Midway Airlines (1993–2003)

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Midway Airlines
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded November 15, 1993[1]
Ceased operations October 30, 2003
Hubs Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Frequent-flyer program AAdvantage (through American Airlines)
Fleet size 33
Destinations 33
Headquarters Morrisville, North Carolina
Key people Robert R. Ferguson (CEO)
Website Midwayair.com
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 by 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. After an abortive attempt at New York-Chicago service, as well as Chicago-Denver and Chicago-Dallas, Midway moved to Morrisville, North Carolina, and set up a hub at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). Midway's arrival at RDU coincided with the closure of an American Airlines hub there.

At the height of its operations, Midway offered almost 200 flights daily from RDU to 25 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, but these routes eventually became unprofitable and the 320s were sold. Midway then obtained a large number of Bombardier CRJ-200s for expansion. By late 2000, the 100s became expensive to maintain and operate, so Midway replaced them with Boeing 737-700s. In November 2000, Midway expanded nonstop service from RDU to San Jose (SJC) and Los Angeles (LAX). 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, but more importantly the commencement of operations at RDU by low cost carrier Southwest Airlines, hurt Midway, and the carrier abruptly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on the evening of August 13, 2001. Thousands of employees were laid off immediately with no warning, and their access cards to the airport ramp were deactivated overnight.[3] 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 without warning, 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 RJ-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.[4] 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]





  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. ^ [1]
  4. ^ http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-nceb-5_01-bk-02319/pdf/USCOURTS-nceb-5_01-bk-02319-0.pdf

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