Legend Airlines

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Legend Airlines
Founded 2000
Ceased operations 2005
Headquarters Dallas Love Field
Dallas, Texas
Website http://legendairlines.com

Legend Airlines was an airline that had its headquarters on the grounds of Dallas Love Field.[1] Legend flew primarily from Love Field, Dallas, Texas, USA for a matter of months, during 2000. The airline filed for bankruptcy five years after it was formed as a corporate entity, its initial flights having been substantially delayed by court battles with American Airlines and the City of Fort Worth.


Legend Airlines was the brainchild of T. Allan McArtor, former FAA Administrator, Federal Express executive and Air Force pilot. Mr. McArtor was also a member of the United States Air Force precision flying team, the Thunderbirds.

The airline was envisioned to provide a new category of service to its passengers, where the entire aircraft was an improved form of business class. Seats were wider, and the removal of several rows of seats from its DC-9 jets added legroom. In addition, several Dallas-area chefs were commissioned to create meals for the airline. Meals were served on real china, with silverware, rather than plastic trays and utensils. The emphasis was on providing a class trip to business destinations.

Legend Airlines began service to four cities in the spring of 2000. Dallas (Love Field) was their hub city. Additional service was first offered to Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. New York City was added to the service schedule at a later date. Locations were chosen on the basis of business travellers' needs to fly into the central airport of the city rather than to outlying airports.

The airline provided service which bypassed the restrictions imposed by the Wright Amendment, which limits long-range passenger service into Love Field. Since the airline flew 56-seat planes, below the Wright Amendment limit that restricted passenger travel through Love, they could fly to airports outside the amendment's defined range. The airline flew 56-seat aircraft out of Love to Los Angeles International Airport and Dulles International Airport in Washington, among others. American, in turn, re-configured a number of its Fokker F100 jets to 56 seats so that it could compete.[2]

Legend Airlines spent most of its existence locked in a legal battle with American Airlines. American Airlines sued in federal court to prevent Legend Airlines from operating out of Love Field under the provisions of the Wright Amendment. Each time Legend's right to fly was upheld by a court, American immediately appealed the decision to a higher court. The constant legal struggle was a serious drain on the fledgling company's financial resources, and would be a major factor in the airline's eventual failure.

Legend Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2000, and suspended flight operations on December 3, 2000. The airline surrendered its operating certificate to the FAA in March 2005. The airline lost over $44 million in its four year existence.

In 2006, the former Legend Airlines terminal again became the focus of legal controversy, when the City of Dallas began to make moves to use eminent domain to seize and then raze the structure in order to comply with provisions of the Wright Repeal law signed by President George W. Bush.

In-flight services[edit]

The airline offered meals which it described as "celebrity-chef crafted", AT&T Airfones and DirecTV service.[3]

Executive terminal[edit]

Legend operated an executive terminal at 7777 Lemmon Avenue and Lovers Lane.[3]


Legend flew McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 aircraft with 56 seats.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 21–27, 2000. 91.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b "Legend Airlines…non-stop non-coach." Legend Airlines. Retrieved on February 16, 2009.

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