Key Airlines

Key Airlines

Key Airlines, formerly known as Sun Valley Airlines, was a charter United States airline.


The early years: Commuter operations

The airline was originally based in Sun Valley, Idaho. In the early 1970s Sun Valley Airlines and Key Airlines merged to form Key Airlines. The airline's base was Salt Lake City and by this time the aircraft of choice was the Convair 440.

The jet era

In 1983 the airline was sold and relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada and the aircraft retitled with Key Air on the fuselage of the aircraft. The Boeing 727-100 was used and charter flights were commenced to Miami, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Key Air was purchased by Presidential Airways in 1986 and then one year later by World Airways but in both instances continued to fly under its own colors. With the World Airways ownership, the Douglas DC-10 was introduced for charter flights to Europe and Asia on behalf of World Airways and the base was moved to Savannah, Georgia. In 1992 Key Air was sold by World Airways and by then the financial situation was difficult; service had to be cut back and aircraft disposed of and by 1993 the company sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Many of the 727s were sold and two new leased McDonnell Douglas MD-83 were put into service, but the end came a few months later when in May 1993 the airline was liquidated. [Airlines Remembered by BI Hengi, Publisher Midland Publishing]

During the late 1980s, Key Air was contracted by the US Air Force to operate dozens of daily flights between Nellis Air Force Base and Tonopah Test Range, where the F-117 Nighthawk aircraft was being secretly tested. The service continued until early 1991 when the contract was awarded to American Trans Air. One of these aircraft regularly operating this route was N29KA, a former Northwest Airlines aircraft which had been hijacked in 1971 in the enigmatic D. B. Cooper incident.

Code Data

*ICAO Code:
*Callsign: Keyair

Historical Fleet Information

*4 - Convair CV-440 Metropolitan
*3 - de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter
*5 - Boeing 727-022
*1 - Boeing 727-051
*3 - Boeing 727-095
*2 - Boeing 727-228
*1 - Boeing 727-247
*1 - Douglas DC-10-10
*1 - Boeing 737-204
*3 - McDonnell Douglas MD-83

External links

* [ Fleet and code information]
* [ Key Airlines - Sun Valley Key Airlines]


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