The airline was established in 1967 as a regional airline. In 1967, Altair's main shareholder was Tristram Colket and it had 587 employees. In May 1970, Altair Airlines was reported by the Civil Aeronautics Board to have the highest bumping rate. Altair attempted to return to profitability by expanding their services to new hubs along the East Coast and by taking on a fleet of DC-9 jets but profits never were able to outpace the debts incurred. In November 1982, Altair owed more than one million dollars in jet fuel costs to Gulf Oil Corporation who, after a protracted period of negotiating, demanded immediate payment. Altair had little choice but to seek legal protection. In 1982, Altair filed for bankruptcy due to its many debts. Its last president was Henry P. Hill. Many of Altair's dedicated employees found employment at other airlines with facilities at Philadelphia International Airport.