DALLAS – Today in Aviation, US Air Shuttle (US) took to the skies after taking over the Trump Shuttle (TB) operation in 1992. TB ceased to exist on April 7, when the latest owners merged it into a new holding company, “Shuttle, Inc.”
Donald Trump created his own airline in 1989 after raising US$365m to purchase the Eastern Airlines Shuttle (EA), which could trace its history back to 1961. The service offered business travelers hourly flights between New York (LGA), Boston (BOS), and Washington (DCA). TB initially operated sixty-four flights per day.
A Luxury Product
The airline inherited 17 Boeing 727s, and the new owners spent US$1m to refurbish each aircraft. Trump also decided to turn the operation from a no-frills operation to one of luxury service. Aircraft were kitted out with maple wood veneer and gold bathroom accessories. Passengers were offered free meals and complimentary champagne and wine.
However, within 18 months, TB had lost over US$128m. Trump wanted out and decided to look for a buyer.
US Air Shuttle
US Air saw the value in the ‘shuttle’ product and, in December 1991, agreed to take over the service. This would be a marketing agreement with US Air flying it as the US Shuttle for ten years, with the option to buy the company after five. The airline exercised this right on November 19, 1997, purchasing the remaining 60% of outstanding shares.
Today, the US Air Shuttle is known as the American Airlines Shuttle after US was absorbed into AA in October 2015. It serves LGA, BOS, and DCA, plus Chicago (ORD). The airline utilizes its Airbus A319, Boeing 737-800, and Embraer E175 jets on the routes.
Featured image: The US Air Shuttle subsidiary was merged into the mainline operation in July 2000, and the ‘Shuttle’ branding was removed from the aircraft. Photo: Ken Fielding/https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfielding, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons