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Air Wisconsin

Air Wisconsin
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1965[1]
Commenced operations August 23, 1965[1]
Hubs As American Eagle:
Philadelphia International Airport
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Frequent-flyer program AAdvantage (American Eagle)
Airport lounge Admirals Club (American Eagle)
Alliance Oneworld (American Eagle)
Fleet size 71
Destinations 70
Parent company CJT Holdings[1]
Headquarters Appleton, Wisconsin
Key people Christine Deister (President and CEO)
Employees 2,000

Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation (AWAC) is a regional airline based at Appleton International Airport in the town of Greenville,[2] Wisconsin, United States,[3] near Appleton.[4] Air Wisconsin is the largest privately held regional airline in the United States. It operates regional jet flights as American Eagle under contract to US Airways, serving 69 cities in the US and Canada with hubs at Philadelphia International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.[5] The airline is also a ground-handler for United Express at 17 locations and for American Eagle at 3 locations.

On November 20, 2014 it was reported that Air Wisconsin is nearing an agreement with Delta Air Lines to fly as a Delta Connection carrier, beginning in January 2015. Under the terms of the deal, 26 Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft will be transferred to Air Wisconsin from Endeavor Air. As of January 2015, Air Wisconsin had expressed that negotiations had ended and they did not want to fly under the Delta brand. [6]


  • History 1
  • Destinations 2
  • Crew domiciles 3
  • Fleet 4
  • Historical fleet 5
  • Aircraft maintenance 6
  • Incidents and accidents 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Air Wisconsin logo used from 1965 to 1994
Swearingen Metro of Air Wisconsin departing from Chicago O'Hare in 1973
Air Wisconsin BAe 146 series 200 at Chicago O'Hare in 1987
US Airways Express Bombardier CRJ-200 operated by Air Wisconsin at Portland (Maine)
Former United Express Bombardier CRJ-200 operated by Air Wisconsin at Chicago

In 1963 investors from the Fox Cities raised $110,000 ($823199.58 according to inflation) to start a new airline.[7] The airline was established in 1965 and started operations on August 23, 1965 using a single de Havilland Dove with 9 passenger seats. It was founded to connect Appleton, Wisconsin with Chicago. In September 1978 the airline was certified by the Civil Aeronautics Board as an air carrier. In October 1978 it had over $10 million in assets.[7] Joining Air Wisconsin in 1965 as traffic manager and eventually becoming president, Preston H. Wilbourne's leadership oversaw Air Wisconsin grow to an airline serving 29 cities in an 11 state area with 32 aircraft boarding over 10,000 passengers daily. Air Wisconsin gained the nicknames "Air Willy" and "Rag Tag"[7] and more recently "Air Wisky".

Air Wisconsin pioneered the concept of code sharing as an United Express carrier and rapidly became the nation's largest regional airline in the 1980s. In 1985 it merged with Mississippi Valley Airlines (MVA) and continued to operate under the Air Wisconsin name. In 1990 it acquired Denver-based Aspen Airways and was itself bought by United Airlines a year later.

At one point, Air Wisconsin operated British Aerospace (BAe) ATP turboprop aircraft as well as BAe 146-100, BAe 146-200 and BAe 146-300 jet aircraft on United Express services. These were all large aircraft types when compared to other regional aircraft in operation at the time. Air Wisconsin was the only U.S. operator of the BAe ATP turboprop and also the BAe 146-300, which is the largest member of the BAe 146 family of jet aircraft. United Airlines sold Air Wisconsin and the BAe 146 fleet to CJT Holdings in 1993. Air Wisconsin was then renamed Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation (AWAC) as UAL retained the rights to the Air Wisconsin name and logo. In April 1995 during the late ski season, Air Wisconsin was operating British Aerospace BAe 146 jet shuttle service as United Express on the former Aspen Airways route between Aspen, Colorado and Denver with at least fourteen daily nonstop flights in each direction.[8] In February 1998 AWAC acquired the assets of Mountain Air Express including Dornier 328 turboprop aircraft and expanded operations in the west.[5] In the fall of 2003 AWAC acquired 10 aircraft from bankrupt Midway Airlines and became a feeder for AirTran Airways under the name AirTran JetConnect, but this relationship was discontinued in July 2004. Towards the end of the contract with United Airlines Air Wisconsin was unable to secure a long-term deal or extension to continue providing regional service for UAL. United failed to renew its contract with AWAC allowing it to expire in April 2005, and the last flight under the United flag operated on April 16, 2006 using the BAe 146.

During 2005 AWAC invested $175 Million into US Airways for their bankruptcy exit financing in exchange for a long term contract operating as US Airways Express. Since 2005 AWAC has flown all of its CRJ 200s as a US Airways Express carrier with flight crew bases located in Philadelphia, New York LaGuardia, Washington DC Reagan National and Norfolk, VA.

Air Wisconsin also handles ground operations in certain locations for United Express and for US Airways Express.

AWAC employs 2,700 staff as of November 2014.[9]


Crew domiciles

Air Wisconsin pilots and flight attendants share crew domiciles at the following locations:


The Air Wisconsin fleet includes the following regional jet aircraft as of November 2014:[9]

Historical fleet

Jet Aircraft:

Turboprop Aircraft:

Piston Aircraft:

Aircraft maintenance

Air Wisconsin performs CRJ maintenance activities at the following locations:

Air Wisconsin also contracts aircraft maintenance heavy checks at a facility in Oklahoma City, OK (OAC).

For larger airworthiness issues, Air Wisconsin contracts with Bombardier Aerospace in Clarksburg, WV (CKB).

Past Heavy Check maintenance conducted in Montreal, Canada.

Air Wisconsin's primary aircraft painting facility is located in Greenville, MS (GLH).

Incidents and accidents

Air Wisconsin incidents and accidents
Flight Date Aircraft Routing Location Description Injuries Probable Cause
Flight 671 June 29, 1972 DHC-6 Chicago, IL-
Sheboygan, WI-
Appleton, WI
near Appleton, WI While approaching Outagamie County Regional Airport, Flight 671 was involved in a midair collision over Lake Winnebago with North Central Airlines Flight 290 (Green Bay-Oshkosh-Milwaukee-Chicago; both planes crashed into the lake and sank 13 fatal
(8 on Flight 671)
(5 on Flight 290)
Pilots of both flights failed to see and avoid the others' aircraft [10]
Flight 965
June 12, 1980 Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner Appleton, WI-
Minneapolis, MN-
Lincoln, NE
near Valley, NE The aircraft suffered a multiple engine failure after entering a thunderstorm. The amount of water ingested into the engine caused a power interruption and a loss of control; plane hit the ground nose-down and right wing-down; plane skidded and ended inverted 13 fatal,
2 serious
Improper in-flight decisions by captain, complete failure of 2 engines [11]
Flight 3758
December 16, 2007 CRJ 200 Philadelphia, PA-
Providence, RI
T. F. Green Airport Miscommunication between the first officer and captain resulted in the first officer idling the engines on final approach. Soon a 2000 ft rate of descent developed, the captain attempted to salvage the landing and stalled the aircraft. The aircraft touched down at a 9 degree bank, collapsed the landing gear and the aircraft skidded to a halt left of the runway. 0 injuries The captain’s attempt to salvage the landing from an instrument approach which exceeded stabilized approach criteria, resulting in a high sink rate, likely stall, and hard landing which exceeded the structural limitations of the airplane [12]


  1. ^ a b c Norwood, Tom; Wegg, John (2002). North American Airlines Handbook (3rd ed.). Sandpoint, ID: Airways International. p. 5.  
  2. ^ "Zoning Map." Town of Greenville. June 17, 2009. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  3. ^ "Contact Air Wisconsin." Air Wisconsin. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  4. ^ Mader, Becca. "Appleton's Air Wisconsin cuts costs to remain competitive." The Business Journal of Milwaukee. May 17, 2004. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines".  
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c "Air Wisconsin: Commuter Success Story." Flight International. October 21, 1978. p. 1464.
  8. ^ April 2, 1995 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Denver flight schedules
  9. ^ a b accessed on 2014-11-23
  10. ^ "Aircraft Accident Report North Central Airlines, Inc. Allison Convair 340/440ICV-580, N90858 and Air ,Wisconsin Inc., DHC-6, N4043B near Appleton, Wisconsin June 29, 1972" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. 1973-04-25. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  11. ^ "Aircraft Accident Report Air Wisconsin Inc. Swearingen SA-226 Metro N650S Valley, Nebraska June 12, 1980" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. 1980-12-09. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  12. ^ "Aircraft Accident Report Air Wisconsin Airlines. Bombardier CL600-2B19, Providence, RI December 16, 2007". National Transportation Safety Board. 

External links

  • Air Wisconsin
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