Piedmont Airlines

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This article is about the airline founded as Henson Airlines in 1962, but currently called Piedmont Airlines. For the airline founded as Piedmont Airlines in 1948, see Piedmont Airlines (1948–1989).
Piedmont Airlines
Piedmont Airlines.png
Founded 1962
Hubs As US Airways Express:
Focus cities As US Airways Express:
Frequent-flyer program Dividend Miles
Airport lounge Admirals Club
Alliance Oneworld (affiliate)
Fleet size 38
Destinations 47
Parent company American Airlines Group
Headquarters Salisbury, Maryland
Key people Stephen R. Farrow (CEO)
Employees 5,221 (2013)
Website piedmont-airlines.com

Piedmont Airlines, Inc. /ˈpdmɒnt/ is an American regional airline operating for US Airways Express. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Airlines Group, headquartered in unincorporated Wicomico County, Maryland,[1] near the city of Salisbury.[2] It conducts flight operations using de Havilland Canada Dash 8 aircraft.[3] Its main base is Wicomico Regional Airport, Salisbury, with hubs at Philadelphia International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.


The airline was formed in 1961 by Richard A. Henson as Henson Aviation, a fixed-base operator in Hagerstown, Maryland. It began its first scheduled flights to Washington National Airport in 1962 under the Hagerstown Commuter name, later changed to Henson Airlines.[3] Allegheny Airlines (which became US Airways, which in turn has now merged with American Airlines) and Henson began one of the world's first code sharing arrangements in 1967. Henson re-branded itself as an Allegheny Commuter carrier using Beechcraft 99 aircraft. It initially developed a route structure serving Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore, while establishing a new headquarters for Allegheny Commuter at Salisbury, Maryland in 1968. In the 1970s, the airline upgraded to Short 330 and de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprops.[3]

In 1983, Piedmont Aviation bought Henson and re-branded the airline as "Henson, The Piedmont Regional Airline." Under Piedmont's control, the airline expanded rapidly, particularly in Florida. Both were purchased by the USAir Group in 1987 with Piedmont absorbed two years later and Henson's aircraft repainted in USAir Express livery.[4] The 1980s saw rapid growth by the company with the upgrade of its fleet to the de Havilland Canada Dash 8 aircraft and fleet expansion. With the growth in capacity, the airline expanded to Florida, including numerous intrastate routes in Florida, and it opened a maintenance facility in Jacksonville.[3]

The Piedmont name was resurrected in 1993, when USAir (now US Airways) renamed Henson to "Piedmont Airlines", to protect the Piedmont brand name, which could be used by others if not exercised in trade use for a period of time. USAir continued this practice by changing the name of its two other wholly owned regional airline subsidiaries, Jetstream and Allegheny Commuter, to PSA Airlines and Allegheny Airlines, respectively. (Pacific Southwest Airlines was the name of a California-based airline merged into USAir.) In 1997, USAir was renamed US Airways, and Piedmont was likewise re-branded as a US Airways Express carrier. US Airways merged Allegheny Airlines into Piedmont in 2004.


The airline has 5,221 employees (at October 2013), and operates crew bases at Roanoke, Salisbury, New Bern, Charlottesville, and Harrisburg.[5] As of October 2013, the airline operates 300 daily flights to 47 unique destinations.[5]

As of December 2013, Piedmont is currently the exclusive operator out at Tweed New Haven Airport, Hilton Head Airport, and Williamsport Regional Airport, and is the only operator out of Salisbury–Ocean City–Wicomico Regional Airport.

Piedmont Airlines flights are expected to be rebranded as American Eagle in 2015, due to US Airways' merger with American Airlines in December 2013.


As of December 2013, the Piedmont Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:[6][7]

Piedmont Airlines Current Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
de Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 27 37 Introduced in 1984. 13 to be retired before AA merger.
de Havilland Canada Dash 8-300 11 50 Introduced in 2001, purchased used[8]
Embraer ERJ-145 20 50 Will begin delivery January 2016, aircraft are used from Envoy Air
Total 38 20

In January 2014, Piedmont Airlines average fleet age was 23.6 years old.[9]

Retired fleet[edit]

Piedmont Airlines Retired Fleet
Aircraft[3] Introduction Retired Replacement(s) Notes
Beechcraft Model 99 1967 1987 Short 330
Short 330 1977 1989 de Havilland Canada Dash 8-100
de Havilland Canada Dash 7 1979 1997 de Havilland Canada Dash 8-300
de Havilland Canada Dash 8-200 1996 2008 In use by other carriers[8]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Career Opportunities." Piedmont Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009. "5443 Airport Terminal Rd Salisbury, MD 21804 "
  2. ^ "About Piedmont." Piedmont Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Piedmont History". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  4. ^ Flight International 12–18 April 2005
  5. ^ a b "US Airways Wholly Owned Subsidiaries". US Airways. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Piedmont Airlines". ch-aviation.ch. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  7. ^ "About Piedmont". Piedmont Airlines. 
  8. ^ a b "Piedmont Airlines Fleet Details and History". planespotters.net. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  9. ^ "Fleet Age for Piedmont Airlines". airfleets.net. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  10. ^ The first female commercial U.S. pilot fatality involving a propeller aircraft was that of First Officer Zilda A. Spadaro-Wolan, in the Henson Airlines flight 1517 turboprop crash of September 23, 1985 near Grottoes, Virginia."Aircraft Accident Report: Henson Airlines Flight 1517". 
  11. ^ Sarah Brumfield (January 1, 2011). "Pilot error prompts evacuation of U.S. Capitol building". thestar.com. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  12. ^ Mary Compton (January 1, 2011). "Jets Scrambled Over Capitol Hill Airspace Scare". ABC News. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  13. ^ NBC News (May 18, 2013). "Plane makes belly landing at Newark Airport, no injuries reported". Retrieved May 20, 2013. 

External links[edit]