Empire Airlines (1976-1985)

Empire Airlines was a regional airline serving the Northeastern United States beginning in 1976. In 1985, the airline was purchased by Piedmont Airlines, which itself was later purchased by USAir and whose name now lives on in the US Airways Express network.

Founded by Paul Quackenbush, Empire Airlines began with its hub at the Oneida County Airport serving Utica and Rome, New York. Much of its early growth came by picking up routes abandoned by Allegheny Airlines as they concentrated on service to larger cities. Empire expanded throughout the early 1980s to destinations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. For a time, Empire also provided feeder service to Pan Am as "banner carrier" Pan Am Express at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Toward the end of its existence Empire announced plans to phase out its turboprop fleet and become an all-jet regional airline. Coinciding with this was a decision to reduce their presence in Utica and relocate their headquarters and most of their operations to Syracuse Hancock International Airport.

Destinations Previously Served

* New York
** Utica (Oneida County Airport)* - hub, later focus city
** Albany (Albany International Airport)
** Binghamton (Broome County Airport)
** Buffalo (Buffalo Niagara International Airport)
** Elmira (Elmira-Corning Regional Airport)
** Islip (Long Island MacArthur Airport)
** Ithaca (Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport)
** New York (John F. Kennedy International Airport)
** New York (LaGuardia Airport)
** Niagara Falls (Niagara Falls International Airport)*
** Rochester (Greater Rochester International Airport)
** Syracuse (Syracuse Hancock International Airport) - focus city, later hub
** White Plains (Westchester County Airport)
* Connecticut
** Hartford (Bradley International Airport)
* Maryland
** Baltimore (Baltimore-Washington International Airport)
* Massachusetts
** Boston (Boston Logan International Airport)
* Michigan
** Detroit (Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport)
* New Jersey
** Newark (Newark Liberty International Airport)
* Ohio
** Cleveland (Cleveland Hopkins International Airport)
* Ontario, Canada
** Ottawa (Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport)Quebec, CanadaMontreal, Montreal-Dorval International Airport
* Rhode Island
** Providence (T. F. Green Airport)
* Vermont
** Burlington (Burlington International Airport)
* Virginia
** Washington, DC (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport)"Those airports marked with an asterisk (*) are no longer served by commercial air service."

Previous Fleet

* Piper Aztec - 1 (1975-1976)
* Piper PA-31 Navajo - 3 (1975-1979)
* Swearingen Metroliner II - 6 (1977-1985)
* Fokker F-28 - 13 (1980-1986)

ee also

* Piedmont Airlines
* US Airways Express


* [http://www.usairways.com/awa/content/aboutus/pressroom/history/empire.aspx US Airways: A Heritage Story]
* [http://www.airtimes.com/cgat/usb/empire/gal/urgal.htm AirTimes.com Timetable History]

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