Emerald Air (United States)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Emerald Air
Commenced operations 1978
Ceased operations 1991
Fleet size 3 Douglas DC-9
Fairchild Hiller FH-227
Destinations Columbus, Ohio; Houston, Texas; see Independent operations below
Headquarters Austin, Texas, United States
This article is about Emerald Air (1978-1985). For Emerald Air founded in 1995, see Emerald Air (1995).

Emerald Air (IATA: OD) was an airline headquartered in Austin, Texas, United States.[1] It was formerly known as Emerald Valley Airlines. Emerald Airlines' brief history is marked by arrangements to feed connecting flights into both passenger airlines and cargo airlines much larger route systems. The airline also independently operated scheduled passenger flights within the state of Texas during the mid-1980s with Douglas DC-9 jet and Fairchild Hiller FH-227 turboprop aircraft.[2]

Operations for Purlolator Courier[edit]

Emerald began operating scheduled cargo flights, which fed Purolator Courier's Columbus, Ohio hub, in October 1978.

Operations for Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)[edit]

In June 1981 the airline began scheduled flights to feed Pan American World Airways's Houston hub. Emerald was promoted in print advertising by the carriers as Emerald the Pan Am Express.

Operations for Continental Airlines[edit]

For a brief time in the mid-1980s, Emerald Air operated a connecting jet shuttle service on behalf of Continental Airlines between Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Houston Hobby Airport (HOU), which was called the Houston Proud Express. Unlike the Pan Am operations in which Pan Am markings and aircraft livery were not used; Emerald in this situation, painted its aircraft to mimic those of Continental Airlines' then present orange colors and scheme. This "cross-town" service in Houston was operated with Douglas DC-9 jet aircraft.

Independent operations[edit]

Emerald Air also independently operated scheduled passenger flights within the state of Texas in the mid-1980s. According to the Emerald Air system timetable dated March 15, 1984, the following cities were served with Douglas DC-9 jet and Fairchild Hiller FH-227 turboprop aircraft:[3]

  • Austin
  • Corpus Christi
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • Houston
  • McAllen
  • San Antonio

According to this timetable, Emerald Air was flying nonstop service on the following routes: Austin-Houston, Corpus Christi-Dallas/Ft. Worth, Corpus Christi-Houston, Corpus Christi-McAllen, Dallas/Ft. Worth-McAllen, Houston-McAllen, Houston-San Antonio and McAllen-San Antonio. Most of these flights were operated with DC-9 jet aircraft.

In September of 1984, Emerald Air then extended its scheduled passenger service north from Dallas/Ft. Worth with a DC-9 jet flight nonstop to Wichita, KS with continuing same plane service to Omaha, NE.[4]

Bankruptcy and acquisition by Bia Cor Holdings Inc.[edit]

By 1985 Emerald ceased operations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[1] In 1991, BIA-COR Holdings Inc., acquired Emerald Air's FAA and DOT operating certificate, along with Emerald's three McDonnell Douglas DC-9-14 aircraft; and renamed the carrier Braniff International Airlines, Inc., before promptly going out of business. Parts of Emerald thus became the third and final resurrection of the Braniff name.[1]


Emerald Air operated a small fleet of the following jet and turboprop aircraft:[5]


  1. ^ a b World Airline Directory. Flight International. March 30, 1985. 77.
  2. ^ departedflights.com, Emerald Air March 15, 1984 system timetable
  3. ^ departedflights.com, Emerald Air March 15, 1984 system timetable
  4. ^ departedflights.com, Emerald Air Sept. 15, 1984 system timetable route map
  5. ^ Aviation Photos: Emerald AirEmerald Airways Continental's Houston Proud Express (Emerald Air)