Air Florida was an American low-cost carrier that operated from 1971 to 1984. In 1975 it was headquartered in the Dadeland Towers in what is now the Kendall CDP in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Air Florida was a small U.S. and international airline based out of Miami International Airport. It started operations in 1972, after being formed in 1971. Initial aircraft included the Boeing 707, later transitioning to the Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop. Air Florida's fleet would grow to include the McDonnell Douglas DC-9, Boeing 727, Boeing 737, and McDonnell Douglas DC-10. In addition to Air Florida having a large presence in the Northeast-to-Florida market during the 1970s and 1980s, the airline also expanded internationally and served various points in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as London, Brussels, Shannon, Frankfurt, Zurich, and Amsterdam.
Air Florida was well known for its attractive flight attendants and, on international flights, four-star cuisine. As with many airlines during the deregulation era, Air Florida expanded rapidly and began to incur heavy financial losses. In Air Florida's case, the heavy financial losses were due to extreme mismanagement of operating revenues and aircraft lease contracts. The crash of Air Florida Flight 90 in 1982 accelerated its demise and it declared bankruptcy and ceased operations on July 3, 1984. When operations ceased, Air Florida had over 18 months of unprocessed credit card ticket purchases and dozens of flight crews idle at home because management had failed to renew leases on all DC-10-30 aircraft.
Shortly before the crash of Air Florida Flight 90, CEO Ed Acker was hired as the Chairman, CEO and President of Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, which collapsed into insolvency on December 4, 1991.
On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into Washington, DC's 14th Street Bridge and fell into the Potomac River shortly after taking off. A total of 70 passengers, 4 crew, and 4 motorists on the bridge were killed. The crash was due to an anti-icing system being left off, which caused an inaccurately high engine pressure ratio (EPR) indication at an extremely low power setting, and the crew's failure to either abort the takeoff or apply maximum engine power. The crash prompted modifications to Air Florida's pilot training regarding anti-ice systems. The FAA also required revised aircraft de-icing procedures at airports.
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