Another Tarheel Institution Bites The Dust : LUSENET : Poole's Roost II : One Thread

Ya'll know that I originally hail from NC, where the Research Triangle Park is synonymous with the explosion of high-tech (and high-tech money) in the Raleigh-Durham area in the past two decades. One beneficiary of that explosion was Midway Airlines -- to the best of my knowledge, the last NC-based airline.

Midway carved out a niche for itself by essentially offering "all business class" service, not only with puddle jumpers in NC, but with a fleet of F100's and 737's to key cities across the country. The planes featured leather seats with wider pitch and gourmet coffee served in flight.

But in the past year, businesses have cut travel significantly. The Web, teleconferencing and improved "instant" satellite communications, combined with tightening budgets in general, have made a drastic difference.

And indeed, it made all the difference to Midway. Today, Midway announced that it was filing for Chapter 11 reorganization. They're selling the F100s and smaller regional jets; they'll keep running the 737's for now. They've also cut service to several cities (including -- of course! -- Birmingham, which was my only direct flight back home to Eastern NC. Sigh).

NPR said this afternoon that the company was looking for a buyout or merger. So also says WRAL-TV channel 5 (which I used to watch when I lived there; memories, memories).

The other NC-based regional carrier, Piedmont Airlines, merged a few years ago with US Air, so (again, as far as I know), that's it for NC-based airlines. (If Chicken Little is lurking, maybe he knows if there's another.)

My, how times change. Thirty years ago, air travel was expensive, reserved for the wealthy "jet set." (Does anyone here even REMEMBER that term?[g]) Nowdays, you can fly across country for less than $200 if you're willing to book well in advance. It's hard to make money at those rates.

So ... a tip of the hat from a former North Carolinian: Ah, Midway, we hardly knew ye.

-- Anonymous, August 15, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ