Airlines Remembered

Midway Airlines

Photos © R.Leeuw

Ceased operations: 17Jul02
Homebase: Raleigh-Durham, NC
Founded: 1993
ICAO callsign: Midway
Flightnbr prefix: JI / MDW
Operations: passengers

Midway 737 at the gate at PHL

Boeing 737-76N N312ML (c/n 28613, line nbr 463) was photographed at the gate at Philadelphia International Airport, PA on July 21st 2001, while I was changing planes for a flight to Atlanta,GA.

Midway filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 13Aug01, though operations continued. Cashcow Washington Reagan Natl Airport (45% marketshare) was closed for a long period after events 11Sep01, due to its location very near the White House. These events took away the opportunity to resctucture the organisation under Chpater 11. Midway was the first airline to file for bankruptcy after events of nine-eleven (2001)
On July 17th 2002, Midway definitely ceased operations; it was hoping to return as a US Airways Express carrier.

The fleet as it looked in 2002:

RegistrationType of Aircraft C/n
N363MLBoeing 737-7BX30738 / 716
N364MLBoeing 737-7BX30739 / 758
N365MLBoeing 737-7BX30740 / 776
N367MLBoeing 737-7BX30742 / 864
N366MLBoeing 737-7BX30741 / 823

The roots go back to a company that started as Bader Express Service in 1983, operating from Bader Field in Atlantic City; it operated charter flights for casinos and air taxi flights, with CASA 212s. It was renamed to Jet Express in view of company changes: in 1985 it started "low-fare" flights to Chicago-Midway, Los Angeles, Phoenix and New York. It also became a TWA-Partner, operating feeder flights to TWA's network.
In 1992 Jet Express became a US Air-Express partner and operated the Swearingen Metro III.
In 1993 it bought the name Midway Airlines from the bankruptcy of a former airline (based at Chicago-Midway, had been founded in Oct76 and ceased operations in Nov91), leased 5 Fokker 100s and began service from Chicago-Midway to New York. Things did not work out as planned and in 1994 an investment company bought 90% of the shares, reorganised the company and moved to Raleigh-Durham a year later; Midway concentrated on serving the Eastcoast.
More Fokker 100s were leased but also Airbus A320s for holiday services to Las Vegas and Cancun. When the holiday flights did not deliver the revenues hoped for, the A320s were returned to the lessor. Canadair Regional Jets joined the fleet in 1997 for the less busy routes and Boeing 737-700s started to replace the Fokker 100s as from 2000. By the year 2000 the fleet consisted of 2 Boeing 737-700s (15 more expected), 23 CRJ 200ERs (4 more expected) and 8 Fokker 100s; compare this to the fleet above, during bankruptcy !

Go to Midway Airlines (1) for a history of that carrier.

Midway continued to loose money under its bankruptcy protection. The company lost $50,000 in January and $625,000 in February 2003.
The bankruptcy administrator overseeing Midway's case filed a motion in April, recommending that the airline be liquidated. The motion said Midway, operating from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, hadn't been able to raise a $5 million investment
The twice-grounded carrier was trying to become a commuter feeder for US Airways.
Midway once had 40 planes and 2,700 employees. During April 2003, the fleet listed above had been replaced with five 50-seat regional jets (with 2 more due the next month), and counted 201 employees.
Just over 2 years after filing for Chapter 11, the airline was forced to file for Chapter 7 liquidation, on 30Oct03, after a judge signed the order requiring the company to account for its debts and turn over its assets within 15 days to a court-appointed trustee.

Fleet info: JP Airline Fleets 2002/2003
Airlines Worldwide, by B.I.Hengi (Midland Publishing, 2000).
Airlines Remembered, by B.I.Hengi (Midland Publishing, 2000)
You can find a list of defunct airlines since year 2000 on this external link:

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