4/12/1992: US Air Shuttle Takes over Trump Shuttle

Today, in 1992, US Air Shuttle took to the skies after taking over the Trump Shuttle operation.



April 12, 2024

DALLAS — Today, in 1992, US Air Shuttle (US) took to the skies after taking over the Trump Shuttle (TB) operation. TB ceased to exist on April 7, when the latest owners merged it into a new holding company, "Shuttle, Inc."

Donald Trump created his own airline in 1989 after raising US$365 million to purchase Eastern Airlines Shuttle (EA), which can be traced back to 1961. The service offered business travelers hourly flights between New York (LGA), Boston (BOS), and Washington (DCA). TB initially operated sixty-four flights per day.

TB operated a fleet of Boeing 727-100s and -200s, all inherited from EA. Photo: JetPix GFDL 1.2

A Luxury Product

The airline inherited 17 Boeing 727s, and the new owners spent US$1m refurbishing each aircraft. Trump also turned the operation from a no-frills operation to a luxury service. Aircraft were kitted out with maple wood veneer and gold bathroom accessories. Passengers were offered free meals and complimentary champagne and wine.

However, within 18 months, TB had lost over US$128m. Trump wanted out and decided to look for a buyer.

A USAir Shuttle Boeing 727-200 at Washington National Airport. Photo: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland - US Air Shuttle Boeing 727-254; N913TS@DCA;19.07.1995, CC BY-SA 2.0

US Air Shuttle

US Air saw the value in the ‘shuttle’ product and, in December 1991, agreed to take over the service. This would be a marketing agreement with US Air, which would fly it as the US Shuttle for ten years, with the option to buy the company after five. The airline exercised this right on November 19, 1997, purchasing the remaining 60% of outstanding shares.

Today, the US Air Shuttle is known as the American Airlines Shuttle after US was absorbed into AA in October 2015. It serves LGA, BOS, DCA, and Chicago (ORD). The airline utilizes its Airbus A319, Boeing 737-800, and Embraer E175 jets on the routes.

Featured image: The US Air Shuttle subsidiary was merged into the mainline operation in July 2000, and the 'Shuttle' branding was removed from the aircraft. Photo: Ken Fielding CC BY-SA 3.0