Encyclopedia ofChicago
Entries : Midway Airlines Inc.
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Midway Airlines Inc.

 

 

 

Midway Airlines Inc.

Founded in 1976 by Irving T. Tague, Midway started flying in 1979, when it had about 200 employees at its main hub at Midway Airport in Chicago. One of the first new airline companies to begin operating after the federal Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, Midway Airlines started with three DC9-15 airplanes, which it used to ferry passengers between Chicago and Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City. By the end of 1982, Midway served 15 cities with a fleet of 16 airplanes. After the company bought the assets of the bankrupt Air Florida in 1984, it had over 2,000 employees. By the late 1980s, Midway owned more than 70 planes, flew to 50 airports, employed 6,000 people, and had annual revenues of over $400 million. The expansion continued in 1989, when Midway purchased the Philadelphia operations of Eastern Airlines; but this venture ended up driving the company into bankruptcy. Before going out of business in 1991, Midway employed about 4,000 people in the Chicago area. A North Carolina–based airline with the Midway name and owned by Sam Zell of Chicago appeared in 1994, filed for bankruptcy in September 2001, and suspended operations in 2002.