Local News

Midway's Brief, Bumpy History At RDU

Posted August 16, 2001 8:42 a.m. EDT

— Midway Airlines

landed in the Triangle in 1995, and quickly grew to be one of the largest carriers at

Raleigh-Durham International Airport

. However, the airline has had had a relatively turbulent tenure since its arrival.

  • Midway Airlines moves to the Triangle from Chicago in early 1995. The new carrier at RDU International picks up the pieces and the flights dropped by American Airlines, which has just dismantled its RDU hub.
  • Midway quickly becomes big business in the Triangle, employing 2,250 full-time workers.
  • Along with more workers, the airline also expands its flight schedule.
  • When the airline begins losing money,

    SAS Institute

    founder Jim Goodnight and co-founder John Saul buy a major portion of the airline in 1997.

  • Midway brings in Robert Ferguson as CEO, and the airline begins making money, taking off with 13 consecutive quarters of profit.
  • By 1999, Midway's profits begin falling out of the sky. Several low-fare competitors, particularly

    Southwest Airlines

    , which begins service at RDU in June of 1999, forces Midway to reduce fares.

  • Midway brings in smaller, Canadair regional jets, but stock prices remain grounded. A share of Midway stock worth $15.50 in late 1997, hits an all-time low of $2.74 in early August 7, 2001.