N702ML
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Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:07 pm

Hello all....

I noticed in the February 16, 1985 Official Airline Guide that there is a single Jet America Airlines roundtrip from FAT to Chicago O'Hare. However, I have quite a few Jet America timetables and do not recall ever seeing Fresno service.

The schedule is shown here:

www.departedflights.com/FAT85p1.html

Does anyone know for sure whether this service ever operated, no matter how briefly?

Thanks!
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FATFlyer
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:49 pm

I'm going to guess that WhatUSaid will be able to answer that when he gets some time to post.

Off the top of my head I do not remember that flight ever operating. But I would want to verify things in some records when I get home from the office before saying that with complete certainty.
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whatusaid
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:55 am

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 1):
I'm going to guess that WhatUSaid will be able to answer that when he gets some time to post.

And, because I'm older than FATFlyer.... (lol)

Jet America, I don't believe ever served Fresno. I know there were talks between the city and SI, but, something actually scheduled, nope, don't think so.

FAT-ORD was limited to a brief stint on UA, first through SMF, for a brief time with a stop in SLC, and a brief NS stint as well; and, for what it's worth, a 1-stop on RW through PHX. Since, nothing. There's about 70 O&D pax daily in the market - many more if you include the drive-a-ways to SFO, etc. Route would work, but not in my lifetime.

Ok, trivia hounds, what airline had the shortest stay in Fresno? Hint. They flew one L-1011 flight and called it quits.

[Edited 2007-11-19 17:21:56]
 
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MKE22
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:08 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresno_Yosemite_International_Airport

Thats a page containing lots of info on FAT if you guys are interested.
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N702ML
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:41 am



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
Ok, trivia hounds, what airline had the shortest stay in Fresno? Hint. They flew one L-1011 flight and called it quits.

Okay this is a TOTAL guess....and there is NO pun intended....but my guess would be Total Air/Air America with service, possibly, to the Hawaiian Islands.
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LatinPlane
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:31 am



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
Ok, trivia hounds, what airline had the shortest stay in Fresno? Hint. They flew one L-1011 flight and called it quits.

I'm dying to find out?


What is the biggest aircraft currently serving FAT (as of Dec 07)?

 Smile LatinPlane
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FATFlyer
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:55 am

I pulled my list of FAT airlines and I don't see Jet America ever operating that flight.

The early 80s were a strange time at FAT. I show between Jan 1 1980 and Dec 31 1986 a total of 14 airlines started and ended service at FAT. Most were the short lived startups of the era like Air Sierra and Dash Air.

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
And, because I'm older than FATFlyer.... (lol)

LOL no because you had more industry contacts from that era. Besides you may be older but you seem to handle full-time business travel better than I do. I cut back on my travel but you keep going and going.

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
Ok, trivia hounds, what airline had the shortest stay in Fresno? Hint. They flew one L-1011 flight and called it quits.

That was easy, you're thinking of the Pleasant Hawaiian attempt at FAT.

Quoting MKE22 (Reply 3):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresno_Yosemite_International_Airport

Thats a page containing lots of info on FAT if you guys are interested.

But lots of missing info there also. For example wikipedia says FAT has been HQ to at least 2 airlines but mentions only Air 21 and Allegiant. There is no mention of WestAir which was headquartered at FAT and was at one time the largest operator of UAX flights. WestAir also founded ACA which later became Independence Air. There was also Far West which was a FAT based startup.

Besides wikipedia is good but not a great resource. Erroneous edits can take time for the wiki community to catch and correct. I refuse to accept it as a reference from my college students without an independent confirmation source.

Quoting LatinPlane (Reply 5):
What is the biggest aircraft currently serving FAT (as of Dec 07)?

Operated by a certain non-US airline. And it shows that it will operate daily beyond the holiday season.  Wink
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mtnwest1979
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:45 am



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
Ok, trivia hounds, what airline had the shortest stay in Fresno? Hint. They flew one L-1011 flight and called it quits.

I would have guessed Rich International.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 
PanAm747
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:03 am



Quote:
What is the biggest aircraft currently serving FAT (as of Dec 07)?



Quote:
Operated by a certain non-US airline. And it shows that it will operate daily beyond the holiday season.

Out of BFL, I would have no doubt...but FAT also has mainline service to DFW on MD80's, as well as MX's A319. I really don't know which one is bigger!
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FATFlyer
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:30 am



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 8):
Out of BFL, I would have no doubt...but FAT also has mainline service to DFW on MD80's, as well as MX's A319. I really don't know which one is bigger!

Actually for mainline FAT now has:
AA to DFW on MDs
G4 to LAS on MDs
US on A319s to LAS
MX on A320s to GDL

The non-US airline currently wins at FAT. Interesting since the FAT-GDL route started with an A318 a little over a year ago.
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F9Animal
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:33 am



Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 7):
I would have guessed Rich International.

I think Rich had a few L10's in their fleet actually. I know I saw more than 2 on the ground in LAS when they were flying.
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SpencerII
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:59 am



Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 6):
There is no mention of WestAir which was headquartered at FAT and was at one time the largest operator of UAX flights. WestAir also founded ACA which later became Independence Air.

Are you sure about this? I thought WestAir was headquartered in Chico (along with Pacific Express).
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:35 pm



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
FAT-ORD was limited to a brief stint on UA, first through SMF, for a brief time with a stop in SLC, and a brief NS stint as well; and, for what it's worth, a 1-stop on RW through PHX

RW never served ORD before the merger with RC. RW did fly to Houston, DSM, and MKE, but never ORD.
 
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malaysia
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:18 pm



Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 6):
But lots of missing info there also. For example wikipedia says FAT has been HQ to at least 2 airlines but mentions only Air 21 and Allegiant. There is no mention of WestAir which was headquartered at FAT and was at one time the largest operator of UAX flights. WestAir also founded ACA which later became Independence Air. There was also Far West which was a FAT based startup.

The Allegiant HQ moved to LAS later, but ironically as former ACA (the westair branch for the east coast) some of the management went on to Independence Air, while the management for former WestAir went to Allegiant Air.
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aeroman62
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:39 pm

Here's a long ways back question - does anyone have any pics, or know of the final schedules, that TWA operated into Fresno in the late 50's/early 60's (like 60/61)? Their route map showed SFO and LAX routes.
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:10 pm



Quoting Spencerii (Reply 11):
Are you sure about this? I thought WestAir was headquartered in Chico (along with Pacific Express).

Started in Chico but they moved into several buildings at FAT about 1984 or 1985.

WestAir took over the hangar for their maintenance that is now used by Skywest.

They also used old military barracks on Air Terminal Drive at FAT (on the airport's northeast side next to the hangar) for the administrative offices and headquarters.

Lots of names that people have seen at airlines over the years went through WestAir's HQ at Fresno. Tim Flynn and Maurice Gallagher owned WestAir, sold it to Mesa then went on to found ValuJet. Gallagher now is CEO at Allegiant. Jonathan Orenstein served as WestAir president after the Mesa purchase.

Many others now scattered around the industry will remember WestAir's old military barracks headquarters at FAT.
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whatusaid
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:47 pm



Quoting Aeroman62 (Reply 14):

Here's a long ways back question - does anyone have any pics, or know of the final schedules, that TWA operated into Fresno in the late 50's/early 60's (like 60/61)? Their route map showed SFO and LAX routes.

Only schedule I have actually have on TWA is from an old Official Railway Guide, when they actually let the airlines include their schedules up-front. SFO-FAT-LAX was a milk-can run to the East on Constellations. There is actually a photo that circulates among several historical collections at the Met (local museum). I can pull the schedule if you'd like... The one schedule that I have is from 1955, well before they pulled out in the 60's. I've some old Western Air Express and other obscure schedules from the '40's as well. FAT was a TWA and UAL city until Pacific Airlines arrived when the new airport opened in '62 or thereabouts.

And, it figured that FATFlyer knew about Hawaiian Air's L-1011... (Are we ready to start debating the merits of AQ doing an RNO-FAT-OGG or RNO-FAT-HNL run yet?)
 
jmc1975
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:56 pm



Quoting LatinPlane (Reply 5):
What is the biggest aircraft currently serving FAT (as of Dec 07)?

For awhile, UPS has been flying 757s into FAT. Does that count?
.......
 
FAT5DEP
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:31 pm



Quoting Jmc1975 (Reply 17):
For awhile, UPS has been flying 757s into FAT. Does that count?

And if Airborne Express was still here their DC-8's and 767's would take the cake. Here's another question, what other aircraft did UPS used to fly into Fresno?
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whatusaid
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:42 pm

Prior to the 757's, wasn't UPS doing just contract work with a number of the freight feeders....maybe a Shorts 330?

You got me. I give.
 
whatusaid
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:55 pm



Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 12):


Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
FAT-ORD was limited to a brief stint on UA, first through SMF, for a brief time with a stop in SLC, and a brief NS stint as well; and, for what it's worth, a 1-stop on RW through PHX

RW never served ORD before the merger with RC. RW did fly to Houston, DSM, and MKE, but never ORD.

It was RC that flew the FAT-PHX-ORD, circa 1983.
 
wedgetail737
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:16 pm



Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 6):
The early 80s were a strange time at FAT. I show between Jan 1 1980 and Dec 31 1986 a total of 14 airlines started and ended service at FAT. Most were the short lived startups of the era like Air Sierra and Dash Air.

I remember one of those short-lived airlines was Far West Airlines, flying Mid-Pacific YS-11's between OAK, SJC, ONT and SNA to FAT. Air Cal use to handle them at OAK. I have one of their ticket jackets.
 
exFATboy
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:18 pm



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
FAT-ORD was limited to a brief stint on UA, first through SMF, for a brief time with a stop in SLC, and a brief NS stint as well; and, for what it's worth, a 1-stop on RW through PHX. Since, nothing. There's about 70 O&D pax daily in the market - many more if you include the drive-a-ways to SFO, etc. Route would work, but not in my lifetime.

If my rusty memory is correct, UA also flew FAT-DEN-ORD at some point in the early 1970s - I remember flying as an UAM to visit my grandparents and missed my connection in ORD due to a delay at the intermediate stop, which I think was DEN.
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:42 pm



Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 21):
I remember one of those short-lived airlines was Far West Airlines, flying Mid-Pacific YS-11's between OAK, SJC, ONT and SNA to FAT. Air Cal use to handle them at OAK. I have one of their ticket jackets.

Both Mid-Pacific and Far West operated at FAT.

Far West leased 2 aircraft in 1984 and operated for all of 4 months IIRC.

Mid-Pacific then attempted some mainline routes, including FAT-SNA, in 1985.
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FAT5DEP
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:19 pm



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 19):
Prior to the 757's, wasn't UPS doing just contract work with a number of the freight feeders....maybe a Shorts 330?

You got me. I give.

I want to say it was late 90's when they operated a DC-8 for a season. I loved cruising by it on my tug while hauling the bags to the baggage claim. It was short lived, though.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
 
LatinPlane
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:00 pm



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 16):
And, it figured that FATFlyer knew about Hawaiian Air's L-1011... (Are we ready to start debating the merits of AQ doing an RNO-FAT-OGG or RNO-FAT-HNL run yet?)

So was it Hawaiian Airlines, or Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays AKA --- American Trans Air that tried FAT-HNL. This is quite interesting, can you tell us some stories about this operation that lasted just one flight.

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 9):
The non-US airline currently wins at FAT. Interesting since the FAT-GDL route started with an A318 a little over a year ago.

:D If it weren't for the fact that the authorities finally gave BFL the go-ahead for MX to land there too the demand out of FAT would have justified sending their 757s because this winter during the weekends they'll be sending a daily A320 to FAT and an A318/19 to BFL.

Quoting Jmc1975 (Reply 17):

Technically yes.


What happened to the owners of Air 21? Flew on them twice LAX-FAT-LAS and back. I remember seeing a Delta 727-200 at FAT when our F-28 landed.


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FAT5DEP
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:25 pm



Quoting Latinplane (Reply 25):
I remember seeing a Delta 727-200 at FAT when our F-28 landed.

Delta had 7 flights in the early 90's, downgraded to 4 in 95, then to 2 in 98, then poof. I worked for them on the ramp for a few years and saw many 732s, 733s, 727s and MD90s! I recall when Delta had 3 727s lined up on the ramp because 2 were down for maintenance. Quite a sight for Fresno!

I also remember seeing several of Air21's F28s and Tristar's Bae146 parked to the north of Delta.
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timz
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:49 pm



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 16):
FAT was a TWA and UAL city until Pacific Airlines arrived when the new airport opened in '62 or thereabouts.

"New airport"?
 
whatusaid
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:50 pm



Quoting Latinplane (Reply 25):
What happened to the owners of Air 21? Flew on them twice LAX-FAT-LAS and back. I remember seeing a Delta 727-200 at FAT when our F-28 landed.

The owners of Air 21, those of us who invested in that poorly managed (can we say it was even managed) airline? Most of us are around and learned the joys of watching what happens when you invest in a start-up.

International Jet Engine Supply, wasn't that the shell that management used in their attempt to raise funds while they parted out one of the F28's to keep a few flying? The management, meaning, Mark Murro of Wings West, et al - I don't know what happened to him. Ed Barth, who was 21's marketing went over to Great Plains didn't he?

21 was such a disaster.... Anyone remember the original paint scheme - purple over white, where it looked as if flames were coming from the nose? Maybe on a street rod, but not on an airplane. That was pulled just prior to start-up. The art-deco, second version, never did anything for me...

Of the players in the FAT-LAS market, the guys over at Funjet Express were much, much better at marketing, given their Morris Air roots. They knew marketing. Great guys...and having Southwest handle the flights at LAS, another great move. Close as FAT will ever come to seeing WN.
 
mtnwest1979
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:06 am

Many FAT people remember that Metro operator Pacific Cal Air (AX) from very early '80s? They were based in OAK, I think.
I remember when they started service to Boise from Reno in summer 1982. it lasted about 3 months or so i think. I only ever saw one of their flights flying out of Boise. Anyone have any experiences with them?

[Edited 2007-11-20 18:07:24]
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FATFlyer
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:33 am



Quoting Latinplane (Reply 25):
If it weren't for the fact that the authorities finally gave BFL the go-ahead for MX to land there too the demand out of FAT would have justified sending their 757s because this winter during the weekends they'll be sending a daily A320 to FAT and an A318/19 to BFL.

BFL has done OK but turned out to not be as strong a market for them as FAT.

Quoting Timz (Reply 27):
Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 16):
FAT was a TWA and UAL city until Pacific Airlines arrived when the new airport opened in '62 or thereabouts.

"New airport"?

The current FAT terminal complex opened in 1962.

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 28):
The owners of Air 21, those of us who invested in that poorly managed (can we say it was even managed) airline?

I always wondered if the original, original business plan would have worked. Wasn't that written by a retired pilot? I have his name around here somewhere.

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 28):
21 was such a disaster.... Anyone remember the original paint scheme - purple over white, where it looked as if flames were coming from the nose? Maybe on a street rod, but not on an airplane. That was pulled just prior to start-up. The art-deco, second version, never did anything for me...

I think I have a copy of a picture of that livery somewhere. Painted flames from the nose was an interesting thought, it looked cool but no one thought about what passengers might begin thinking.

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 29):
Many FAT people remember that Metro operator Pacific Cal Air (AX) from very early '80s? They were based in OAK, I think.
I remember when they started service to Boise from Reno in summer 1982. it lasted about 3 months or so i think. I only ever saw one of their flights flying out of Boise. Anyone have any experiences with them?

I never had the chance to fly them. But they lasted a while at FAT, early 1981 to the end of 1983.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
wedgetail737
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:02 am



Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 29):
Many FAT people remember that Metro operator Pacific Cal Air (AX) from very early '80s? They were based in OAK, I think.

Yeah Pacific Cal Air was based at OAK. I believe they only had a handful of metros that I remember. They flew between OAK and FAT. I can't really remember since I was pretty little.

Did Pacific Coast or Inland Empire fly to FAT?
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:12 am



Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 31):
Did Pacific Coast or Inland Empire fly to FAT?

Both did.

Pacific Coast operated for 2 years at FAT, 1985 and 1985.

Inland Empire was at FAT mid-1981 to mid-1983. IEA also operated at Visalia.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
whatusaid
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:44 pm



Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 30):
I always wondered if the original, original business plan would have worked. Wasn't that written by a retired pilot? I have his name around here somewhere.

Dave Vander Lugt - great guy. There were a number of high powered Fresno-types who'd invested in the carrier, including Joe Levy, the major owner in the Gottschalks Department store chain.. The 28's was cheap to buy and expensive to keep in the air. Management had the idea that all you needed to do was schedule a flight and the people would come. While SFO-PSP did that seasonally, everything else was a problem, except FAT-LAS on the weekends.

I remember sitting around the table with management, a week prior to the FAT-LAX flights starting and there were but a handful of bookings. Well, if you're only known as the cheap way to LAS, you've a problem.

When one Air 21 guru told me of plans to start FAT-Provo, I about felt off my chair. Instead, they went head to head with Delta (oh, we're not competing they said - yea, right).

One of the people involved in the potential rescue had a solid business plan. But, the carrier was so deep in debt at that point, the glamour of owning an airline was pretty bleak.
 
timz
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RE Pacific Cal

Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:58 pm



Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 31):
Pacific Cal Air was based at OAK. I believe they only had a handful of metros that I remember.

They started with C402s-- I flew OAK-FAT-OAK for $20 on a Cessna, just for the ride.
 
FAT5DEP
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:59 pm

Regarding Air 21, do you think that whole experience damaged Fresno's reputation in other airline's eyes as a profitable place to serve and in the public's eye as a good place to fly out of? I'm just curious if that factored in to some of Fresno's low passenger counts in the 90's.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
 
whatusaid
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:25 pm



Quoting FAT5DEP (Reply 35):
Regarding Air 21, do you think that whole experience damaged Fresno's reputation in other airline's eyes as a profitable place to serve and in the public's eye as a good place to fly out of? I'm just curious if that factored in to some of Fresno's low passenger counts in the 90's.

I don't know if Air 21 actually damaged us in the eyes of other carriers. Having been involved in bringing Horizon Air to FAT, QX looked at drive-a-ways and the growing population as the basis for their decision to enter the market, not at failed carrier history. I do believe that since Fresno in the '80s (and '90s to a certain extent), was a revolving door for airlines, that when 21 failed, the drive-a-way factor may have risen some, simply due to the on-going media perception that "you can't get there from here".

Frankly, F9's departure may have done more to hurt FAT's reputation in the eye's of other carriers. No question, this market needs more capacity East. Until the prop's are shut out of LAX and SFO, I don't see that happening.
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:02 pm



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 33):
Dave Vander Lugt - great guy.

That's right, he was from elsewhere and had moved to the Exeter/Visalia area. He looked at starting out of VIS first but after crunching numbers decided FAT made more sense.

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 33):
Management had the idea that all you needed to do was schedule a flight and the people would come.

That's basically what they told Time magazine back in 1996 ""We're not pulling traffic away from anyone," says Mark Morro, chairman of Air 21, which last December began flying Fokker F.28 4000s, leased from USAir, out of Fresno. "We're bringing passengers back to the airport."

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 33):
One of the people involved in the potential rescue had a solid business plan. But, the carrier was so deep in debt at that point, the glamour of owning an airline was pretty bleak.

Something besides the PSA restart plan?

Quoting FAT5DEP (Reply 35):
I'm just curious if that factored in to some of Fresno's low passenger counts in the 90's.

I'd just add that the late 80s to early 90s were a tough time in the Valley all around. In spite of high population growth, the area economy basically went recessionary and only improved in the last 5 or 6 years.

The annual unemployment rate in Fresno County ranged from 13.5% to 15.5% during the 1990s (except for a couple of minor drops).

It fell to 10.4% in 2000 then down to 9% in 2005 and down to 8% in 2006. This year has been running about 8.5% so far.

The drop in unemployment pretty much coincides with the sharp rise with passenger numbers at FAT.

Interestingly the same numbers trend for area crime. There has been a sharp drop in crime as unemployment has dropped. In the violent crime rankings that came out this week, Fresno now is ranked safer than the City of San Francisco.

So there is hope that if we do not see a large rise in unemployment the next couple of years the airlines will really begin to notice.

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 36):
Frankly, F9's departure may have done more to hurt FAT's reputation in the eye's of other carriers. No question, this market needs more capacity East. Until the prop's are shut out of LAX and SFO, I don't see that happening.

I think XJet (if they continue) will help with the short haul market impressions. I agree that Frontier hurt the impressions for traffic east. Although I find it funny that the Fresno media have used pictures of F9 aircraft this week to talk about holiday air travel.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
whatusaid
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:11 pm

RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:37 pm



Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 37):
I think XJet (if they continue) will help with the short haul market impressions. I agree that Frontier hurt the impressions for traffic east. Although I find it funny that the Fresno media have used pictures of F9 aircraft this week to talk about holiday air travel.

You noticed that F9 picture too.... Fresno media were out at the airport after the rush this morning and they'll be out tonight at 6, when there's very little activity making some sort of comment about how people must have driven to SFO to catch a flight. This is a non-traditional Thanksgiving, with schools out all week. Travel has clearly been spread out this week...

I hear MX to GDL was sold out five nights in a row. I've heard that XE to SAN has been booked solid most of the week and is both Sun and Monday. XE to ONT was supposedly going out full today and the returns this weekend are full. LGB - FAT today, I hear was full or nearly so. The newcomers look to be doing well this holiday.

But, I'm sure we'll hear some sort of "ghost town" comment on the 6pm news...TV media is clueless.
 
AirlineBrat
Posts: 487
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RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:52 am

I see QX added a third flight to SEA for the holiday season or at least through New Years then I don't see it on the schedule after that.
I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
 
F9Animal
Posts: 3681
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:54 am



Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 33):

Dave Vander Lugt - great guy. There were a number of high powered Fresno-types who'd invested in the carrier, including Joe Levy, the major owner in the Gottschalks Department store chain.. The 28's was cheap to buy and expensive to keep in the air. Management had the idea that all you needed to do was schedule a flight and the people would come. While SFO-PSP did that seasonally, everything else was a problem, except FAT-LAS on the weekends.

I remember sitting around the table with management, a week prior to the FAT-LAX flights starting and there were but a handful of bookings. Well, if you're only known as the cheap way to LAS, you've a problem.

When one Air 21 guru told me of plans to start FAT-Provo, I about felt off my chair. Instead, they went head to head with Delta (oh, we're not competing they said - yea, right).

One of the people involved in the potential rescue had a solid business plan. But, the carrier was so deep in debt at that point, the glamour of owning an airline was pretty bleak.

Very interesting info there. I was saddened to see Air 21 fail. I used to enjoy watching them fly the old 28's into LAS. I had a ticket to fly LAX to LAS on them, but caught an earlier Tristar Airlines flight back to LAS instead. Did Air 21 have an agreement with Western Pacific or Southwest? I remember they had some type of arrangement with another airline shortly before they shut down.

How many F-28's did they have? Did they redo the interiors of the F-28's, or did they keep the old US seats in them? How was their service overall?
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
whatusaid
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:11 pm

RE: Any Fresno Airline Historians Here?

Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:16 pm

21 was a low budget carrier. Its interiors were nothing to brag on. Several of the US Air birds were never painted. 21 did not have an interline agreement, Funjet Express had an "interline" with WN to a limited number of markets, SAN being one of them, the others, I don't remember. You'd check in for both flights and you luggage would be checked through, but only if you ticketed with Funjet. You could't book on Funjet through WN. And, as noted elsewhere, you pulled up at WN gates in LAS, and the schedule was timed to connect with a 9:45am bank out of LAS. Worked great.

Tri-Star flew for Funjet Express in its latter days at FAT. Funjet lost it's Viscount 737 aircraft and chartered the Tri-State 146 to cover the route, after discussions with WN went no-where. That concept, was simple, use a WN charter to cover the route, with the interline, and show WN that secondary markets could generate incremental traffic and expand into other secondary markets. At best 10% of the FAT originating traffic was on the WN interline using either Viscount or Tri-Start aircraft.

Tri-Star was actually looking into doing a FAT-LAX run while doing the charter for Funjet. One might say, 21 helped run Funjet Express out of business. 21 was running three flights a day to LAS, load factors below 40%, but that was would good enough for them, and helped to further dilute the market. While at Funjet, we'd operated with load's close to Morris Air - upper 80's. It was, in fact, a very profitable service until 21 came along and down went the yield.

As to Air 21's service - most of my flights had only a handful of pax on-board. LA flights usually 8 to 10, SFO, mabye 15. Crew was pretty nice; I knew many of them personally, and was happy to see they moved over to Allegiant a few years later.

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