jmc1975
Posts: 2893
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 10:57 am

Remembering StatesWest

Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:20 am

Phoenix-based StatesWest was touted as a promising commuter airline when it started in 1987. They initiated service from PHX to Bullhead City/Laughlin, Lake Havasu City, continuing onto Ontario, Burbank, San Diego and Orange County. At their peak, they had a fleet of 4 Shorts 360s and 2 BAe Jetstream 31s and had expanded service to Prescott, Sierra Vista/Ft.Huachuca, San Diego and Los Angeles. They eventually traded in the Jetstreams for Beech 1900s.... then they could no longer keep the Shorts 360s. They even had an innovative nonstop Orange County to Scottsdale, AZ with the Beech 1900 for a short while. They eventually went on to fly for USAir Express based at LAX and SFO with Beech 1900s and Beech 1300s. Back in the day, I remember when they flew in the 36-passenger Shorts 360s into Prescott and it's really no surprise it didn't last, considering loads of 4-6 pax per flight was common. Anyone else have any memories of StatesWest?


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FATFlyer
Posts: 4437
Joined: Fri May 18, 2001 4:12 am

RE: Remembering StatesWest

Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:51 am

When they converted to USAir Express they opened a maintenance hanger in Fresno. That continued until they ceased operations in 1993. The hanger was then used by TransStates for USAir Express maintenance until that operation ended.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
timz
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RE: Remembering StatesWest

Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:10 am

Yup, they were for sure the only airline that flew Beech 1300s into SFO. Wonder how many 1300s ever saw scheduled flights anywhere?
 
wedgetail737
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RE: Remembering StatesWest

Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:13 am

Who operated the Beech 1300's for USAir Express along the west coast? Also, those Beech 1900's and 1300's had smiles on them. I remember seeing their 1900's at SAN, LAX and SNA with the Stateswest colors.
 
jmc1975
Posts: 2893
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RE: Remembering StatesWest

Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:10 am

Wedgetail737,
Those smiley Beeches were actually StatesWest birds during the sunset years of their operation.


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desertjets
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RE: Remembering StatesWest

Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:28 am

My only memory of StatesWest came while waiting for my mom to arrive on a late evening United flight from Chicago. I am thinking this was the fall of 1991.

I watch as the late flight to Palm Springs boards ONE passenger for Palm Springs. Seems like a rather curious little airline. How connected were they to USAirs aspirations to build up a sizeable presence at Sky Harbor?
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
jmc1975
Posts: 2893
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 10:57 am

RE: Remembering StatesWest

Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:10 pm

DesertJets,
Actually, they were not connected with USAir at all back in their heyday at Sky Harbor. They operated as an independent airline and were losing ground to America West's Dash 8 operation as well as Mesa Airlines, which was building a presence at PHX then. Their agreement with USAir was a result of USAir themselves losing their footing at LAX and SFO...they could no longer fly many routes formerly flown by PSA. USAir's Phoenix presence peaked just after they merged with both PSA and Piedmont in 1989, but it had nothing to do with StatesWest. I believe at one point, they had nonstops to LAX, SNA, SFO, SJC, TUS, BWI, DAY, CLT, PIT, CLE, PHL and IND.
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ATAflyer
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RE: Remembering StatesWest

Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:55 pm

Yes, I flew them once, PHX-TUS, it must have been 1989 or so. It was my only time on the Shorts aircraft. A very good flight, with a bev service included for the 35 min. hop.
A better way to fly
 
desertjets
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RE: Remembering StatesWest

Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:38 pm

JMC, thanks for the clarification. I do remember reading at some point that USAir did have plans to make a regional hub (if you will) at PHX.


I cannot really imagine that an independent regional in that time could remain by itself for very long. If a route like PHX-PRC cannot work today when it connects to 400+ daily America West flights at PHX and significantly larger populations on both ends, how can it work on more or less O&D traffic and a handful of interline transfers?

Now why did their relationship with USAir not last? If I recall correctly Mesa, or was it TransStates, was doing Express service for them from LAX well into the late 90s. Were that just a completely unviable airline?
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia