President T. H. Davis welcomed Northwest Air
lines' Chairman D. W. Nyrop to Piedmont’s pre
inaugural dinner in Tampa.
Also on hand for the occasion was L. E. Dixon
of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, shown
here with W. G. McGee and W. R. Howard.
In town to help introduce Piedmont to Tampa
were Piedmont salesmen Ted Dawson of At
lanta and John Lasater from Denver.
Tampa sets records
for a new station
Piedmont’s new service between the Car-
olinas and the Florida Gulf Coast started
with the best passenger load factors of
any new station in the Company’s history.
The numbers show the April passenger
load factor for the northbound flight from
Tampa was 84.9 per cent; southbound, it
was 57.2 per cent, for an average of 71.1
per cent for the first month of operation.
This is a record load factor for a newly
opened station. Even with warming wea
ther leading into Tampa’s off-peak season,
the numbers continue to look good. The
station posted an average load factor of
61.8 per cent for May and 58.2 per cent
through the first 16 days of June.
The initial schedule, implemented April
1, 1979, included nonstop service between
the Tampa International Airport and Char
lotte. Direct service between Boston and
Greensboro / High Point / Winston - Salem
and the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater
area was also offered with the first flights.
Prior to the inaugural of t h e Tampa
flights, the Company held a reception and
dinner for civic leaders, members of the
business sector, and news media represent
atives from the Tampa/St. Petersburg/
Clearwater area. The region is well-known
for its enthusiastic interest in and support
of commercial aviation. President Davis
told the group that Piedmont “is delighted
to be in Tampa, and we’re looking for
ward to becoming an integral part of your
Piedmont started its Tampa operation
with a station complement of six, including
Station Manager Bill Wooten. Fred Sheets
is city sales manager.
Piedmont’s request for the Tampa au
thority, filed in March, 1978, was granted
by the Civil Aeronautics Board in Janu
Our first Tampa passenger was Mary Beth Federico, a Salem
College student, center. She cut the ceremonial ribbon prior
to the first Tampa flight on April 1, 1979. Piedmont personnel
included, from left. Station Manager Bill Wooten, Captain
Gene Gibbs, Flight Attendants Linda Ashley and Linda Jones,
First Officer Larry Holman, Flight Attendant Judy Barney,
and Fred Sheets, City Sales Manager.
Our first flight to DFW originated in Greensboro early Sunday
morning, April 29, 1979. Greensboro - High Point Airport
Authority officials there for the ribbon-cutting festivities in
cluded, from left, William Jones, Herman Fox and Clarence
Keever. Actually wielding the scissors was Forrest Campbell,
chairman of the Guilford County commissioners. Roger
Sekadio, executive director of the airport and Senior Vice
President Ken Ross are at right.
Texas is newest
Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas got a double
dose of time saving on April 29 this year.
Like most of the country, the cities went
on daylight saving time. In addition,
DFW got new Piedmont nonstop jet flights
to the heart of the mid-Atlantic states.
The initial schedule included nonstop,
round-trip flights between DFW and Ra
leigh / Durham and between DFW and
Greensboro / High Point / Winston-Salem.
During the first weeks of operation, the
flights have shown consistent growth. The
passenger load factors for the Dallas
flights were 34.8 per cent in May and 42.1
per cent through the first 16 days of June.
DFW enplanements totaled 2,396 for May.
Nonstop flights between Charlotte and
DFW were added to the schedule June 14,
Piedmont is DFW’s 11th airline. DFW
Is Piedmont’s 51st station.
At a luncheon for Dallas and Ft. Worth
community leaders, President Davis said,
“Our inauguration of service to DFW
marks Piedmont’s initial entry into the
State of Texas. There is a substantial com
munity of interest, particularly in the fur
niture and textile industries between the
north Texas area and the mid-Atlantic
states which has long needed improved
transportation services. Piedmont will ful
fill these needs.”
The Company opened its DFW operation
with eight station personnel, including Sta
tion Manager Jack Brandon. Jim Sheats
is Piedmont’s district sales manager for
Piedmont’s request for DFW authority,
filed in September, 1977, was granted in
President Davis and Don Hicks of the
Dallas City Council swapped a Piedmont
model for a key to Dallas.
At our press conference for the DFW opening were, clock
wise, W. G. McGee, David Johnson of KERA, Al Altwegg of
the Dallas Morning News (behind McGee), Pete Bulban of
Aviation Week, President Davis, Senior Vice President W. R.
Howard and Ed Hanley of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram.
James Nichols, president of the Ft. Worth
Chamber of Commerce, presented Presi
dent Davis with a key to his city and
received a Piedmont 737 model.