines and its seasonal jet routes and all of its stock to Air Wisconsin. Aspen's 10 Convair 580s are being sold separately.

In its final year, Aspen flew 798,905 passengers and 304.3 million RPKs, according to reports it filed with DOT. It posted an operating loss of $5.4 million and a net loss of $5.5 million on a 2.6% increase in revenues to $59.8 million.

Atlantic Southeast: Another record year was put into the books by the Delta Connection carrier in 1989 as traffic continued to grow impressively and operating and net income more than doubled. ASA admittedly benefited from the strike at Eastern Airlines last year but is optimistic that it will hold onto its gains in 1990.

Revenues jumped 31.3% to $180 million last year, while expense growth was held to only 15.5%. The result was an operating income of just under $44 million compared with $19.2 million in 1988 and a net of $27.6 million compared with $11.5 million.

On the traffic side, passenger boardings rose 26.2% to 2,001,217, RPKs surged 29.2% to 665 million and load factor improved nearly 10 points to 52.3%.

ASA's fleet stood at 36 Brasilias, 13 Bandeirantes and four Dash 7s at year end. It has 12 more Brasilias on order.

Aviation Associates: This Metro Airlines division, which provides Eastern Express service to its partner's San Juan hub, flew 355,788 passengers in 1989.

Aviation Service West: The Sky-West subsidiary provides charter and customer tour services in Arizona and Utah with a Twin Otter Vista-liner. It was negotiating for a second Vistaliner at this writing.

Bar Harbor: Owned jointly by Continental and Eastern, Bar Harbor operates Continental Express service at Newark, LaGuardia and Boston and Eastern Express and Continental Express service at Miami. It flies 16 ATR 42s and nine Beech 1900s from Newark to 23 cities, one Beech 1900 and seven C-99s to seven cities from Boston and LaGuardia, and six Saab 340s and seven C-99s to 11 destinations from Miami. …

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