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Shortest Lived Airlines  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

We all know that KLM, Avianca, QANTAS, and Mexicana are the oldest airlines around, in that order. But what were the shortest lived airlines? At least in recent history anyway.....And I don't mean airlines that have just recently started. I'm talking about airlines that already have come and gone.
What were they and how long were they around?

57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlinePVDFlier From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 59 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2339 times:


Anybody remember JetTrain? They ran DC-9's from EWR to PIT in the early 90's. Other cities were served, too.

User currently offlineCody From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1963 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2312 times:

I remember JetTrain. I saw them in Pittsburgh before. Very ugly paint scheme. How about Family Airlines? They shut down before they even began and even had a 747 painted in full colors.......also ugly, but just my opinion.

User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Reply 3, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2297 times:

I remember both airlines...I saw JetTrain at EWR once back in 1996. Family Airlines was a paper airline with one 747 painted in that silly red, white, and blue livery with the kid in the baseball cap on it.
I don't think that they count becuse even though the plane existed, to the best of my knowledge, no flights were ever actually flown.
It was a long time ago (1993 I believe), and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that the reason Family never got airborne was that the person starting it had been convicted of embezzlement, or corruption, or something along those lines, and the DOT found him managerially unfit to run an airline, and denied him the permits.

So again...who was the shortest airline THAT ACTUALLY FLEW FLIGHTS?

User currently offlineTrippleseven From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2285 times:

Are you sure about those airlines you listed in your first posts are the oldest? I always figired that the US had the oldest airlines, being that we pioneered flight. Do you know what year those airlines were established? Just curious.

User currently offlineAa737 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 849 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2278 times:

Any one have a picture of either JetTrain or Family Airlines? I couldn't find any in teh database here on airliners.net.

KLM was found in 1918, avianca 1919, and QF in 1920. Not to sure about mexicana.

User currently offlineN312RC From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 2684 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2268 times:

Maybe Braniff No.3, they only lasted a couple weeks.

User currently offlineSn330 From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 16 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2250 times:

Trans International Airlines, they had a 747-300 painted and were going to fly JFK-TLV.

User currently offlineRaggi From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 1009 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2233 times:

Color Air of Norway. It flew three 737- 300s back and forth between Oslo and cities in western and norhern Norway. It think it had to give up after less than a year..The competition from SAS and Braathens was too fierce.

Stick & Rudder
User currently offlineJabpilot From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2220 times:

Does anyone remember Royal West or States West Airlines? Both operated out of BUR, Royal to RNO and States West to Laughlin, NV. Royal West used the BAC-146 and States West flew Beech-1900's and Shorts 360's. I flew on States West in the late 1980's. Jeff

User currently offlinePANAM_DC10 From Australia, joined Aug 2000, 4288 posts, RR: 83
Reply 10, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2217 times:

What about Compass Airlines in Australia? There was the original one that operated A300 equipment and the reincarnation with MD-80's. I can't recall either of them flying for too long.

Ask the impossible to achieve the best possible
User currently offlineLGW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2191 times:

ERA European Regions Airlines - 2 EMB 145 - Spanish - Dead!

User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2192 times:

Air 21 was pretty short-lived. It was not even a year before they were out of business.

Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineMikephotos From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2923 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2208 times:

JetTrain was orignally named AirTrain.

Here's a bad pic (taken when I was shooting prints   )

Trans International Express is still around with Shorts 360's out of JFK. I don't think they do sked service anymore but did see a movement about 2 weeks ago. It's too bad that B747-300 never made it out of SIN.

Anyone remember Florida Express. They flew BAC 1-11's back in the mid-late 80's before becoming a part of Braniff II in late '87/early '88. It's been so long since I've worked for them that I forgot when they acutally started business.


User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2171 times:

PAN AM 2 a second carrier founded by Martin Shugrue ex EAL cheif with a fleet of ex EAL aircraft like the A300s, and the rest 727-200, 737-400s were all from the disasterous Carnival merger that put the airline in it's grave.

KIWI an all 727-200 fleet that flew out of EWR serving the East coast and parts of the midwest as well as Puerto Rico.

Air Florida

MGM Grand Air

Legend will be up there soon if nothing happens to help them out financially

I hope National isn't next because they were #2 on domestic carriers in Conde Nast Traveller

The Bristish Carrier Court line was there along with Laker

Reno-Bought by AA

User currently offline777gk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1641 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2170 times:

VirginA340, those airlines lasted a few years, but all are gone, unfortunately. It's too bad to see a good airline like RenoAir or PanAm II or a promising carrier like Legend or National go under like that. The death of PAII probably led to Marty Shugrue's death, which was said to be stress-related.

I am curious as to who finished first of the domestic carriers in Conde Nast, but I am 99% sure it's Southwest. Could you post

User currently offlineWhoring_around From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2164 times:

how about celtic/caledonian?they we're around only a few months on the intnet.now, thanks god, you don't hear anything of them.

User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4652 posts, RR: 37
Reply 17, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2136 times:

Dates of Foundation:

Qantas - 1920
KLM - 1920 (Oldest airline to have operated under the same name all its life time)
Avianca - 1919
Mexicana - 1921

As for the US Major 6:

AA - 1930 (from amalagamation of companies dating back to 1926)
Continental - 1934 (As Varney Speed Lines)
Delta - 1924 (As the world's first cropdusting company!)
Northwest - 1926
United - 1931
USAir(ways) - 1939 (All American Aviation)

So sorry, USA, but the world's oldest operating airline comes from Colombia of all places, followed by the Australia and The Netherlands

"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2112 times:

What about the shortest stay in one city? I know Eastwind stayed in one city (I believe TPA) for only 9 days.

User currently offlineAirT85 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2103 times:

Hehe,m KIWI was around for over 6 years, they started flying in 1993 i believe. possibly 92. Oh how i miss that airline! What ever happened to Nations Air?? They werent aroudn long.

User currently offlineAdy From Panama, joined Nov 2000, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2106 times:

Valuejet was around for I think 3 or 4 years before they had that trajic crash in the Everglades and had to start over as Airtran after information on their safety was revealed.

If u ever feel depressed about urself, just remember that at one time you were the most vicious sperm in ur group.
User currently offlineQF767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2104 times:

There was heaps of media hype about the new Australian airline that was sposed to start up this year called Spirit Airlines. They sounded confident and were ready to tackle Qantas and Ansett in the domestic market - by the way, they haven't left the ground yet!!!Nothing heard on them since I think last year!! Oh well


User currently offlineAussie_ From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1767 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2103 times:

Kiwi International flying low cost trans-tasman flights (Australia-NZ) only lasted about a year in the mid 90s. The CEO afterwards went to jail for stealing millions from the company (no wonder it went bankrupt, considering it only had 1 aircaft, 2 just before the end).

Also Compass II, with MD-80s only lasted a few months flying Australian domestic routes.

User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2939 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2101 times:
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What about Western Pacific out of Colorado Springs, and then later, Denver? WestPac was a flash in the pan if there ever was one...

Or alternately, what about Morris? They weren't independent very long before Southwest gobbled them up...

There were a few others I remember... Cascade Airways (a NW line in the mid 80s), MarkAir, etc etc

User currently offlineMSYtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (15 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2100 times:

Pride Air, flying 727's out of MSY, only lasted about three months before they went under. This was around 84/85 I believe.


25 Hailstone : how long did psa and aircal survive (lax-sfo shuttles ?)
26 FLY777UAL : PSA and Air Cal were both around for a very long time. By no means would either of them be considered for this thread. F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
27 Deltaflyertoo : PSA and AirCal were around for over 20 years each in before they were bought. What about Tahoe Air? They had some flights from LAX to SJC and Tahoe as
28 VonRichtofen : Anybody remember Greyhound Air in western Canada? They started in the mid 90's I believe (around the same time as WestJet) but I don't think they even
29 ERJ135 : I think Klm still hold the oldest tag, Founded in October 1919. There was something in Avianca's History, was there a name change or a cesation of ser
30 Trintocan : Carib Express (IM) must be the shortest-lived carrier that I know of. It was started in 1995 by a consortium of 5 Caribbean governments (Barbados, Gre
31 AA@DFW : 2 words: Legend Airlines
32 Dasheighty : Eastwind wasnt around for very long a couple of years anyway
33 VirginA340 : The # 1 domestic carrier was Midwest Express. Martin Shugrue died a broken man in late 1999 when his efforts to get PA back into the skys had failed a
34 CPDC10-30 : Astoria Airlines out of YYZ only lasted a few weeks. VistaJet only a few months, and Triton never even got started.
35 Big777jet : I have flown on McClain Airlines of B727-027 between Chicago and Rockford twice. They have served Las Vegas and Phoenix. They operated at least a year
36 OO-VEG : Virgin Flyer & ERJ 135 KLM has been founded in 1918, not in 1920 or 1919.
37 VirginFlyer : This is a direct extract from the book 'Cronicle of Aviation' ©1992 Chronicle Publications, Editor in Cheif Bill Gunston The Hague, October 7 1919 A
38 Ceilidh : To name but a few... Pride Air (set up by CO ALPA strikers) Regent Air Air One Family Airlines (B747 operator) African Star Fly European Unfortunately
39 Wilcharl : Anyone remember "Private Jet" they started out of ATL the same time as Valujet and Kiwi... Had 727-200s changed their name to (i think national) corre
40 GKirk : Capital Airlines based @ LBA in the UK. It was the first eve airline to have their SH360-300s certified for 39 pax. Anyone remember them? Also Europea
41 Samurai 777 : Greyhound Air and Vistajet are two Canadian airlines that were very short-lived. So was Air Attache, a subsidiary of CP that flew 737-300s mostly betw
42 Patroni : Swissworld operated a 767-200ER out of Geneva to Newark... I think they started in September 1998 and folded in early December the same year. I still
43 Red Panda : Greyhound in Canada
44 F_boot : Africargo? Lionair? PegasusAir? Trans Lloyd Cargo? Skymaster Freight?
45 Post contains links and images 777gk : Swissworld also took delivery of a 757-200,in addition to their two 767-200ER's, just days before they folded. They lasted only 7 months, but were exp
46 Dasheighty : Yeah the US had the oldest airlines most of them are out of buisness
47 Notarzt : My thoughts... 1. FAMILY AIRLINES, United States (B747) 2. PETROLAIR, Switzerland (B757) 3. INTERCONDOR, Germany (B757) 4. AIR WINGS, C.I.S. (L-1011)
48 Chepos : I think thay one of the shortest lived carriers that I know is a local carrier Called East Caribbean . It was based in Ponce , PR . It just operated o
49 Ironchain15 : Western Pacific only lasted about a year to a year and a half. I flew from MCI to LAX via COS with this airline. It was nothing special, but I don't t
50 Noise : What about VistaJet? I think they only lasted a few weeks, with only 1 passenger on their first flight!
51 Post contains links and images Noise : Oh yeah, dom't forget Astoria, they only lasted a few weeks! Click for large versionPhoto © Pierre Lacombe
52 Caribb : Wasn't there a Scottish Airline called Highland Express.. not sure if it ever got off the ground. They had a 747-200. Also, Air Club in Canada - A310s
53 TWAneedsNOhelp : What a blast from the past! All these depressing failed airlines: Kiwi, Air South, Western Pacific, Astoria, VistaJet, Eastwind, and Greyhound. Here a
54 NY-JFK-LGA : Ok, there's one airline that's wasn't mentioned here that I recall having a short life. But I don't think that it could be THAT short as not to be men
55 RIOJANEIRO : ULTRAIR- houston based carrier that operated old 727's in an all business class format. Yes, the WHOLE plane was business class. I guess they thought
56 Critter592 : All Aboard, The Jettrain, Oh, Too Bad, We shut down... Yep, This Train didn't go very Far, They shut down the same month they started up, Guess they c
57 Carioca Canuck : What about "Trump Air"....
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