Midway Airlines (1993–2003)

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This article is about the Midway Airlines that operated from 1993 to 2003. For the Midway Airlines that operated from 1976 to 1991, see Midway Airlines (1976-1991).
Midway Airlines
Logonamemidwayairlines1994.jpg
IATA
JI
ICAO
MDW
Callsign
MIDWAY
Founded November 15, 1993[1]
Ceased operations October 30, 2003
Hubs Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Frequent-flyer program AAdvantage (through American Airlines)
Fleet size 33
Destinations 33
Headquarters Morrisville, North Carolina
Key people Robert R. Ferguson (CEO)
Website Midwayair.com
A Midway Airlines Boeing 737-700.

Midway Airlines was an airline based in Morrisville, North Carolina, USA, between Raleigh and Durham.[2] It operated between 1993 and 2003.

History[edit]

Midway Airlines was formed by Jet Express, a carrier that fed Trans World Airlines and USAir during the late 1980s and early 1990s. After an abortive attempt at New York-Chicago service as well as Chicago-Denver, Chicago-Dallas, Midway moved to Morrisville, North Carolina and set up a hub at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Midway's arrival at RDU coincided with the closure of an American Airlines hub there.

At the height of its operations, Midway offered almost 200 flights daily from RDU to 25 destinations on the East Coast, and was used by many passengers travelling between the Northeast and Southeast.

Midway used a variety of aircraft while hubbed at RDU. Initially the fleet consisted only of the Fokker F100. Midway added Airbus 320s to fly longer routes, but these routes eventually became unprofitable and the 320s were sold or disposed of. Midway then obtained a large number of Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-100 (CL-160s) for expansion. As time passed the F100s became expensive to operate, so Midway replaced them with Boeing 737-700s. In November 2000, Midway expanded non-stop service from RDU to San Jose (SJC) & also to Los Angeles (LAX) in Ca. Additionally, they started non-stop service to Denver (DEN) and seasonal service to Steamboat Springs, both in Colorado.

Two regional airline carriers, first Great Lakes Aviation and later Corporate Airlines, also flew Beechcraft 1900 and Jetstream 31 aircraft respectively, providing service between smaller markets and RDU.

The high-tech slump of 2000-01, but more importantly the commencement of operations at RDU by low cost carrier Southwest Airlines, hurt Midway, and the carrier abruptly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on the evening of August 13, 2001. Thousands of employees were laid off immediately with no warning, and their access cards to the airport ramp were deactivated overnight.[3] Increasingly relying on the higher seating capacity of the 737-700s, Midway continued to fly during reorganization; but after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Midway never restarted operations after airspace was shut down, and ceased operations on September 12 (the last flights were on the morning of 9/11).

Following $12.5M in financial infusion from the US federal government, Midway resumed service utilizing their fleet of 12 Boeing 737-700 aircraft from RDU under its own livery on December 19, 2001. They continued this service until US Airways offered to have Midway fly regional jets as US Airways Express. On July 17, 2002, Midway once again abruptly discontinued service and disposed of its fleet of 737s and without warning, again laid off all employees. They remained closed until February 2003. At that time, they commenced operations as US Airways Express, with limited service offered from hubs in both RDU and Washington Reagan International Airport (DCA). They operated with 6 regional RJ-100's serving the East Coast Cities and some mid-west destinations. They finally ceased operations on October 30, 2003 through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy when it was unable to acquire enough capital to stay afloat despite a private equity firm's infusions during the course of Midway's history. The same private equity firm Wexford Capital eventually became involved with Republic Airways Holdings after disposing of its interests in Midway Airlines along with National Airlines after the 9/11 terrorist attack which affected the airline industry so drastically.

Midway destinations[edit]

Fleet[edit]

Mainline[edit]

Outsourced[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Norwood, Tom; Wegg, John (2002). North American Airlines Handbook (3rd ed.). Sandpoint, ID: Airways International. p. 70. ISBN 0-9653993-8-9. 
  2. ^ "Corporate Information." Midway Airlines. April 18, 2000. Retrieved on January 29, 2010.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "[2]." airliners.net, September 2001. Retrieved on October 29, 2011.

External links[edit]