Allegheny Airlines

Allegheny Airlines
AlleghenyAirlines logo.jpg
Founded 1939 (as Allegheny Airlines)
Commenced operations August 1957
Ceased operations 1979 (Name change to USAir, now US Airways)
Frequent-flyer program US Airways Dividend Miles
Fleet size 315
Destinations 31
Parent company US Airways
Headquarters Washington, D.C., U.S.
Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
Key people Keith Houk (President)

Allegheny Airlines (IATA: ALICAO: ALOCall sign: ALLEGHENY) was a U.S. airline that operated out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, from 1952 to 1979. It was a forerunner of today’s US Airways. Its headquarters were at Washington National Airport in Arlington County, Virginia.[1]


Allegheny Airlines began as All American Aviation Company providing mail delivery and passenger operations starting on 7 March 1939.[2] It was founded by du Pont family brothers Richard C. du Pont and Alexis Felix du Pont, Jr..

Allegheny before 1979

Allegheny had 41 Convair 580 in the fleet in 1975.
Allegheny utilised the BAC 1-11 on its routes.
Allegheny had 36 Douglas DC-9 in its fleet.
The Airlines flew the Nord 262 as Allegheny Commuter.
An Allegheny BAC 1-11 with a new livery in 1975.

In 1949 the company was renamed All American Airways as it switched from airmail to passenger service. On 1 January 1953 it was again renamed, to Allegheny Airlines. Over the next two decades the airline expanded to include more destinations.

Like other local service airlines of the time, Allegheny was subsidized; in 1962 its operating revenues of $23.5 million included $6.5 million in "public service revenue".[3]

In 1960, Allegheny headquarters were in Washington, D.C.[4]

Allegheny added the Convair 540 to its fleet in 1961.[citation needed] The aircraft proved unreliable, incurring many problems with its British-made Napier Eland turbines that had replaced the Convair's piston engines. The airline bought new Fairchild F-27Js that the company named "Vistaliner". The F-27J was a U.S.-built version of the Fokker F27. The airline switched to General Motors/Allison turboprops in the Convair 580 which the carrier named the "Vistacruiser".

Allegheny Airlines was the first airline to create an network of affiliated regional airlines, the Allegheny Commuter System.[citation needed]

Contributing to Allegheny’s growth were the acquisitions of regional carriers Lake Central Airlines in 1968 and Mohawk Airlines in 1972. Mohawk added BAC One-Elevens to the fleet. Allegheny added other jets, notably the Douglas DC-9-30 which the company named the "Vistajet". Other jets included Boeing 727-100s and 727-200s and the Douglas DC-9-50.

As deregulation dawned, Allegheny, looking to shed its regional image, changed its name to USAir on October 28, 1979.[5]

Revenue Passenger-Miles (Millions) (Sched Service Only)
Allegheny Mohawk Lake Central
1951 30 16 5
1955 56 49 17
1960 131 116 36
1965 289 348 95
1970 1683 566 (merged 1968)
1975 3272 (merged 1972)

USAir and US Airways

Allegheny Airlines DC-9-30, circa 1970
Allegheny Airlines BAC 1-11, circa 1979

After Allegheny Airlines rebranded itself as USAir, the company retained its earlier name for its Allegheny Commuter service, later renamed US Airways Express.

Under USAir, which eventually renamed itself US Airways, the Allegheny name continued to be used by the parent company, keeping the trademark under US Airways' control. The Allegheny Commuter division was originally headquartered at the Reading Airport in Reading, Pennsylvania, and flew a large fleet of Short 330s and Short 360s, being the launch customer for the Shorts 360. It had three Fokker F27 "Friendship" turboprops, and was the last US operator of passenger F27s. After replacing much of its Shorts fleet, and retiring the F27s, it merged with another fully owned USAir subsidiary, Pennsylvania Airlines, headquartered at Harrisburg International Airport near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the combined airline retained the historic name until its own merger with another wholly owned subsidiary, Piedmont Airlines.[6][7] After retiring earlier aircraft, Allegheny, before and after its mergers, mainly flew De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop aircraft to 35 airports in the northeastern United States, and eventually Canada, from hubs at Boston and Philadelphia. Its activities and Dash 8 fleet were incorporated into a regional airline, Piedmont Airlines, in 2004.

Today, an Airbus A319 aircraft (N745VJ) of US Airways is painted in Allegheny colors.[8]

Currently US Airways has merged into American Airlines and N745VJ remains in Allegheny colors with the "US Airways" titles now replaced with "American".

Historic fleet

Allegheny Airlines Fleet
Aircraft From To Number
Douglas DC-3 1953 1966 24
Martin 2-0-2 1955 1966 18
Convair 540 1959 1963 5
Convair 340 1960 1967 17
Convair 440 1962 1974 27
Fairchild F-27J / Fokker F27 1965 1974 27
Convair 580 1965 1978 40
Douglas DC-9-30 1966 1979 89
Douglas DC-9-50 1974 1978 8
Nord 262 1968 1977 13
Boeing 727-200 1970 1971 2
Boeing 727-100 1978 1979 11
British Aircraft Corp. BAC One-Eleven 1972 1979 31
Mohawk 298 (Nord 262 version) 1975 1979 9

Accidents and incidents

  • On December 1, 1959, Allegheny Airlines Flight 371, a Martin 2-0-2, crashed into a mountain on approach Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States, 25 fatalities.[9][10]
  • On October 19, 1962, an Allegheny Airlines flight attendant, Françoise de Moriere, fell to her death after being blown out a Convair 440 emergency exit door on a flight from Washington, D.C. to Providence, Rhode Island during a scheduled descent into Hartford, Connecticut.[11]
  • On December 24, 1968, Allegheny Airlines Flight 736, a Convair 580, crashed on approach to Bradford, PA, killing 20 of the 47 people on board.[12]
  • On January 6, 1969, Allegheny Airlines Flight 737, a Convair 580, crashed on approach to Bradford, PA, killing 11 of the 28 people on board.[13]
  • On September 9, 1969, Allegheny Airlines Flight 853, a DC-9 en route from Cincinnati to Indianapolis, collided with a small private plane and crashed into a soybean field southeast of Indianapolis, near Shelbyville, killing all 83 people aboard both aircraft.
  • On June 7, 1971, Allegheny Airlines Flight 485, a Convair 580, en route from Washington DC to New Haven CT (via New London, CT) crashed short of the runway at New Haven. 26 passengers and 2 crew members were killed; Two passengers and one crew member survived. Pilot Error was the cause of the crash.[14]
  • On June 23, 1976, Allegheny Airlines Flight 121, a DC-9, crashed on the runway in windshear at Philadelphia International Airport. There were 86 injuries and 0 fatalities.[15]

See also


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. April 22, 1978. 1134.
  2. ^ Nick Komons (August 1989). Air Progress: 62.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Moody's Transportation Manual 1964
  4. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 8 April 1960. 492.
  5. ^ "Allegheny Asks New Name". 
  6. ^ "Lower Swatara township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 2, 2010.
  7. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 16–22, 2004. 83.
  8. ^ [1] US Airways A319 in Allegheny
  9. ^ Eastwood/Roach 1991, pages 267-269
  10. ^ Allegheny Airlines Flight 371
  11. ^ "Stewardess is Swept Through Plane Door". The New York Times. October 20, 1962. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ Allegheny Airlines Flight 736
  13. ^ Allegheny Airlines Flight 737
  14. ^ NTSB Report Allegheny Airlines, Inc., Allison Prop Jet Convair 340/440, N5832, New Haven, Connecticut, June 7, 1971
  15. ^ NTSB Report AAR-78-2 Allegheny Airlines, Inc., Douglas DC-9, N994VJ, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1976


  • Eastwood, Tony; Roach, John (1991). Piston Engine Airliner Production List. West Drayton, England: The Aviation Hobby Shop. ISBN 0-907178-37-5. 

External links