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Air Florida
Founded 1971
Ceased operations 1984
Hubs Miami International Airport
Fleet size 33, maximum
Destinations See *[1]
Parent company Air Florida, Inc.
Headquarters Miami-Dade County, Florida, U.S.
Key people Eli Timoner, President
Ed Acker, CEO
Air Florida B737-222 N62AF, which later crashed operating Air Florida Flight 90

Air Florida was an American low-cost carrier that operated from 1971 to 1984. In 1975 it was headquartered in the Dadeland Towers in what is now the Kendall CDP in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.[1][2]



Air Florida was a small U.S. and international airline based out of Miami International Airport. It started operations in 1972, after being formed in 1971. Initial aircraft included the Boeing 707, later transitioning to the Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop. Air Florida's fleet would grow to include the McDonnell Douglas DC-9, Boeing 727, Boeing 737, and McDonnell Douglas DC-10. In addition to Air Florida having a large presence in the Northeast-to-Florida market during the 1970s and 1980s, the airline also expanded internationally and served various points in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as London, Brussels, Shannon, Frankfurt, Zurich, and Amsterdam.

Air Florida was well known for its attractive flight attendants and, on international flights, four-star cuisine. As with many airlines during the deregulation era, Air Florida expanded rapidly and began to incur heavy financial losses. In Air Florida's case, the heavy financial losses were due to extreme mismanagement of operating revenues and aircraft lease contracts. The crash of Air Florida Flight 90 in 1982 accelerated its demise and it declared bankruptcy and ceased operations on July 3, 1984. When operations ceased, Air Florida had over 18 months of unprocessed credit card ticket purchases and dozens of flight crews idle at home because management had failed to renew leases on all DC-10-30 aircraft.

Shortly before the crash of Air Florida Flight 90, CEO Ed Acker was hired as the Chairman, CEO and President of Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, which collapsed into insolvency on December 4, 1991.

Flight 90

On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into Washington, DC's 14th Street Bridge and fell into the Potomac River shortly after taking off. A total of 70 passengers, 4 crew, and 4 motorists on the bridge were killed. The crash was due to an anti-icing system being left off, which caused an inaccurately high engine pressure ratio (EPR) indication at an extremely low power setting, and the crew's failure to either abort the takeoff or apply maximum engine power. The crash prompted modifications to Air Florida's pilot training regarding anti-ice systems. The FAA also required revised aircraft de-icing procedures at airports.

Acquisition attempt and bankruptcy

Air Florida tried to buy out Western Airlines during the 1980s, to increase its presence in the West and begin flights to Mexico and western Canada. The negotiations with Western got Air Florida 16 percent of the California-based company. Western was later absorbed by Delta Air Lines. Air Florida filed for bankruptcy and eventually folded on July 3, 1984. Its assets were acquired by Midway Airlines.[3]


Air Florida sponsored Southampton Football Club, an English Football League side, during the 1983-84 season, in which Southampton were league runners-up. The deal was cancelled after one season due to Air Florida's insolvency.


The airline operated the following:


  1. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. March 20, 1975. "466.
  2. ^ "Kendall CDP, Florida." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  3. ^ AP (1985-08-15). "Midway Jets Sale". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  

External links

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