Related topics

Airline Buys Companies, Lowers and Raises Fares Since Inception With PM-People Express

September 16, 1986

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Here is a history of People Express Inc., one of the nation’s pioneer no- frills, low-fare airlines, which Texas Air Corp. has agreed to acquire for $125 million in securities:

-April 30, 1981: People Express begins service with nine Boeing 737s and flights from Newark to Buffalo, N.Y., Columbus, Ohio, and Norfolk, Va.

-May 26, 1983: The airline’s only Boeing 747 touches down in London, opening a new chapter in no-frills airline history with $149 trans-Atlantic flights from Newark.

-Jan. 14, 1985: People Express signs a 25-year lease allowing it to take over one of Newark International Airport’s three major terminals.

-April 23, 1985: The airline introduces its first computerized reservation system, allowing customers to book flights by telephone without speaking to a sales representative. At this time, People has a fleet of 68 aircraft, more than 4,000 employees and 394 daily flights to 32 destinations from its Newark hub.

-July 12, 1985: People Express announces its third round of fare increases for 1985.

-July 25, 1985: After two quarterly losses, the airline announces its best earnings to date for the second quarter of 1985, with net income increasing to $13 million, up 200 percent from a year earlier.

-Aug. 2, 1985: People Express announces service to Brussels, Belgium, its third international destination, with other flights to London, Montreal and more than 45 domestic cities.

-Aug. 28, 1985: A holding company, People Express Inc., is formed to make the airline less vulnerable to unfriendly takeovers and to help in expansion plans.

-Oct. 9, 1985: People Express gains a foothold in the West by acquiring Denver-based Frontier Airlines for about $300 million, outbidding Texas Air Corp. and a coalition of Frontier unions. The People Express network now serves more than 100 destinations.

-Dec. 3, 1985: During a pre-Christmas fare war, People Express announces a month-long, post-New Year fare schedule that cuts one-way rates to as low as $29 in the United States and to as low as $99 for transcontinental and trans- Atlantic flights.

-Dec. 27, 1985: The airline announces it will buy Britt Airways, a Midwest regional carrier, for an undisclosed price.

-April 28, 1986: People Express announces a frequent flyer program in a departure from its policy of equal fares for all customers, and says free food and beverages will be offered in some first-class sections.

-May 1, 1986: The airline reports it lost $58 million in the first quarter of 1986, attributing the loss partly to investment in new markets through new routes and acquisitions.

-May 3, 1986: People Express receives approval from a federal bankruptcy judge in Tampa, Fla., to buy the failing Provincetown-Boston Airline for $30 million. The People Express network now serves more than 145 cities.

-June 19, 1986: The airline announces unrestricted fare cuts averaging nearly 30 percent for most of its non-stop and connecting flights, citing lower fuel prices and its price-cutting strategy.

-June 23, 1986: Chairman Donald Burr announces People Express Inc. is considering selling all or part of the company.

-July 1, 1986: The airline cuts its one-way Brussels fare to $149 for 14- day advance booking as it moves away from the ″same fare every flight″ policy on which it was founded.

-July 7, 1986: Texas Air Corp. reportedly offers to buy People Express Inc. for $314 million. UAL Inc., the Chicago-based parent of United Airlines, and Western Airlines of Los Angeles also are reported to be interested in buying parts of the airline.

-July 8, 1986: People Express Inc.’s board of directors meets to consider offers from suitors.

-July 10, 1986: People Express agrees to sell Frontier Airlines to United Airlines for $146 million, including about $50 million for planes, landing slots and hangars. The airline rejects a $235.8 million offer from Texas Air for the whole company.

-July 31, 1986: Chairman Donald Burr tells the annual stockholders meeting that the airline would survive by tailoring itself to the highly competitive industry. Steps include fewer destinations, a new fare structure, upgraded reservation system and efforts to appeal to business travelers.

-Aug. 1, 1986: The U.S. Department of Transportation approves the sale of about $50 million in assets from Frontier Airlines to United Airlines, providing an infusion of cash for People Express. The sale of Frontier later is stalled by labor negotiations.

-Aug. 12, 1986: People Express reports a loss of $74.5 million for the second quarter of 1986, its biggest ever.

-Aug. 24, 1986: People Express orders the grounding of Frontier Airlines to stem monthly losses of $10 million.

-Aug. 25, 1986: The airline announces a $130-a-month agreement to lease to Pan Am Corp. eight planes not needed after service is stopped to five cities.

-Aug. 27, 1986: United Airlines pulls out of a $96 million deal to buy Frontier Airlines from People Express, saying it could not work out agreements with the airline’s unions.

-Aug. 28, 1986: Frontier Airlines files for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, leaving 4,700 employees jobless.

-Sept. 15, 1986: Texas Air Corp. agrees to buy People Express for about $125 million in securities, and to acquire the assets of Frontier Airlines.

Update hourly