Midway Airlines (1993–2003)

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Midway Airlines
Midway Airlines Logo, July 2001.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedNovember 15, 1993[1]
Ceased operationsOctober 30, 2003
HubsChicago Midway International Airport
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Frequent-flyer programAmerican Airlines AAdvantage (1993-2001)
Northwest Airlines WorldPerks (2001-2003)
Continental Airlines OnePass (2001-2003)
Fleet size33
HeadquartersMorrisville, North Carolina
Key peopleRobert R. Ferguson (CEO)
A Midway Airlines Boeing 737-700.

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


Midway Airlines was formed out of Jet Express, a commuter air carrier that operated code sharing feeder services for Trans World Airlines and USAir during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Midway initially began in November 1993 with Chicago Midway-New York LaGuardia service with two Fokker 100s. This service grew to also serve Philadelphia, Boston, Allentown, Washington D.C., Orlando, Tampa, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Denver. Due to competition and limited gate space, Midway moved to Durham, North Carolina, and set up a hub at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in 1995. (Midway eventually moved its headquarters to Morrisville, North Carolina.) Midway's arrival at RDU coincided with the closure of an American Airlines hub, as they focused their assets in MIA after taking over the former Eastern Airlines hub. For several years Midway partnered with American Airlines and offered American Airlines AAdvantage miles in the RDU market. American Airlines also worked Midway's Revenue Management behind the scenes. The two airlines severed relations in 2000 and Midway introduced its own frequent flyer program and Revenue Management was brought in house.

At the height of its operations, Midway offered almost 200 flights daily from RDU to 33 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 100. Midway added Airbus A320-200s to fly longer routes into the Caribbean, however hurricane damage forced those plans to change and the A320s were deployed elsewhere. Midway began service to SJU, CUN, LAS and LAX but these routes eventually became unprofitable and the A320s were disposed of. Midway then obtained a large number of Bombardier CRJ-200s for expansion. By late 2000, the F100s became expensive to maintain and operate, so Midway began to replace them with Boeing 737-700s. In November 2000, Midway expanded nonstop service from RDU to San Jose (SJC). Additionally, they started nonstop service to Denver (DEN) and seasonal service to Steamboat Springs via the Yampa Valley Airport (HDN), both in Colorado.

Two regional airline carriers known as Midway Connection provided service between RDU and smaller markets. First, Great Lakes Aviation using Beechcraft 1900 and Embraer 120 Brasilias in 1995 through 1997 and then Corporate Airlines, which used Jetstream 31 aircraft.

The high-tech slump of 2000-01, as well as the commencement of operations at RDU by low cost carrier Southwest Airlines, hurt Midway, and the carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on the evening of August 13, 2001. Thousands of employees were laid off immediately. 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 September 11).

Following $12.5M in financial infusion from the US federal government, Midway resumed service using their fleet of 12 Boeing 737-700 aircraft from RDU under its own livery on December 19, 2001. It 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 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 six regional CRJ-100s serving East Coast cities and some Midwest destinations. It 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.[3] 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 Airlines destinations[edit]

Midway Connection destinations[edit]



Midway Airlines Fokker 100 (N106ML)

Midway Airlines previously operated the following aircraft:

Midway Airlines historical fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Remark
Airbus A320-200 5 1995 1999 [4]
Boeing 737-700 12 1999 2003 [4]
Bombardier CRJ-200LR 25 1997 2004 [4]
Fokker 100 12 1993 2004 [4]


See also[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. ^ http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-nceb-5_01-bk-02319/pdf/USCOURTS-nceb-5_01-bk-02319-0.pdf
  4. ^ a b c d "Midway Airlines Fleet Details". Planespotters. Retrieved 10 August 2019.

External links[edit]