Historical question about AirTran

Old Jul 25, 11, 8:54 pm
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Historical question about AirTran

My question is about the original AirTran (prior to it's merger with Valujet.) It's my understanding that what became the original AirTran began service on October 26, 1993 and their name at the time was Conquest Sun.

From the Wikipedia entry for AirTran:

The original AirTran Airways, a Boeing 737 operator with service to/from Orlando, was founded by AirTran Corporation, the holding company of Mesaba Airlines of Minneapolis, Minnesota, operating as a Northwest Airlink carrier with hubs in Minneapolis and Detroit. In 1994, AirTran Holdings purchased a start up 737 operator named Conquest Sun and renamed the airline AirTran Airways. Conquest Sun, similar to ValuJet, was an airline started by former Eastern Air Lines employees. The original AirTran Airways moved its headquarters to Orlando, Florida, and grew to 11 Boeing 737 aircraft serving 24 cities in the East and Midwest providing low-fare leisure travel to Orlando. In 1995, AirTran Airways was spun off by Mesaba and formed its own independent holding company named Airways Corporation.
Photo of Conquest Sun 737 at MIA in 1994

There was a separate airline (not related to Conquest Sun) called Conquest Airlines. It was a small commuter airline which was originally headquartered at BPT (Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX) and later moved to AUS and operated a small hub there. It was in operation from April 1988 until July 28, 1997.

Wikipedia entry for Conquest Airlines

Photo of Conquest Airlines Beech 1900C-1 at AUS in 1989

Check out the two photos of the planes. They're the exact same liveries (except the stripes don't go up the tail on the Beech like they do on the 737. Other than that, same logo, same colors, same font, same everything.

I wonder how Conquest Sun was able to use a livery that was already being used by a different airline with a similar name?
LoneStarMike is offline  
Old Jul 25, 11, 10:10 pm
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Just a SWAG that Mesaba as a regional service provider had many liveries depending on who they provided service to?
traveller001 is offline  
Old Jul 25, 11, 11:53 pm
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I don't think Mesaba had anything to do with Conquest Airlines of Texas. And Conquest Sun of Florida was already using the logo prior to being purchased by Mesaba.

At any rate, the logo was registered to the Texas airline in 1990 and cancelled in May of 2001 according to this source so I can't understand why Conquest Sun or Mesaba would have been able to use it, too.
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Old Jul 26, 11, 9:07 am
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OK, I got my answer from user PI767 over at airliners.net

From the excellent book "Deregulation Knockouts: Round Two:"

"SunExpress (Fort Lauderdale, FL): Planned low-fare services in 1991 between the Northeast and Florida with Boeing 727s. Formed by ex-Northeastern International CEO Guy Lindley. Changed name to Destination Sun Airways by end of 1991 and proposed to begin service as Funworld in June 1992 with two Boeing 727-200s; together with commuter carrier Conquest Airlines became a co-investor in Conquest Sun Airlines, headed by Victor Rivas. In 1994, the company was purchased for $2.5 million by AirTran Corp, then parent of Mesaba Airlines, and became AirTran Airways."

Also is this brief comment on another page....

"Conquest Sun Airlines was an amalgamation of Destination Sun (formerly SunExpress) and Austin-based commuter Conquest Airlines."
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Old Jul 28, 11, 8:49 pm
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Hope this will clarify, as we all know wiki is what someone has posted.In 93, I flew Conquest Airlines Little Rock to Atlanta a few times, via connection at BHM.At that time it was a commuter type opreration using Swearingen Metro III aircraft also, using BHM as a mini hub. It didn't last long and shortly after that, it was folded into the original Airtran.I flew on several flights using well worn 737-200's that were flying for a while from MCO to GSP. Fares were very low and business was good.Then it disappeared and was the successor to Valujet.Valujet had a lot of issues with repairs, issues with you name it.I was cancelled on 6 times in 3 months, issues with the DC9s that came from THY Turkish Airlines, and more, when the accident happened in the Glades due to the oxy canisters and the resultant fire. Apaprently was a good business decision to change the name and of course the new 717s helped.
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