Midway Airlines was a low cost carrier in the United States that commenced operations on 31 October 1979. It purchased three Douglas DC-9 aircraft from TWA, and started flying from its base at Chicago Midway (hence the name) to Cleveland, Kansas City and Detroit.
There were two iterations of the airline, one that went bankrupt in 1991 and another that took on the name from late 1993. That version of the airline was based at Raleigh-Durham and flew through to 2003.
Midway Airlines Video
Following on from the last video on Braniff International, this time we have a look at both incarnations of Midway Airlines. This video runs for just under 15 minutes and covers both carriers very well.
The original airline purchased the assets of bankrupt Air Florida in 1984, bringing the Boeing 737 into its fleet. Eventually it purchased Eastern Airlines‘ Philadelphia operation, but a combination of fuel prices and collapsing demand due to the Gulf War brought things to a close at the end of 1991.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new Midway started in 1993. It quickly moved its main hub to RDU in 1995 and acquired Airbus A320s for longer routes. These were disposed of and eventually their Fokker 100s were replaced with 737s.
Unfortunately the burst of the tech bubble, competition from other airlines and eventually the 11 September attacks brought the company down. It ceased flying in 2003, ending the name once and for all.
Midway Airlines – both iterations – suffered from debt acquired from expansion, competition, and external shocks which sent them into bankruptcy. The aviation industry is certainly not for the weak, which is obvious in these stories.
Even so, many people remember the airlines with fondness, as they each had selling points that people really enjoyed. While ultimately doomed to failure, passengers flew comfortably without any problems for years on these airlines, and that is something.
Did you ever fly with Midway Airlines at all? What were they like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Torsten Maiwald on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.