Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pacific Express - September, 1983

Here's a good history of Pacific Express that I found in a 2001 airliners.net forum.
Pacific Express was formed in 1981 by the management of the commuter airline, West Air headed by Terry Ashton, a former Hughes Airwest executive. The original plan was to begin high frequency, low fare service in the Los Angeles- San Francisco corridor. PSA objected to the Pacific Express name as it was used for PSA's small package service. Pacific Express also had difficulty obtaining landing slots at the busy airports because of restrictions by the air controllers strike, which put a damper on the hourly operation. Flights eventually began on Jan 27, 1982 on a Chico-Oakland-San Jose-Palm Springs, Chico-San Francisco-Portland, Boise-Portland-Medford, and San Francisco-Palm Springs route. Several other cities were opened in California and in the Pacific Northwest in 1982 and 1983.

Pacific Express was only profitable for one month of its history. By the fall it was code sharing with Pan Am as Pan Am Pacific Express flights connecting passengers at LAX and SFO. Pacific Express went bankrupt on Feb 2, 1984 and suspended ops on its 22 city route system . A week later charter flights were restarted with Boeing 737's but this just for a brief period. Most of its network was assumed by PSA.
Evidently, Pacific Express agreed to feed United's flights at one point but the agreement fell apart. Pacific Express filed a lawsuit against United which can be found here.

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