Closing AL’s history as an airline with an Industry Icon on board

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Flight 1939, an Airbus A321, is scheduled to depart Philadelphia for Charlotte, N.C., at 10:05 a.m. Oct. 16. Then the plane will leave Charlotte at 2:35 p.m. to fly to Phoenix. The flight will depart Phoenix at 5:10 p.m. for San Francisco. The last leg of the journey will be a red-eye, leaving San Francisco at 9:55 p.m. and arriving 2,515 miles later in Philadelphia at 6:18 a.m. the next day. WHY???

In 1939, All American Aviation was started by Dr. Lytle Schooler Adams and was initially backed by Richard C. du Pont and Alexis Felix du Pont, Jr. It grew through mergers into Allegheny Airlines and then USAir. The lawyer and eventually CEO during that period was Edwin I. Colodny. He guided the regional airline through a perilous period when the trunk carriers were crushing smaller competitors.

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A spry 89 year old, Ed will fly on all legs of the flight which will be numbered 1939 to recognize the airline’s birth year. Part of the brilliance of Mr. Colodny’s strategy was to use a legal tactic to extract AL out of small, uneconomic markets by substituting commuter airlines under a contract with Allegheny. Other similarly situated regionals copied this replacement agreement, but later.

Mr. Colodny is a past recipient of the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy and a very good guy. Obviously, if he figures out how to live in Burlington, VT, he’s very smart.

Historical trivia quiz: what mayor of that city by Lake Champlain insisted that he could close its airport despite the fact that the FAA said NO.

Submit your answer in the comments section below; the winner will get an autographed picture of JDA’s Founder. Second prize will be two such treasures!!!

 

ARTICLE: US Airways’ last flight will be a nostalgia trip

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