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?