An airplane wing served as a good contract signing spot when Frank Marshall signed papers
transferring the assets of his company to Piedmont Aviation, Inc. Manassas Mayor Harry Parrish
and Piedmont Executive Vice President William Magruder were also on hand for the occasion.
Vol. XXVI, No. 1
Piper group grows
Piedmont Manassas Aero is the newest general aviation activity
of the Company. It was established late last year following comple
tion of the purchase of Marshall Aviation, Inc. of Manassas, Vir
Piedmont bought the principal assets and leasehold rights of
the Marshall firm including the Manassas Airport lease, the Mar
shall facilities and the Piper and Lycoming distributorships.
The acquisition extended the Piedmont Piper Sales Division’s
franchise for wholesale sales of Piper aircraft and other products
to all of Virginia and Maryland and to the District of Columbia.
The Manassas Municipal Airport is extensively used for gen
eral aviation operations in the Washington area.
The new Manassas operation has become part of Piedmont’s
Piper group which also includes Central Piedmont Aero and Pied
mont Piper Sales. Its retail activities will include plane, parts and
fuel sales as w'ell as maintenance services and flight instruction.
Bob Hardesty, who was business manager for Piedmont’s gen
eral aviation activities at Norfolk, was named manager of Piedmont
Finonciolly, '74 was Piedmonf's best year
Despite declines in traffic and income in
the fourth quarter Piedmont Aviation, Inc. re
ported record earnings for 1974.
The Company had earnings of $7,047,318
last year compared with $3,315,909 in 1973.
Primary earnings per share were up from
$1.35 in 1973 to $2.86 per share in 1974.
Gross revenues for the Company were
$161,877,306 in 1974 as compared to $129,030,-
147 a year earlier, an increase of 26 per cent.
Costs and expenses rose 22 per cent from
$124,622,731 in 1973 to $152,405,948 in 1974.
The Airline Division showed earnings of
$6,291,223 on gross revenues of $136,711,607
for 1974. In 1973 the airline earned $2,806,443
on gross revenues of $111,447,634.
General Aviation and other operations had
earnings of $756,095 on gross revenues of
$25,165,699 in 1974 as compared to earnings
of $509,466 on $17,582,513 gross revenues dur
ing the prior year.
While the Company as a whole had a 1974
fourth quarter net income of $130,643, as com
pared to $874,191 a year earlier, the Airline
Division posted a loss of $77,407 for the last
quai-ter. In the 1973 fourth quarter the airline
had a net income of $710,321.
When President Tom Davis made the an
nouncement of last year’s earnings he said
“The airline division’s loss during the fourth
quarter, as compared to the substantial profit
shown during the same period in 1973, was the
result of unusually high traffic growth in the
last quarter of 1973 because of automobile gas
shortages on the one hand and severely de
pressed traff^ic in the 1974 fourth quarter be
cause of general economic conditions on the
other. Greatly increased fuel cost also contribut
ed to the loss” he said.
In other financial new's of the Company, the
directors of Piedmont Aviation, Inc. declared,
in January, a cash dividend of ten cents per
share on the Company’s common stock. The
dividend was paid March 3, 1975 to stockhold
ers of record on February 14. It was the tw^elfth
cash dividend to be paid by the Company. The
first was in 1964. In addition, the Company
has paid four 10 per cent stock dividends, in
1961, 1963, 1969 and 1973. There were tw'O cash
dividends paid last year. At their October, 1974
meeting the directors initiated a policy of con
sidering payments of cash dividends on a quar
The complete Annual Report to Stockholders
for 1974 was mailed in mid-March.
We're number one again
It isn’t easy to better the best. But Piedmont
has managed to do just that.
After having had the happiest customers
among all the regional airlines during all of last
year. Piedmont produced an even better record
for the first month of 1975.
In January Piedmont had the best passenger
complaint record among all the nation’s airlines.
According to the monthly report of the Civil
Aeronautics Board’s Office of the Consumer
Advocate, Piedmont had only 2.49 complaints
per 100,000 passengers boarded. Next closest
was Delta with 3.23 complaints.
Since this report was started in 1970 Piedmont
has always ranked first or second among the
regional carriers and near the top in the entire
Notices of the annual meeting of
shareholders of Piedmont Aviation, Inc.
have been mailed out. The meeting will
be at the Company’s genei’al ofl'ice head
quarters, Smith Reynolds Airport, Win-
ston-Salem, North Carolina on Wednes
day, April 16, 1975 at 10:00 a.m.
Shareholders will vote on the election
of 12 directors. They will consider adop
tion of the 1975 Employee Qualified
Stock Option Plan and adoption of
the 1975 Employee Nonqualified Stock
Fourth quarter traffic decline continues in
Editor’s note: The practice of comparmg monthly traf
fic results between one year and the immediately pre
ceding year does not always present an accurate picture
of the situation. As you, Piedmont’s employees, note
the following statistics on January and February 1975 as
compared to the first two months of 1974 remember
that 1974 was anything but a traditional year for
Piedtnont. The first quarter of last year luas, by far,
the best first quarter Piedmont and the regional air
line industry has ever had. Severe automobile gasoline
shortages had put a lot of people on airplanes. The
changes in the fuel supply situation and the general
economy which we have seen since then are reflected in
these comparative figures.
Piedmont’s traffic, which started to fall off'
in the fourth quarter of last year, continued to
slip during January and February.
Available seat miles was the only category
in the comparative traffic results which show
ed an increase for the first two months of this
year. For January and February ASMs were up
15 per cent, to 340,422,472 this year as com
pared to 296,008,344 in 1974.
The number of passengers who flew Pied
mont was down 5.28 per cent in January and
14.50 per cent in February for a year to date
decline of 9.89 per cent. The actual count show
ed 254,354 passengers boarded in January and
229,653 carried in February of 1975 as compared
to 268,528 in January and 268,595 in February
of last year.
Revenue passenger miles, which are down
5.87 per cent through the first two months of
this year, slipped 1.89 per cent in January and
9.93 per cent in February. The year to date
totals for RPMs show 139,423,362 for 1975
compared to 148,113,095 a year ago.
The passenger load factor was 40.50 per cent
in January of this year as compared to 48.08
per cent for the first month of 1974. For Febru
ary, 1975 the load factor was 41.48 per cent.
In the same month last year it was 52.20 per
cent. The year to date load factor shows 40.96
per cent for 1975 as compared to 50.04 per
cent a year earlier.
When Senior Vice President Ken Ross made
the announcements of the traffic results he
noted that Piedmont’s traffic volume tradition
ally improves after the first quarter of the year.
He also said, “We feel that the deterioration in
our traffic is a result of the general economic
situation. However, we anticipate an upturn
later in the spring.”