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Wien Air Alaska  
User currently offlineLono From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1337 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4244 times:

Anyone remember Wien Air Alaska...???
Their goose wearing a leather flight helmet and goggles commercials were great...
Wonderful airline with a rich history....


Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4178 times:

Here's a link to Wien Air Alaska's fleet then. Regards.
http://www.geocities.com/~aeromoe/fleets/wien3.html



"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2230 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4178 times:
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My very first flights were with Wein Airlines (pre "Air Alaska") in 1957 and 1959 on c47s and c46s. I'd met the owners son in Kotzebue a couple of times and enjoyed his photo hobbies together. Do you remember the photos of the blanket toss than was on most of the brochures?

When crossing over the Arctic circle the crew would either put the plane in a dive and then up or a steep (for a DC3) climb and down the other side just for the fun of the "lower 48ers" on board.

Later came a merger with a carrier out of ANC I think was called Northern Consolidated. That brought the yellow and blue colors in use. Wein Consolidated was the new name then. Flightseeing around Mount McKinley with the wonderful windows on the ex-Consolidated F27s was a real treat.

The Prudhoe Bay oil boom and jet service came with the name you knew them by and then not long after a true era ended with one of the last family named airlines, Markair was born - and died.

These are distant memories and would love to read possibly more accurate accounts but one story I'd heard a while back covered in controversy was about Frank Weins photos of an Eskimo couple from, I think Kotzebue, named Mary and Abraham Lincoln. Yes that's right. I met then twice myself. Abe paddled up to the shore at the fishing camp to add his catch on the drying racks and Frank would always follow him around with his camera as they were old friends. (I'd be playing with Franks son I think it was)

Many photos of the couple adorned all the pamphlets and brochures Frank put together for his dad Noel and the airline. Abe's picture became so well known as representative of Alaskas Eskimo people that when Alaska put a, for lack of a better word, likeness, on their aircrafts tail many assumed it was also Abe.

The origin of those Alaska "drawings" have been discussed here before down to the name of the person they originally were patterned after. Not Abe but possibly also living in Kotzebue. It was now not supposed to represent just the "Eskimo" but also the interior native people as well so was homogenized to lose definitive features. Wein and the Lincolns were long gone by then but it was hashed over in several cabins filled with airline lore I've been in around the state.




Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineLono From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1337 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4126 times:

FlagshipAZ.... very cool to see those tail numbers again...!!! Thanks


M404..... Great info... I know that WC was the oldest Airline before they folded.... they got going in 1924 if I remember correctly....

Wien was a great company .... interesting note... They used their A/C almost 24 hours a day.... ran a full schedule and at night yanked the seats and flew freighter flights all over the state... they were the lifeblood of many areas of the state...



Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5951 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4106 times:
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I remember seeing Wien Air Alaska at OAK during the height of their life. They flew from OAK to SEA, PDX, PHX and ABQ. I used to see their 737's and 727's all the time. I had heard that their service was excellent. Too bad I didn't get to fly on them.

User currently offlineUadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4083 times:

didnt wien fly to DEN as well????i swear ive seen those birds back in the early 80s at stapleton............


bus driver.......move that bus:)
User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4065 times:

Close to the end, Wien served SEA, PDX, BOI, OAK, RNO, SLC, PHX and DEN. Their 1983 route map is here http://www.airtimes.com/cgat/usc/misc/w/wien/detail/mapwc831216.jpg

Growing up in Juneau, Wien was mostly a small player in our area. They had a twice weekly service JNU-YXY-FAI for years, then in the late 70s attempted to go up against AS on the ANC and SEA runs. Like MarkAir and eventually Western/Delta, they gave up and left the market to Alaska. It was a shame, as it was always better to have competition in Juneau, and just as you could count on the AS pilots to make it in when the WA/DL pilots wouldn't try, you could usually count on the Wien pilots making landings that the AS pilots wouldn't try. Must have come from all that bush flying!  Wink/being sarcastic

Duane



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineN730AS From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 126 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4022 times:

The only memory of Wien that I have is the Wein Air Alaska mechanics jumpsuit in my closet..........Come to think of it, Wien's logo is still on one of the hangars here in Fairbanks, AK. Perhaps I can get out to the airport tomorrow and take a shot of the logo on the old hangar...


N730AS (s/n 22577) 737-290C Registered Jun-29-1981
User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 8, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4005 times:

Great airline, I flew with Wien Consoliadated (as it was called in the 1970s) from Anchorage to Point Barrow ane return (on 737 combis) and from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, Yukon (on a leased-in 737-200 with Eastern Provincial [Canada] markings - additional summer capacity) in 1976. The pilots flew those 737s with amazing skill - it was appearant when going in and out of Barrow.

I remember Wien picking up 727-100s from United to expand their route system....but the latest route map (link above) surpirsed me, I did not remember that they flew to places like Denver and Phoenix, funny, the Lower 48 route map looks like an early Alaska Airlines flight plan.


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4003 times:

Great airline, I flew with Wien Consoliadated (as it was called in the 1970s) from Anchorage to Point Barrow ane return (on 737 combis) and from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, Yukon (on a leased-in 737-200 with Eastern Provincial [Canada] markings - additional summer capacity) in 1976. The pilots flew those 737s with amazing skill - it was appearant when going in and out of Barrow.

I remember Wien picking up 727-100s from United to expand their route system....but the latest route map (link above) surpirsed me, I did not remember that they flew to places like Denver and Phoenix, funny, the Lower 48 route map looks like an early Alaska Airlines flight plan.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 10, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3973 times:

My two Wien memories:

I was trying to nonrev from PHX to RNO and the plane was fairly full. There was another in a few hours though. Then they announced that they were going to take a short delay because they had to change a tire. The agent said they would be able to get a tire from another airline. I walked over and looked out the window and my heart sank - the 737 had the gravel runway kit. All I knew about that was that it had a different size main wheel from the rest of the 737 fleet. They were going to cancel and the next flight was going to fill up with these people!

Turned out that they were not using the wider, lower main tires, so we were on our way with no delay.

Second was a couple years later. I was sitting on the ramp at BFI when they ferried all the planes in. The airline had shut down. That was a very sad sight.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineStirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3891 times:

then in the late 70s attempted to go up against AS on the ANC and SEA runs. Like MarkAir and eventually Western/Delta, they gave up and left the market to Alaska

Wien Air Alaska became MarkAir.
Attempted a Hub at DEN.
Co-marketed with the then new Frontier.
One of the few civilian operators of the Lockheed C-130. Delta was another.

Here's one of the latest lower 48 route maps, and one with F9:
http://deansf.tripod.com/markair3.html



Delete this User
User currently offlineLono From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1337 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3883 times:

Hey thanks for all your remembrances...

Searpqx,
I grew up in JNU also and I am in total agreement with your assessment of pilots flying in there.... I remember when the CAB forced WA out of JNU in the 70's to give AS a monopoly in SE Alaska...Otherwise AS was going to fold (they came very close!)... even though WA returned to JNU/KTN in the early 80's.... after the WA/DL merger....DL gave up on JNU even though load factors were constantly high... AS continues to this day using high airfares out of JNU and the rest of SE Alaska to fund itself and thusly enableling AS to compete with other carriers in the lower 48...

Wien... was a good airline that just was terribly mis-managed toward the end..
But you are right... best 737 pilots ever.... they would do some incredible flying!!!



Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3839 times:

Lono - You're right the early 70s were not a good time for AS. I remember when Alaska was more commonly referred to as "Elastic" Air, due to their inability to maintain their schedules. One of my favorite memories is my mom letting a very rushed and stressed looking FA cut in front of us at checkout at the IGA so she could pay for the plastic cutlery they needed for the flight that had just come in from ANC and was about to depart for KTN. Seems that ANC had forgotten to carter utensils, so she'd jumped off the plane and run up the street to the store!

Stirling - while many former Wien employees ended up at MarkAir, there was no relation between the two carriers. Wien was temporarily shut down by management in late 1984 (I think - memory is going with age) when the Teamsters went on strike. It was restarted as a budget airline, offering $99 fares in the ANC-SEA market (first time that ever happened - talk about a shock to the market!). Alaska matched immediately, and Wien didn't have the cash to fight a fare war with AS, so within months Wien was gone for good. In the meantime, Neil Bergt, formerly with Western, was in the process of starting MarkAir, launching the carrier in 1983. I can't remember if the first flight was '83 or '84, but I believe there was a brief period of overlap where both Wien and MarkAir were operating.



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineStirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3773 times:

Searpqx-

Thanks for setting me straight, for some reason, I thought (incorrectly) that Wien had a more direct relationship with MarkAir.

Joe



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User currently offlineLono From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1337 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3720 times:

Searqx

Your memory serves you well....
Niel Bergt was trying to merge Wien, Alaska Industrial Air... and Western Airlines in 1983/83.... didn't work however.... Niel was for a time Pres/CEO of WA while he attempted this.... Remember..???

I remember AS employees racing to the bank to cash their paychecks... they did this because sometimes they would run out of cash for payroll!!! sooner you were to the bank... the better chance of getting paid....!!!

Ive said it before..... this industry changes fast... Once on bottom.. now on top....then to bottom again...???



Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
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