Reno Air was founded in 1990 by former executives from Frontier and Midway Airlines, to provide low-fare scheduled air service to the northern Nevada resort city. The carrier’s first flight occurred on July 1, 1992, between Reno and Seattle. With a fleet of McDonnell Douglas MD-80s and MD-90s, Reno Air served destinations throughout the Western United States, Alaska, and Vancouver, Canada, from hubs at Reno-Tahoe, San Jose, and Las Vegas. A commuter subsidiary, Reno Air Express, served smaller airports in California and Oregon with BAe Jetstream 31s. A separate route network was maintained out of Gulfport, Mississippi, to connect Atlanta, Orlando-Sanford, and St. Petersburg-Clearwater with the gaming sector in that city.
Reno Air would be purchased by American Airlines in February of 1999, as part of the latter carrier’s efforts to bolster a north-south network on the West Coast via San Jose. The carrier’s last flight under its own name was on August 30 of that year.
by Stephen J. Cox