Re: 1970 ROA Schedule Question
Date: August 23, 2009 03:11PM
Remember that a lot of planes went to INT back then for overnight maintenance. ROA also had a much smaller maintenance base, but INT was the airline's primary maintenance facility.
Many of those late night and early morning flights flew with precious few, and occasionally no, passengers.
Times have changed a thousand-fold from those days. Back then, the CAB mandated which airline could operate which routes and there were some profit protection measures in place to ensure airline stability and long term health. Airlines routinely operated flights well below 50% load factor and made fantastic profits back then.
Many other carriers, like PI, had quirky schedules that would make no sense in today's market.
DL, in an effort to get maximum utilization out of its fleet, for DECADES offered special fares for late night flying -- a flight would leave New Orleans at, say, 1:45am and arrive Dallas or Oklahoma City at 3:07am.
I have a B&W photo of the ROA ramp around 1970 -- it was an early morning photo taken from the ATC tower. There are NINE PI aircraft on that ramp! YS-11s, 737s, and 2 727-100s! Those were the days!