Midway AirlinesMidway Airlines was founded in October 1976 and commenced operations in 1979. Its purpose was to breathe some new life into Chicago’s Midway Airport after it lost most of its scheduled flights to O’Hare International Airport. The marketing plan for the revitalized airport was advertising it as an alternative to O’Hare, which assisted with new growth and development of the south side of Chicago. The billing of the plan stated that the Midway Airport was only a ten to fifteen minute drive from downtown Chicago.
Midway Airlines was noted in the beginning for its low fares and ease of connections at Midway Airport. Midway airport airlines purchased three DC-9s from TWA and began operations by flying to Cleveland, Kansas City, and Detroit. The service was an instant success, and the airline experienced continued growth at a fast pace. In 1980, Midway Airlines purchased five more DC-9s and expanded service to New York and Washington, DC. In the 1980s, it tried a combination of all-leather two-by-two seating for business markets and all-coach seating to vacation destinations, but it had too much of an impact on revenue due to lost seats, as well as the confusion it created for connecting passengers.
In 1984, Midway Airline expanded the areas it served to include both coasts and the Caribbean when it purchased the assets of Air Florida after it went into bankruptcy. The move created a good mix of business and vacation travel revenue. In 1986, Midway set up a regional affiliate, Midway Connection as a feeder to the airport from smaller communities in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. This was done following the bankruptcy of Chicago Air.
Midway purchased the Hub at Philadelphia International Airport from Eastern Airlines in 1990. Unfortunately, this expansion and the increase in airline fuel prices during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 had strained the company’s financial resources. It filed for bankruptcy in 2001, and ceased operations in 2002 following a struggle after the events of September 11, 2001. The bankruptcy was completed inn the summer of 2005.