This month marks 40 years since the tragic Air Florida crash into a bridge over the Potomac.
Air Florida had been one the airline darlings of the post-deregulation commercial aviation era that began in 1978, but by 1984 had ceased operations. Rapid expansion which turned the carrier into a domestic and international force had come too quickly, without a solid base of passengers and operations.
Air Florida’s greatest impact was probably the initiation of fare wars on routes from Florida to the Northeast which hurt legacy carriers like Eastern, Pan Am and Delta.
Prior to deregulation in 1978, Air Florida was a carrier limited only to routes within Florida. Throughout its existence the airline had a robust level of intrastate service.
Below are a number of route maps charting Air Florida’s growth, shifts and fall: