Airlines Remembered

Vanguard Airlines

Photos © R.Leeuw

Ceased operations: 30Jul02 (0600z)
Homebase: Kansas City Int'l Airport,MO
Founded: 1994
ICAO callsign: Vanguard Air
Flightnbr prefix: NJ / VGD
Operations: passengers

N124NJ at ATL Aug 9th 2001

Boeing 737-230(Advanced) N124NJ (c/n 22122, line number 721) is seen here taxiing at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport on August 09th, 2001.

Vanguard was grounded on July 30th 2002, after twice being refused federal loan help, to keep it flying; as a low-cost operator with few financial reserves to its name (all aircraft were leased) it could not cope with the setback the airline industry faced after "nine-eleven" , the terrorist attack on the US Sept.11 2001.
The carrier, which served Midwestern, Rocky Mountain and Western cities in the United States for eight years, was seeking an USD$8 million guarantee for a USD$15 million loan. It had made a revised application after the Air Transportation Stabilization Board rejected an earlier plea for help.
Vanguard's fleet of MD-80 and Boeing 737 aircraft was grounded and most of its staff were dismissed.

This is the fleet in 2002:
RegistrationType of Aircraft C/n
N120NJBoeing 737-2T5 (A)22979 / 950
N121NJBoeing 737-2Q8 (A)21735 / 582
N122NJBoeing 737-230 (A)22120 / 715
N123NJBoeing 737-230 (A)22121 / 720
N124NJBoeing 737-230 (A)22122 / 721
N239TABoeing 737-25A (A)23789 / 1392
N132NJ McD.-Douglas MD-87 (DC-9-87)49780 / 1674
N136NJ McD.-Douglas MD-87 (DC-9-87)49413 / 1681
N130NJ McD.-Douglas MD-82 (DC-9-82)49222 / 1139
N131NJ McD.-Douglas MD-83 (DC-9-83)49846 / 1581
N135NJ McD.-Douglas MD-82 (DC-9-82)49440 / 1304
N140NJ McD.-Douglas MD-82 (DC-9-82)49931 / 1754
N141NJ McD.-Douglas MD-82 (DC-9-82)49932 / 1756
N814USMcD.-Douglas MD-81 (DC-9-81)48094 / 1053

N603DJ is a 737-222 (c/n 19955 / 210), here at Chicago-Midway in Aug98; from Vanguard it went to Aero Continente.

I received the following email in Feb.2005:
"An addition to your list of aircraft operated by Vanguard Airlines on your "Airlines Remembered" webpage, there were two wet leased Trans-Meridian 727-200s. Unfortunately, it has been two and a half years and I no longer remember their registrations.
However, I thought you'd like to know."
Thanks Fred !

Fleet info: JP Airline Fleets 2002/2003
You can find a list of defunct airlines since year 2000 on this external link:

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