Piedmont Aviation Employee Newsletter /
June 1, 1983, edition 1 /
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volume 34, number 3
News about Piedmont. The Up-And-Coming Airline.
Retired Chairman T.H. Davis (left) and President William R Howard, newly-
elected Chief Executive OfficerJor Piedmont
"There was a veiy spontaneous
feeling on the part of Piedmont
people all across the system. They
all wanted to do something nice for
Tom Davis. Something he wouldn’t
do for himself,” Art Whitaker, sta
tion manager-Roanoke, explained.
Despite the millions of dollars he
has authorized to be spent to mod
ernize and expand Piedmont itself,
the employees generally agreed that
one thing Tom Davis would not be
was extravagant with himself.
"He wouldn’t think of spending
$40,000 on a personal car; we just
knew he wouldn’t,” Whitaker
And that was how the idea began
for the employees to voluntarily
raise the money to buy a Mercedes-
Benz convertible for Tom Davis to
drive into retirement. In two weeks,
the money was raised.
Whitaker presided over the pre
sentation June 4 following the
Piedmont Games to the surprise of
Tom Davis, and the satisfaction of
some 1,000 onlookers.
I H. Davis retires,
Hov\/ard new CEO
T. H. Davis, founder of Piedmont
Airlines, retired May 4.
President William R. Howard
succeeds Davis as Chief Executive
Officer and will preside over future
meetings of the Piedmont Aviation,
Inc., Board of Directors.
Davis will continue as a member
of the Board and also serve as
Chairman of the Board’s executive
Under the leadership of Davis
Emd Howaird, Piedmont has grown
and prospered more since deregu
lation became the law of the land
than any other airline. Their lead
ership has given Piedmont unpai
alleled achievements in the chal
lenging years since 1978.
Piedmont has grown from 4,300
employees in 1978 to more than
8,700 today. Piedmont has earned
nearly $ 100 million in after tax
profits during those years, a period
when the industry as a whole was
suffering record losses.
Piedmont’s fleet has grown from
46 aircraft in 1978, including 16
YS-11 propjets, to a fleet that by the
end of 1983 wiU number 83 mod
em B727-200S and B737-200s.
By the end of 1983, Piedmont will
more than double the 4,614,000
passengers the airline carried in
All these statistics are an ever
farther cry from Piedmont’s first
year, 1948, when Davis founded a
fledgling regional carrier that flew a
small fleet of DC-3s between the
North Carolina Eind Virginia coasts
across routes terminating in Cin
Between the first flight on Feb
ruary 20, 1948, and today. Pied
mont has successfully mastered
several major transitions. Pied
mont becjime the first regional car
ricr to eai n a permanent certificate
of public convenience and neces
sity: Piedmont has grown from the
piston to the jet age, while retain
ing service to more medium and
small hub cities than any other
carrier; Piedmont has consistently
been ranked among the top three
carriers in terms of fewest com
plaints per hundred thousand pas
sengers carried. It has steadily built
the number of passengers and
markets it serves at the same time.
In recent months Piedmont has
been cited publicly by the President
continued page 6
Piedmont Aviation Employee Newsletter
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