|Focus cities||Cleveland, Detroit|
|Key people||Gerald Weller|
|Website||none, defunct airline|
Wright Air Lines, founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1966, is regarded as the first United States regional airline. The airline was based in Cleveland at Burke Lakefront Airport and filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in September 1984 and its assets liquidated within a year.
The founder and first president of the airline was Gerald Weller. This regional airline was the first to be financed through the sale of stock on Wall Street.
During its existence, Wright Airlines had these acquisitions and mergers:
- 1968 acquired Tyme Airlines
- 1968 merged with Air Commuter Airlines
- 1983 merged with Aeromech Airlines
After each of these mergers, the Wright name was retained.
According to its February 1, 1982, system timetable, Wright was operating Convair 600 turboprop aircraft on all of its scheduled passenger flights and was serving Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton in Ohio; Detroit City Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan; and Louisville in Kentucky. Wright had expanded its route system by 1984 (see below) following the merger with Aeromech Airlines.
The aircraft livery of the airline varied, and through its existence was either orange and tan on white, blue and tan on white, or dark orange, orange and tan on white.
Destinations in 1984
According to its October 1, 1984 system timetable, Wright was serving the following destinations:
- Beckley, WV (BKW)
- Bluefield/Princeton, WV (BLF)
- Clarksburg/Fairmont, WV (CKB)
- Cincinnati, OH (CVG)
- Cleveland, OH (CLE) - Cleveland Hopkins International Airport - Focus city
- Cleveland, OH (BKL) - Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport - Home base
- Columbus, OH (CMH)
- Dayton, OH (DAY)
- Detroit, MI (DET) - Detroit City Airport
- Detroit, MI (DTW) - Detroit Metropolitan Airport
- Elkins, WV (EVN)
- Greensboro/High Point, NC (GSO)
- Huntington/Ashland, WV (HTS)
- Louisville, KY (SDF)
- Morgantown, WV (MGW)
- Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) - Hub
- Syracuse, NY (SYR)
- Washington, DC (DCA) - Washington National Airport
Aircraft types operated
The airline flew a wide range of aircraft types at various times during its existence which were selected according to the specific route and projected number of passengers on each route:
- Beechcraft Model 18 (Twin Beech)
- Beechcraft Model 99A
- British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven (only jet type operated by the airline)
- Convair 440 "Metropolitan" (improved version of Convair 340 with soundproofing and weather radar)
- Convair 600 (turboprop conversion of Convair 240)
- Convair 640 (turboprop conversion of Convair 340 and 440)
- De Havilland DH-114 Riley Heron
- De Havilland DH-114-2B Heron
- de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
- Douglas DC-3
- Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante
- Short 360
Wright acquired the EMB-110P1 aircraft when it purchased Aeromech October 1, 1983.
The airline had a good safety record with few accidents or incidents. None are known to have been fatal accidents.
- North-Wright Airways, a small commuter airline based in Canada.
- Wright Air Service, a small commuter airline based in Alaska.
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- "U.S. Airline Bankruptcies". Airlines for America. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- Tighe, Lori (April 22, 2000). "Gerald Weller took isle tours to new heights; dies at 80". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- Martin, David W. (September 23, 2001). "Mistakes by the Lake". Cleveland Scene.
- "Wright Airlines Timetable". Airline Timetable Images. February 1, 1982. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- "Wright Airlines October 1, 1984 System Timetable". Departed Flights. October 1, 1984. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- "Wright Airlines". Archived from the original on October 25, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2018.