Matt D
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Reno Air: In Memorium

Tue Aug 29, 2000 8:12 am

This Wednesday, August 30 marks the one year anniversary of the death of one of the finest airlines the West has ever seen:
Reno Air's last day of service was August 30, 1999. The following day, it was all over, and they became American Airlines.

On July 1, 1992, while the entire country was mired in a deep recession, a lone MD-80 painted in the beautiful green, silver and white livery that was Reno Air's only.
Service was just to three cities.
By 1999, Reno's fleet had grown to more than 30 planes including MD-80's, MD-87's and one of only 2 US airlines to use the MD-90.
Reno had grown to serve many cities from San Diego in the South to Anchorage and Fairbanks in the North to Chicago in the East, and many cities in between.
Reno was based in what has to be the most cutthroat market in the world. Battling Southwest, United (Shuttle), Alaska, Morris Air, MarkAir, and even Northwest at every turn. They still managed to build an enviable following and carve out a respectable niche.
From just a handful of flights in Reno, they had established additional hubs in San Jose, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Their service was virtually second to none. I had the chance to sample them a few times, and I must say, they were a refreshing change to the norm.
During their 7 year existence, they never crashed an airplane, or killed a single person.
Reno Air was a bright spot in what has been an industry held in such high disdain by the public.
Sadly, American saw their assets and potential to expand their service. Reno Air was bought out by the big ugly aluminum airline.
Their trademark, and distinctive livery began to vanish in the weeks prior to their integration by American.
Reno will be missed. They were an honest effort ran by many hard working dedicated employees. They were in it for the long haul. Not some fly-by-night outfit like several others we've seen.

The three mountains will be missed.
I've been to Reno Cannon Int'l airport, and if you look to the southwest from the airport, the Sierra Nevada's provide a backdrop that bore a striking resemblence to those MD-80 tails...........

Can someone please do the honors and post some pix of them for this post?

RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Tue Aug 29, 2000 9:08 am

Two of my favorite QQ shots.........

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Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Richard Silagi

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Richard Silagi

I loved Reno Air......

And lets not forget QQ's little sister....

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Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Richard Silagi

Richard Silagi
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Tue Aug 29, 2000 10:41 am

I always wanted to fly QQ but I never got the chance, how sad! I wish they had operated to BUR more steadily for west coast flights it's easier to go there than LAX. What will happen to their planes? Will they stay in AA colors, I liked the mountains better! Will AA keep those MD90s? I hope so. The MD-90 is so rare, I wish it made it like the MD-80. Oh well, lets hope all those MD's keep flying for AA.

RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Tue Aug 29, 2000 10:51 am

The MD90's are supposed to be gone within the next month or two. They are going to Boeing as trade-in's for new B737-800's. The rest of the ex-QQ -82's and -87's should disappear as their leases expire. They will not become permanent members of the AA fleet. AA does not want to spend the money to convert them to AA standards.

RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Tue Aug 29, 2000 8:05 pm

What will Boeing do with a small fleet of MD90s? Whoelse has a good sized fleet of m90s? Delta right?
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Tue Aug 29, 2000 8:11 pm

I think the MD90's that Boeing will take as trade-in's for the 738's will likely end up at Delta. I think Delta will welcome the MD90's, since DL is the only other US operator of the MD90 and because of the V2500 engines, they have a quiet, clean-burning and efficient plane that can fly at least till 2010 flying DL's routes in the southeastern USA.
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Tue Aug 29, 2000 8:47 pm

I doubt that Delta will take the MD-90s. They are already in the process of looking for replacements. They once had about 30 or more on order but only took delivery of about 10. Boeing products look like a likely replacement, probably the B737-800, which they have many of already. Reno was a great airline. They had some of the best service in the West. However, it was inevitable that they would be bought out. United was the main competitor, flying many routes with their low cost Shuttle. Because of this, it was only a matter of time before something gave.... Unfortunately, it was American, and all they gave was a take over offer. Sad that another airline bites the dust and is taken over by another major.....

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Reno Air Express?

Wed Aug 30, 2000 1:53 am

I wasn't aware that Reno Air had a feeder carrier. How many J31's did they operate? Where they also based from RNO? What routes did they serve? Thanks for any information.
By the way, I too thought it was sad to see Reno Air go. As said earlier, they were a thriving airline, and still had so much potential. I would have liked to see an even greater gradual expansion into the Midwest and East. I sadly never got to experience their fine service.
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Wed Aug 30, 2000 2:26 am

CO provided QQ's ground handling at LAX for it's first two years of operation. I always enjoyed working those flights and was very sad when QQ became AA snackfood.
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Wed Aug 30, 2000 4:54 am

>The MD90's are supposed to be gone within the
>next month or two.

Two in March 2001 and three in April 2001. At least that's the latest rumor from the fleet manager's desk (as of today).

>They are going to Boeing as trade-in's for new

AA ordered 20 B757-200s and as part of that order Boeing will take the 5 MD90s and 5 MD87s in trade.

>The rest of the ex-QQ -82's and -87's should
>disappear as their leases expire.

Many will probably leave prior to lease expiration dates since most leases are long term, longer than AA is willing to operate a small, unique and to be retired fleet type.

>What will Boeing do with a small fleet of MD90s?

Boeing is advertising the 5 MD90 aircraft for lease with availability in 2nd quarter and 3rd quarter next year.

>I doubt that Delta will take the MD-90s. They are
>already in the process of looking for replacements.

Delta tried to sell their (25 I think) MD90s to AA after AA purchased Reno. Obviously Delta doesn't want the MD90s either.

>Reno was a great airline. They had some of the
>best service in the West. However, it was
>inevitable that they would be bought out.

Reno management was actively trying to sell the airline. AA was the most likely choice due to shared AAdvantage members. AA management decided to purchase Reno to keep those AAdvantage members rather than lose them to a competitor.

*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Wed Aug 30, 2000 6:18 am

Its not Reno Cannon International airport anymore, its Reno/Tahoe International, and the terminal is named Cannon International Terminal, although there are no international flights to/from Reno.
I see those mountain backdrops every time I take the 60 mile drive to Reno. Delta operates only md-90's (I flew on one!) to Reno so maybe Delta will get those AA md-90's and increase service here, maybe not.

P.S. when I lived in Alaska I flew on MarkAir also, my dad worked for them as a baggage handler at small Kodiak airport (ADQ)
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Wed Aug 30, 2000 6:25 am

AA is already in the process of "streamlining" Reno's routes. There used to be four QQ flights to Reno from SAN, now there are no AA nonstops, or even direct flights. I also recall that QQ may have flown to LAS from SAN. Can anyone confirm this? Also, does anyone know of other routes that QQ used to operate that AA has severed since the takeover?

Aaron G.

RE: Reno Air Express

Wed Aug 30, 2000 3:44 pm

Reno Air Express was very short lived. Flights started in August of 1994 and ending in Feb 95. Flights were operated by Mid Pacific Airlines (yes the former Hawaiian inter-island airline). Flights operated out of QQ's SJC hub. I do not remember the exact routes flown, but from what I can remember they went to Santa Rosa, Sacramento, San Luis Obisbo and I think Lake Tahoe. I do not remember exactly.

Reno Air Express had 7 Jetstreams (N639JX, N642JX, N644JX, N650JX, N777JX, N778JX).

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Richard Silagi

After AA gave QQ a lot of it's former Air Cal routes, SJC became Reno Air's main hub, not RNO. They really should have renamed the airline, San Jose Air.

Reno Air Express came had a premature death due to it's parent company, MPAC, having financial problems. MPAC also operated a fleet of B146's freighters in the eastern US.

Richard Silagi
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Wed Aug 30, 2000 4:46 pm

Concerning the md90s

If we look around the world there are really only three carriers which have md90s in some numbers, so unless they go to a startup or some carrier who wants to operate them without any communality we should expect them to go to Delta, SAS or Saudia.

I saw some rumors on the web that SAS were in talks with Boeing. But with only so few carriers having md90s in their fleet, these airlines have a very good bargaining position. Boeing might have to offer them the 90s really cheap.

One should think that Delta would like to take them also if the price were right. After all they run a business, not some sort of "I like this toy better than that" show. As far as I've heard SAS was always satisfied with their md90s, so why would Delta dislike the same type so much?
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Wed Aug 30, 2000 9:51 pm

TWA might snap up those MD-90s since they do have a significant MD-80, 83, and 717 fleet. No that airline has alot of T tailed aircraft. They can use it to fly to destinations like JFK-San Juan Puerto Rico and other points in the carribean or the midwest. They can also use the planes flying in and out of STL.
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RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Thu Aug 31, 2000 9:32 am

I don't wish to say too much bad about Reno, because in general they were a good carrier. HOWEVER, I never saw planes that were so dirty and seats so threadbare as I did on certain Reno Air flights. The seat pitch was good on some planes and the seats on the MD-90s were quite comfy, but otherwise, the AA seats are a welcome change. Also, American had to cancel a lot of Reno's former flights in the fall of 1999 just to get some of the aircraft back in operating condition that met AA's standards.

RE: Reno Air: In Memorium

Thu Aug 31, 2000 2:06 pm

I only flew QQ twice, but it was the only opportunity I've ever had to visit the flight deck on a jet. I was flying on a MD-82 from SFO to LAX and we were told that our departure would be delayed by an hour or so, but that we'd remain on the plane. I told the f/a I was a student pilot and asked if the pilot would mind a visit and she said yes without hesitation. The f/o was actually flying one of his first flights w/QQ, so he was quite accomodating, as was the pilot. They let me hang out until they spooled 'em up, and it was a blast. So, so long to a great airline, thanks again for the excellent memory.


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