National Airlines (1999–2002)

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National Airlines
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations1999
Ceased operations2002
HubsMcCarran International Airport
Fleet size19
HeadquartersLas Vegas, Nevada
Key peopleMichael Conway (President and CEO (2001 archive)
A National Airlines Boeing 757-200.

National Airlines (IATA: N7ICAO: ROKCall sign: Red Rock) was a Las Vegas based low fare airline that operated from 1999 to 2002. It was the third United States-based airline to use the name. The airline was created to bring tourists to Las Vegas. National offered service to a limited number of cities with high traffic to Las Vegas. The airline operated a fleet of 19 Boeing 757-200s in a two-class configuration.


Hoping to attract more visitors from the East Coast, Harrah's Entertainment and the former Rio Hotel & Casino, Inc., each contributed $15 million toward the start-up costs of National Airlines in July 1998. Wexford Capital, owners of Republic Airways Holdings also contributed several million to this create the airline.[1]

Taking a page from Southwest Airlines' book, National kept things simple by operating a single aircraft type—in National's case, the Boeing 757.

Service began on May 27, 1999. This was the third airline in the United States to use the National Airlines name. Michael Conway became President and CEO of the company. From its inception, the company fought an uphill battle against rising fuel costs and an economic recession. National Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on December 6, 2000.[2]

Like many other airlines, National had serious financial problems after the September 11 attacks in 2001, and only 41 months after their inaugural flight left Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport, the airline ceased all operations on November 6, 2002 after being in Chapter 11 bankruptcy for 23 months.

As of the day of National's grounding on November 6, 2002, the airline had carried 1.85 million passengers through McCarran (January–November 2002), and National was the airport's fourth-largest carrier based upon passenger volume. Departing McCarran International Airport at 4:20 p.m., National Airlines Flight 354 to Dallas/Fort Worth was the carrier's last to leave the Las Vegas hub.


At the time National Airlines was grounded, the airline provided service to 14 destinations throughout the United States:[3]

United States[edit]


District of Columbia[edit]

See Virginia for Washington, D.C. service



New Jersey[edit]

New York[edit]







At the time the airline was grounded, National had 19 aircraft in its fleet consisting of:

National Airlines Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
Boeing 757-200 19 175
National's cabins provided coach seats at 33" and first class at 40", greater pitch than that of most legacy carriers at the time.

The 757s were sold, eight of them under a new registration number.[4]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]