Skip to Content
North Carolina Newspapers

The Piedmonitor. online resource (None) 1951-19??, March 01, 1980, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

The Tony Jannus story On New Year’s Day of 1914, a single-engine biplane lifted off the water near St. Petersburg and head ed east under the bright Florida sun across Tampa Bay. Some 23 minutes and 21 miles later, the pilot, Tony Jannus, landed the Benoist “flying boat” at Tampa. It was the world’s first scheduled airline flight. Later that day, Jannus, and his passenger, the mayor of St. Peters burg, flew back across the bay to complete the maiden round trip. For the next few months the “Airboat Line” scheduled two round trips a day, but on a good day it sometimes made as many as five. The lone pas senger sat in an open cockpit, and the one-way fare was $5. Soon a sister ship was added with room for a second passenger and a top speed of 70 miles an hour. Cargo was often carried, usually hams and bacon bound for grocery stores, and Jannus’ line became the first air freight carrier in addition to being the initial passenger airline. But Jannus’ fledgling airline failed—bad weather or engine problems often interrupted service, and the Cham ber of Commerce subsidy never did cover costs. When the “Airboat It comes high but we must have it SWIRS PREMIUM HAMS AMD BACON RECEIVQ) BY Airboat Express yotcriiy mominj Althav|b they cum high tht ptkc u LOW Hun Ik pou^ Eicon Thii is for Iwo iin only. Hefner Grocery Co. THREE MODERN GROCERY STORES Line” closed down in April, however, the two flying boats had logged 11,000 miles and carried more than 1,200 passengers. Tony Jannus’ flight in the sun— just ten years after the Wright Bro thers and Kitty Hawk—launched an industry that ultimately would change our world, our thinking and our lives. Ironically, Jannus’ early flights skirted the present site of Tampa International Airport — one of the best in the world. Jannus died during World War I when his plane disappeared over the Black Sea, but his inaugural airline flight lives on. Each year, in the spring, airline exeutives, flight pio neers and other aviation leaders fly into Tampa from around the globe for the Tony Jannus Award Dinner. The award dinner is hosted by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Com merce and has become through the years a focal point of the airline in dustry. It’s a sellout, gala affair highlighted by an impressive award to the year’s “outstanding contrib utor to scheduled a i r transporta tion.” Piedmont President T. H. Davis received the 1980 award. Story and pictures on page two. March/April, 1980 Vol. XXXI, No. 2 Weak first quarter did include some good records The first quarter of the year, traditionally our weakest period, did see some new record highs recorded in 1980. Starting with the traffic numbers, which do determine the dollars for the financial report, the Airline Division marked up a 42.93 percent gain in available seat miles. For the January- through-March period, ASM’s totalled 1,047,- 979,645 as compared to 733,216,373 last year. Revenue passenger miles were up 32.60 per cent, to 481,757,347 from 363,304,520. Passen ger enplanements totalled 1,203,985 during the first three months, up 7.10 percent from the 1,124,141 carried in the same period of 1979. The passenger load factor was 45.97 percent for the first quarter of this year as compared to 49.55 percent in the same period last year. Both the available seat and revenue passenger mile figures set new quarterly records. The passenger boarding totals set a new first-quart er record. Additional records were set in the Airline’s cargo operation, which reported record increas es in express and PEP shipments and mail carried. The highly-productive cargo revenues were up 31.72 percent during the first quarter, to $3,932,239^from $2,985,365 in the comparable months last year. The Company posted a net loss of $5,115,- 000,or $1.30 per share, for the first quarter of 1980. During the same period in 1979, Piedmont Aviation, Inc. had a loss of $3,582,000, or $1.18 per share. The loss per available seat mile was less in the first quarter of this year than in the same period of 1979. The Company’s gross revenues were $97.6 million in the first quarter, an increase of 49.7 percent over the $65.2 million of revenues re ceived for the first quarter of 1979. Costs and expenses were up 48.6 percent from $70.2 mil lion in 1979 to $104.3 million this year. Pre-tax earnings of the Company’s General Aviation Group more than doubled from $279,- 793 in 1979 to $640,044 in 1980. The Airline Division reflected a pre-tax loss of $7,285,236 this year as opposed to $5,221,232 last year. When the results were announced. Senior Vice President T. W. Morton said, “Most of the gain in revenues was caused by a 33 per cent growth in passenger traffic resulting from a substantial expansion of services since last year. The first quai’ter has always been the weakest period of the year and the increased loss this year can largely be attributed to the larger scope of our airline operations. In addi tion, operations were severely curtailed for several days as a result of two record snowfalls in the heart of our system in February and early March.” General Aviation VP C. W. Gough dies General Aviation Group Vice President C. W. Gough, Jr. suffered a fatal heart attack on March 24, 1980. Gough began his 37-year career with Pied mont as a mechanic’s helper in 1943. He was named parts manager in 1948. In 1962 he was promoted to assistant to the vice president of the General Aviation Division. Gough became an assistant vice president of the Company in 1971. He was appointed vice president—avia tion services for the General Aviation Group in 1977. At the annual stockholders meeting Pres ident T. H. Davis said of Gough, “He was a very fine associate of ours. He was a young fellow, only 56, and had done a fantastic job for our Company. He will certainly be missed.” A native of Forsyth County, North Caro lina, Gough was a graduate of Mineral Springs High School. He also attended the Alexander Hamilton Institute and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Gough’s survivors include his wife, Barbara P f a f f Gough, and daughter, Stephanie Gay Gough. C. IV. Gough, Jr. vice president— aviation services General Aviation Group

North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.

Digital North Carolina