|Destinations||14 (as of April 2011)|
|Company slogan||Travel For Your Best Friend|
|Headquarters||Delray Beach, Florida|
|Key people||Dan Wiesel (CEO)
Alysa Binder (CDO)
Pet Airways (OTCQB: PAWS) was an American company headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, that specialized exclusively in air transportation of pets, using contracted small air carriers. The airline claimed to be the first designed specifically for pets.
When the airline began in 2009, airfare per pet started at $150, and was based on the pet's size and the distance traveled. The average cost is about $500 per flight, though an individual flight can cost over $1,200 for a large animal. Flights could be booked online.
The pets ("pawsengers", in their terminology) were checked in to a pet lounge at each airport at which the airline operated. Owners could track their pets en route via the website. Airline staff gave all pets pre-boarding walks and bathroom breaks. During the flight, the pets were under the care of trained attendants, checked on at least every 15 minutes for the flight's duration.
The company was founded by Dan Wiesel and Alysa Binder, who got the idea when planning a trip with their dog. The launch of the company was funded by a group of investors. In August 2010, the company announced that it had combined with a public company through a share exchange with American Antiquities, and in October 2010 announced that it would be traded on the OTC BB as PAWS.
Operations commenced in 2009, flown by Omaha, Nebraska-based Suburban Air Freight who staffed and operated the aircraft and flights under their ICAO code SUB . Suburban operated 19-seat, two-engine Beechcraft 1900s, which has the seats in the main cabin removed to make room for the pet carriers. The cabin is pressurized and climate controlled. Suburban stopped flying for Pet Airways in September 2011 and declined to elaborate on reasons.
In April 2011 the company announced that would start service at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and began leasing space in July. In October, the airport cancelled the lease after the airline fell behind on payments; the airline had not started service at that point.
In February 2012 The New York Times reported that Pet Airways had run into financial problems, canceling flights at the last minute, leaving customers and pets with no recourse, and that customers had reported difficulty getting refunds. In a regulatory filing that month, the company said, "We have experienced a history of losses and have yet to begin generating positive cash flows from operations and, as a result, our auditors have raised substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern." Since 2013, the airline has apparently ceased operations, and its website is no longer functioning.
The company launched its first weekly flight on July 14, 2009, serving nine US cities—New York City, Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Chicago, Omaha, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Phoenix, Denver and Los Angeles. In April 2011 it announced addition of three Texas destinations (Dallas, Houston and Austin), St. Louis, and Orlando, but did not commence service. Pet Airways announced plans to expand to 25 cities by late 2011.
- "Pet-only airline will soon fly out of St. Louis". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 20, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Pet-only airline prepares to take flight". UPI. Archived from the original on December 23, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
- "Contact Us." Pet Airways. Retrieved on May 3, 2012. "Corporate Headquarters 777 E. Atlantic Ave. Suite C2-264 Delray Beach, FL 33483"
- Huettel, Steve (April 1, 2009). "Pet Airways could make pet travel easier, if it takes off". St. Petersburg Times.
- "'Bone voyage' as pets get airline". BBC. April 17, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
- "New Airline Offers Service Exclusively To Pets". New York, NY: CBS Broadcasting. July 14, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2009.[dead link]
- "Fur starts to fly as Pet Airways takes to the skies". CTV. July 9, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- Ken Leiser (March 4, 2012). "Pet-only airline a no-show in St. Louis". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- "Pet Airways hits the skies: Stressful experience spurs pet airline, a welcome alternative to flying cargo". New York, NY. July 15, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- Craig, Susanne (2012-02-10). "At an Airline That Caters to Pets, the Humans Are Howling". NY Times.
- Walker, Blair S. (1 September 2009), "Pet Airline Takes Off", AARP Bulletin, In the News (AARP Publications) 50 (7): 6, ISSN 1044-1123, archived from the original on 23 December 2009, retrieved 23 December 2009
- "Where We Fly". Delray Beach, Florida. Retrieved July 24, 2009.