Dash Air


August 1982


September 1983


November 1983 


July 1984


Dash Air (WI) started as a privately-owned, local air taxi operator known as Air Irvine operating Piper Navajo and Cessna 402 aircraft from Orange County-Santa Ana Airport. With operations starting in September 1981, Air Irvine provided service from Orange County to both Los Angeles and Palm Springs as well as charter flights. Realizing an opportunity to expand scheduled passenger commuter flights the airline was renamed Dash Air on June 1, 1983, and placed an order of four new Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante turboprops, with the first aircraft being delivered in August 1983.

New routes to Fresno, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and seasonal service to Mammoth Lakes was all started on September 1, 1983, from the Orange County airport. Initial load factors were promising so Dash Air continued its growth and expansion plan, by adding Modesto and Ontario in November 1984, and set its sights on the California Central Valley with four new cities slated to be added by early 1984. With added capacity needed on some routes, the airline leased two Shorts 360 turboprops and placed an order for two, new Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia's which had a delivery date of 1986. In February 1984, Dash Air, added service to Monterey from both Santa Barbara and Orange County and by the second quarter of 1984 started to suffer financially. By July 1984, the airline was operating three EMB-110s and two Shorts 360s with services to seven California cities including new routes to San Francisco from both Frenso and Monterey.

The rather massive route expansion and high aircraft lease payments resulted in the airline losing money quickly. By early September it was realized that the airline could now longer maintain operations and on September 13, 1984, Dash Air suspended operations and filed bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

Local air taxi operator Air Irvine started operations in 1981 flying to LAX and Palm Springs from Orange County. Parked on the ramp at Orange County-John Wayne Airport in April 1983, is N35490, a Piper PA-31-350, Navajo Chieftain.


During Dash Air's 1984 expansion, routes were extended as far north as Monterey and San Francisco. Seen arriving at the terminal at Monterey Regional Airport in February 1984, is N202EB, and Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandereirante.


Dash Air introduced the Shorts 360 in 1984 to increase range and capacity on new and existing routes. Parked on the ramp at McClellan-Palomar Airport in August 1984, is N132DA, a Short 360-100.




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