Connect Air


May 1984

May 1984  "Second"

August 1984

Connect Air (5C) was a short-lived regional commuter that was established to provide flights from the coastal city of Santa Barbara in California to points within the state and Nevada. The airlines philosophy was based on providing service to secondary markets after some of the airlines departed after deregulation and United Airlines had trimmed operations to just serving San Francisco and Los Angeles. It was hoped a new airline could extend services and provide more of a direct service to the area. Connect Air leased two, forty passenger Fairchild F-27 turboprops and painted the aircraft in an eye-catching rainbow color scheme. Scheduled services started on May 1, 1984, from Santa Barbara to both Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Nevada. Within two weeks, service was started between Santa Barbara and San Jose in the Bay Area. Although the airline was the only carrier to fly direct to Las Vegas, it had a hard time filling seats and faced stiff competition in the Los Angeles market. With mounting operating costs, the airline had to suspend operations on October 11, 1984, having been in service only five months. The F-27s were returned to the lessors and remaining assets of the start-up airline were dissolved.

Connect Air started operations using the Fokker F-27 from its Santa Barbara base in May 1984. Over the numbers for landing on Runway 26 Right at Los Angeles International Airport in June 1984, is N1823L, a Fairchild F-27A, originally delivered to Airco Inc. in 1961.


Within two months Connect Air's eye catching rainbow colored airplanes carried passengers from airports in both California and Nevada into Santa Barbara. Getting ready to depart the ramp on another regional flight at San Jose Municipal Airport in June 1984, is N1823G, a Fairchild F-27F, leased to Connect Air in May 1984.


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