Matt D
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Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:35 am

This was a strange little startup airline; probably doomed from the word go. Either that or they were a front for something else. Who knows.

Anyway, Grand was a Las Vegas based "Second Wave Startup" airline. They flew a couple of DC-9's. Their route system was pretty off and pretty flimsy: LAS to OAK, DFW, and IAH. Plus a few days a week, they flew to Mexico. I think it was Cabo, but I don't remember for sure. They didn't last long, maybe 2 years tops, roughly from mid 1995 (which is when these pictures were taken) to sometime in 1996. And what's up with that tail logo? Anyone care to explain it to me? It looks more like something I would expect on some third rate Asian startup as opposed to an LAS based one, although in all fairness, from what I was able to see, this airline was pretty third rate just the same. I never saw any advertising on them nor did I hear or read any reports on what their service was like.

Their fleet was pretty basic: just a couple of DC-9's painted in this rather drab (unmatched) color scheme. As I recall, towards the end of their existence, another livery emerged. It was all yellow with "billboard" style blue "GRAND" titles on it. I never photographed it. And I also don't know if it was a third a/c acquired or if it was a repaint of one of these two.

Anyway, the first two shots show each plane taxiing past the "A" gates at LAS, as seen from the concourse. I apologize for the reflections, but the windows were double paned and heavily tinted. I tried to pick the best windows I could to shoot from. And I tried cleaning up the pix as best as I could.

The third shot, obviously taken at another time was from the parking garage looking down on where they parked at the "A" terminal.

Also, just as an FYI, these gates at the time were also used by Reno Air, MarkAir, USAir, Western Pacific, and Frontier. Does anyone know who (if anyone) uses them now?

Thanks for looking.

http://x-2000r.angelcities.com/images/Planes/Grand1.JPG
http://x-2000r.angelcities.com/images/Planes/Grand2.JPG
http://x-2000r.angelcities.com/images/Planes/Grand3.JPG

[Edited 2007-01-07 20:39:46]
 
wedgetail737
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:51 am

Aren't these gates being used by Champion Airways and the like?

I saw Grand Airways DC-9-30's once at OAK and, actually, it went out with a full load. I think Grand Airways was attempting to take up the slack left by Sunworld Airways when they left.

One more thing, wasn't Grand Airways a Metroliner operator up in the northern tier of the US at one time?
 
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hawaiian717
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:14 am

Deregulation Knockouts, Round Two covers the airline.

The billboard title one was a third DC-9, N977ML, ex-Midway.

They started in 1980 as an air taxi operator, using Cessna 402s and other aircraft doing Grand Canyon air tours. They began scheduled commuter services in 1989 from SoCal to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, and later added Metro IIIs.

First DC-9 was acquired in early 1994 for LAS-OAK and LAS-PSP. The Metros were gone by mid-1994. October 1994 they added DFW, and also briefly served ATL, PHX, and Houston.

Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 28, 1995 and ended flights on January 4, 1996.
 
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United_fan
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:47 am

What's with the funny color of the MGM Grand ? Were they still building it?

Check out the TZ L1011 and the unknown 727...them were the days....

[Edited 2007-01-07 22:03:55]
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hawaiian717
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:42 am

Quoting United_Fan (Reply 3):
unknown 727

That's Express One:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Javier Rodriguez - Iberian Spotters

 
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United_fan
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:21 am

yep,that's what i thought.
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stirling
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:01 pm

Quoting Hawaiian717 (Reply 4):
That's Express One:

Operating for what is most likely Western Pacific.
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Matt D
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:16 pm

Operating for what is most likely Western Pacific.

Actually I believe that the Express One 727's that flew for WestPac had WP logos on both the forward door and the tail.

As for the "odd color" of the MGM, I beleive it was already done at the time of the pictures. The off color is probably simply the way I processed the pictures.

And I'm still waiting for someone to explain the Grand logo to me.
 
F9Animal
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:04 pm

Grand Airways originally operated Metro's. Then they decided to give it a shot with DC-9's. They also flew some routes to I think DFW and Cabo. They also painted their planes all yellow, kind of like Hughes colors.

I think Alaska utilizes the gates shown now.

The aircraft went on to fly for Valujet. In fact, the captain of Valujet 592 was a former Grand Airways pilot. The aircraft that crashed if not mistaken was also a former Grand Airways aircraft. I had the opportunity to meet her before Grand folded. The flight crews were always pleasant and happy.

The airline was very private and quiet. I have a few timetables from them, and I will dig them up and post a flight schedule tomorrow.
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F9Animal
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:11 pm

Correction. The aircraft was not Valujet 592. Sorry! The plane lost was N1281L. The Grand plane you have pictured was N1271L. However, this may have been Grand Airways 3rd aircraft. Someone might be able to clarify it. I could have sworn that it was a former Grand Airways aircraft that went down.

[Edited 2007-01-08 06:18:35]
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lasbagman
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:41 pm

I worked for QD - Grand Airways in PSP.
The airline was owned by Sid Siddiqui . The manager was Debbie Kelley
and she was a sweetheart. We used the Dc9 a few times from psp.

for the Metro, we had 1 ramper and me. I ws gates, check in and ops.
I only did part time, Iworked for Canadian with my other Job.

Grand failed to pay the airport landing fees and fuel bills. We were holding all cash from ticket sales until our checks were cashed without problems.
Grand also failed to pay in to CA state unemployment.
They rectified this.

I liked the people i worked with, however itwas low pay and I NEVER
flew on them to LAS.
 
crownvic
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:14 pm

As Lasbagman pointed out, the owner was Sid Siddiqui who I believe was of Middle East or Arabic background. The logo on the tail had something to do with his ethnic background, if I recall correctly.

The Mexico flights did operate to Cabo and some of the schedules were Public Charter that operated for tour operators.
 
wedgetail737
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:11 pm

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 8):
I think Alaska utilizes the gates shown now.

Alaska now uses the brand new concourse in Terminal D, right next to Jetblue.
 
flyboy7974
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:31 pm

The name reflects their first ventures I thought, service to the Grand Canyon. I have a brochure from the airline when they attempted service from LAX to the Grand Canyon and the metroliner almost looks like a corporate aircraft. From there, didn't they then move into scheduled services and that's when the PSP service was initiated and shortly thereafter the DC-9 a/c were acquired for the original OAK service and then PHX/IAH/DFW/SJD and somebody here also mentioned ATL but my timetables don't show that service. Below are the two timetables I have for the airline.


EFFECTIVE NOV 11, 1994 to MAR 31, 1995

DFW - LAS

345pm 430pm flight 445 X26
955pm 1045pm flight 471 5,7

IAH - LAS

340pm 445pm flight 555 X236

LAS - DFW

1030am 300pm flight 140 X26
500pm 930pm flight 166 5, 7

LAS - IAH

1015am 305pm flight 243 X236

LAS - OAK

530pm 650pm flight 555 X236
530pm 650pm flight 147 2, 3
915pm 1035pm flight 136 5, 6, 7

OAK - LAS

815am 930am flight 243 Daily
715pm 830pm flight 234 5, 7


have to go, so don't have time to list the next timetable where PHX was added with service to LAS/DFW. Public charters also began to Cabo with their own Grand Vacation tour department
 
JohnJ
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:43 pm

I flew Grand once OAK-LAS in 1995 - the fare was what won my business. The equipment was a DC-9-30, and I recall that it seemed in reasonable shape, and the beer was cheap. I have some video I shot from that trip, including some cabin scenes, but no still photos. They provided a basic service, and from my standpoint they did it pretty well. I can't remember having any complaints with them.
 
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United_fan
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:24 am

Quoting Matt D (Reply 7):

As for the "odd color" of the MGM, I beleive it was already done at the time of the pictures. The off color is probably simply the way I processed the pictures.

That makes sense  Smile
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F9Animal
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RE: Flashback: Grand Airways At LAS

Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:53 pm

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 12):
Alaska now uses the brand new concourse in Terminal D, right next to Jetblue.

Thanks Wedgetail, I still thought they were running out of the A's. They were talking about moving to the D's a few years ago, but they did not seem to be in any hurry to leave the A's.
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