Jet America Airlines

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Jet America Airlines
Jetamerica 1980s logo.gif
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedSeptember 1980
Commenced operationsNovember 16, 1981
Ceased operationsOctober 1, 1987 (merged into Alaska Airlines)
HubsLas Vegas McCarran International Airport, Long Beach Airport
Fleet size10
Destinations11 (at the time of its acquisition by Alaska Airlines)
HeadquartersSignal Hill, California
Key peopleJ. Thomas Talbot
Alan Kenison
Ted Shown
George Chelius
Don Rhodes
Tim Collins
Jet America MD-82 at Long Beach Airport

Jet America Airlines was an airline that operated domestic flights in the United States between 1981 and 1987. It was headquartered in Signal Hill, California, near Long Beach.[1][2][3]


Jet America acquired its name from the existing Jet America, Inc., a charter operator of six Lear Jets based in Washington, DC. Headed by executives from AirCal and Air Florida, the airline began operating on November 16, 1981, with a flight from its home base at Long Beach Airport (LGB) to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD). The airline later added service to five other destinations and subsequently introduced flights to other cities as well. The airline operated a fleet of eight McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft, plus two Boeing 707 aircraft which were based in Philadelphia during the summer of 1984 for charter work.[citation needed]

In 1985 Jet America joined with Disney to advertise a direct route from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Long Beach Airport for people to visit Disneyland in its 30th anniversary year. Many of these ads were played during Texas Rangers baseball games or were placed in the team's programs and calendar.[citation needed] Also in 1985, the airline was operating nonstop service between Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Long Beach, Oakland and St. Louis.[4]

In the summer of 1986, Jet America was operating a small hub at the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) with nonstop jet service to Burbank (BUR), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW), Long Beach (LGB), Milwaukee (MKE), Ontario (ONT), Orange County (SNA) and St. Louis (STL) as well as direct one stop flights to Detroit (DTW) and Washington, D.C. (DCA).[5]

In the spring of 1987, the airline was operating direct, no change of plane service between the west coast and the east coast of the U.S. including a round trip multi-stop flight with a routing of Orange County (SNA) - Portland (PDX) - Seattle (SEA) - Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) - Washington, D.C. (DCA) as well as a Long Beach (LGB) - Chicago (ORD) - Washington, D.C. (DCA) round trip flight.[6]

Late in 1986, the airline received buyout offers from Delta Air Lines and Alaska Air Group.[7] The airline accepted Alaska Airlines' bid and by the end of the year the acquisition had been completed. After initially attempting to operate the two airlines separately but finding it costly to do so, Jet America was merged into Alaska Airlines on October 1, 1987.[citation needed]

Destinations in 1987[edit]

In June 1987 shortly before it was acquired by Alaska Airlines, Jet America was serving eleven destinations in the United States:[8]

Washington, DC

Previous destinations[edit]

Jet America also previously served the following destinations during its existence:[9][10]



Jet America operated a total of ten aircraft:

Jet America Airlines Fleet[11]
Aircraft Total Passengers Notes
Boeing 707-300 2 Charter operations only
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 8 Two (2) additional aircraft were ordered but never delivered


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 30, 1985. 88." Retrieved on July 23, 2009.
  2. ^ "upper_rightc4.jpg."[dead link] City of Signal Hill. Retrieved on July 23, 2009.
  3. ^ "SEC News Digest Issue 84-34." Securities and Exchange Commission. February 17, 1984. 2/4. Retrieved on July 23, 2009.
  4. ^, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Chicago O'Hare Airport flight schedules
  5. ^, July 16, 1986 Jet America system timetable
  6. ^, March 15, 1987 Jet America system timetable
  7. ^ "Jet America Option Used". The New York Times. Associated Press. 1986-08-21. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
  8. ^, June 7, 1987 Jet America system timetable route map
  9. ^[permanent dead link], July 16, 1986; Oct. 15, 1985; Mar. 18, 1985 Jet America system timetable route maps
  10. ^, Feb. 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Fresno flight schedules
  11. ^ "Aeromoe's U.S. Airline Fleets - Jet America". Archived from the original on 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
  • Norwood, Tom W. (1996). Deregulation Knockouts, Round One. Sandpoint, Idaho: Airways International. pp. 56–57. ISBN 0965399303. OCLC 37263082.