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The July 4th Special Holiday Edition of OTR…

It’s been a lazy week here in OTR-land, so today I’m going to share a few things where Independence Day and Airplanes intersect:

- Independence Air was an ill-fated startup airline (sort of – it was originally regional partner Atlantic Coast Airlines, but they decided they would be better off on their own and the management launched Independence Air) based out of Washington, DC. They stood for independence (from partnerships with their former mainline partners) and, of course, freedom. Specifically, the freedom to blow through a wad of money offering $29 fares to Lansing on flights that ran 7 times a day.

- Nothing stands for Liberty more than Air Liberte. I’m not sure I’ve seen Air Egalite or Air Fraternite, but they should be in an alliance of some sort. The French airline liquidated in 2001, after 15 years of flying leisure routes from France.

- Presidential Airways flew out of Washington DC in the 1980s, eventually merging with Colgan. I remember them for being the campaign plane for Michael Dukakis, and apparently was also the campaign plane for Bob Dole, showing that bipartisanship was alive and well in the airline industry back in the day.

- Freedom Airlines was part of the Mesa Air group and flew as a Delta Commuter partner (there’s no picture because they flew under Delta’s colors). And what represents freedom more than a lawsuit, specifically a lawsuit where they ended up suing Delta for terminating their contract early. Freedom lost the suit and shut down in 2010.

- The extremely colorful Freedom Air flies from Guam to the Northern Mariana Islands, bringing its sunshiney livery to such locales as Saipan and Rota.

And finally, we should be thankful for the Fifth Freedom, which is the right for airlines to sell a seat on a route that does not begin or end in its home country. Cathay Pacific can sell seats between Vancouver and New York because of the Fifth Freedom, one of the 9 Freedoms of the Air.

Happy 4th of July…

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