Vision Airlines

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Vision Airlines
VisionAirlinesLogo.png
IATA
V2
ICAO
RBY
Callsign
RUBY
Founded 1994 (as Vision Air)
Commenced operations February 26, 1995 ( as a Grand Canyon tour company)
Fleet size 19 [1]
Destinations None on a scheduled basis, charter only
Parent company Vision Aviation Holdings
Headquarters North Las Vegas, Nevada
Key people
Website http://www.visionairlines.com

Vision Airlines, formerly Vision Air, is an airline with its operations headquartered in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Commercial passenger flights are currently offered from Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi, (GPT) St. Petersburg/Tampa, Florida (PIE), and Sanford/Orlando, Florida (SFB).[2]

The airline also operates charter flights for their tour division of the Grand Canyon, Marble Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Monument Valley out of North Las Vegas Airport utilizing Boeing 737 and Dornier 228 aircraft. In addition, during the summer months, Vision Airlines transports white water rafters to various destinations along the Colorado River. They also operate charter service for Travelspan Vacations to Georgetown, Guyana and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

History[edit]

On January 19, 2011, Vision Airlines announced that it would begin commercial flights to 17 U.S. destinations beginning March 25, 2011 from Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS) located near Fort Walton Beach, FL and Destin, FL using Boeing 737 jet and Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft.[3] Vision was operating nonstop flights between its hub at VPS and Asheville, NC; Atlanta, GA; Baton Rouge, LA; Columbia, SC; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fort Myers, FL; Greenville/Spartanburg, SC; Huntsville, AL; Knoxville, TN; Lafayette, LA; Little Rock, AR; Louisville, KY; Orlando/Sanford, FL; Savannah, GA; St. Louis, MO; and St. Petersburg, FL. The airline also began operating nonstop Boeing 737 flights between Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Las Vegas, Nevada with these flights being an extension of the Baton Rouge service from the Northwest Florida Regional Airport, but then suspended all service on the route. Vision subsequently ceased all flights at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport and shut down its hub operation at VPS in 2012.

On June 16, 2011, Vision Airlines announced new service from Freeport, Bahamas to the United States beginning on November 11, 2011. The scheduled service to and from the Bahamas included new cities of Baltimore, Maryland; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia.[4] However, Vision then ceased all service to Freeport.

In early 2012, Vision Airlines announced that it would begin commercial flights to 11 U.S. cities beginning May 31, 2012, based in Myrtle Beach International Airport in South Carolina. Eight flights a day were to be operated from Myrtle Beach with Vision's other destinations consisting of flights between St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. This schedule was effective May 31, 2012, through October 31, 2012. Since then, Vision has suspended all service to Myrtle Beach.

Throughout 2013, Vision's only scheduled flights were from Gulfport-Biloxi to St. Petersburg and Orlando, Florida. According to the airline's website, these flights have been discontinued and Vision currently does not operate any scheduled passenger service as an indepedent airline.[5]

Vision Airlines began operating flights with three Boeing 737-400 jetliners for the new People Express Airlines ("PEOPLExpress") on June 30, 2014 from the start-up airline's hub at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF).[6] The original People Express Airlines operated a hub at Newark International Airport (EWR) from 1981 to 1987 before being merged into Continental Airlines.

Destinations[edit]

Vision had served three destinations (Gulfport, MS; Orlando, FL; and St. Petersburg, FL} in the United States and had formerly flown scheduled passenger service to a number of other U.S. cities as well as to Freeport, Bahamas in the past. Vision also flies charters to many other destinations.

Fleet[edit]

Vision Airlines 737-300

As of June 2014, the Vision Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:[1][7]

Aircraft Active Passengers Notes
F C Y Total
Dornier 328 2 30 30 1 plane operated for U.S. Government[1]
Dornier 228 11 19 19
Boeing 737-300 1 136 136
Boeing 737-400 3 12 138 150 People Express Airlines
Boeing 767-200ER 2 224 224
Total 19

Haitian relief efforts[edit]

Pilots and flight attendants from Vision Airlines volunteered to fly in supplies and emergency crews to Haiti after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Vision Airlines loaded planes in Miami and Atlanta with rescue workers, search dogs, water and medicine.[8]

Spy swap[edit]

Main article: Illegals Program

On July 9, 2010, the United States government chartered a Vision Airlines jet to transport ten Russian "illegals" (spies) to Vienna and collect four alleged Western spies in the largest known prisoner swap since the Cold War.[9][10]

NASCAR sponsorship[edit]

In 2011, Vision Airlines sponsored the 15 and 51 trucks (driven by Justin Johnson and Dusty Davis, respectively) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as Vision Aviation Racing.

Litigation[edit]

In January 2013, Okaloosa County, Florida, filed a lawsuit against Vision Airlines to recoup more than $146,000 in unpaid fees. In December 2012, the Okaloosa County Commission voted to sue if the discount carrier did not pay its debt, or at least develop a new payment schedule, before the end of the year. Harry Chiles, an attorney with the Tallahassee law firm of Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson, said Vision Airlines will have 20 days to file a response to the lawsuit after they are served paperwork.

Vision Airlines began offering flights at Northwest Florida Regional Airport in December 2010 but did not make its first passenger facility charge payment until October 2011, when it sent a $55,000 payment. The airline then agreed to a plan to make weekly payments of $25,000, which would have paid off the debt in only 11 weeks. After that, though, the payments slowed and eventually stopped altogether. Vision also stopped communicating with the airport and did not respond to media inquiries. Vision owes similar debts in other cities it served, including Louisville, Kentucky; Gulfport, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Vision Airlines (USA) Fleet". ch-aviation.ch. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  2. ^ http://www.visionairlines.com
  3. ^ "Vision Airlines expanding NWF Regional Airport flights | airport, vision, flights - News - Crestview News Bulletin". Crestviewbulletin.com. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  4. ^ "Vision Airlines Announces New Non-Stop Flights to Grand Bahama Beginning in November,... - SUWANEE, Ga., June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/". Bahamas, Georgia: Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  5. ^ http://www.visionairlines.com, Destinations & Route Map
  6. ^ http://www.flypex.com
  7. ^ "Vision Fleet". visionairlines.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  8. ^ blackvegas (2010-01-16). "Vision Airlines, based in North Las Vegas, plays role in Haiti relief - News - ReviewJournal.com". Lvrj.com. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  9. ^ Kulish, Nicholas; et al. (July 9, 2010). "Prisoner Swap in Vienna Ends U.S.–Russia Espionage Case". New York Times. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Spies Swapped by US and Russia at Vienna Airport". BBC News. July 9, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  11. ^ http://www.nwfdailynews.com/local/okaloosa-to-file-suit-against-vision-airlines-this-week-1.78899

External links[edit]