History

  • 1977
    Great Lakes Aviation traces its success back to April 15th with the creation of Spirit Lake Airways. Found by Doug Voss and Ivan Simpson in Spirit Lake, Iowa, the company offered flight instruction, charter service, and aircraft maintenance.
  • 1979
    Great Lakes Aviation officially incorporated on October 25th; the Company name change reflected its expansion in the Iowa Great Lakes Region of Northwest Iowa.
  • 1981
    First scheduled passenger flight began on October 12th between between Spencer and Des Moines, Iowa.
  • 1983
    On June 15th, the company acquired its first of eight Beechcraft 99 Turboprop airliners.
  • 1985
    In August, the company acquired its first Chicago O' Hare landing FAA slot lottery. This event allowed the beginning of scheduled service to Chicago O' Hare. In October , Great Lakes Aviation was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide service to its first subsidized Essential Air Service Routes.
  • 1987
    Great Lakes Aviation took delivery of their first Beechcraft 1900 Turboprop airliner with 19-seat capacity.
  • 1988
    April 1st Great Lakes acquired Alliance Airline's route structures and it's Chicago O'Hare landing slots, greatly enhancing the companies presence at Chicago O'Hare.
  • 1991
    In June, Great Lakes began providing scheduled air service to Denver's Stapleton Airport from cities in, Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota.
  • 1992
    On April 25th Great Lakes Aviation inaugurated service as a United Express carrier through a comprehensive marketing agreement with United Airlines.
  • 1994
    On January 20th, the Company completed an initial public offering of its stock trading on the NASDAQ exchange under GLUX. The proceeds allowed the acquisition of larger aircraft. In May, Great Lakes Aviation purchased it's first of twelve Embraer Brasilia aircraft, which provide 30-seat capacity and in-flight service. The company also took delivery of its first Beechcraft 1900D airliner, which features a stand-up cabin enhancing passenger comfort.
  • 1998
    Great Lakes Aviation was selected by United Airlines to provide regional air service at 20 locations in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska to feed the Denver Hub.
  • 1999
    Great Lakes Aviation signed a lease with the Cheyenne Airport in May that facilitated a move from Spencer, Iowa to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The state of Wyoming provided funding to build a new maintenance facility and corporate headquarters for Great Lakes Aviation. Construction began in August.
  • 2000
    The move into the final phase of the new Corporate Headquarters was complete and creating approximately 150 new positions in Wyoming.
  • 2001
    On May 1st, Great Lakes Aviation announced a re-branding from the United Express to it's own independent identity "Great Lakes Airlines." A new code-share agreement with United Airlines was negotiated, allowing the company to arrange similar code-sharing relationships with other airlines. On July 9th, a code-share agreement began with Frontier Airlines bringing their affordable fares to communities served by Great Lakes Airlines.
  • 2002
    In August, Great Lakes welcomed new CEO, Chuck Howell. Mr. Howell came to Great Lakes from Nashville, Tennessee, where he served the previous six years as President/CEO of Corporate Airlines - a regional airline that has code-share agreements with Midway, Trans World and American Airlines.
  • 2006
    Great Lakes Airlines began offering their own inflight magazine, 'Peaks & Plains', to spotlight the small communities they serve.
  • 2008
    Great Lakes Airlines entered into its first Interline Electronic Ticketing agreement with US Airways allowing for a Great Lakes flight to be purchased in combination with a US Airways flight and passengers receive just one ticket.
  • 2011
    Great Lakes celebrates its 30th year of airline service. They sign Interline Electronic Ticketing agreements with American Airlines and Delta Airlines. Great Lakes began expanding to 7 new communities with service into Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
  • 2012
    The expansion into MSP continued well into 2012, returning Great Lakes to the hub city where its headquarters were located for a short period of time.
  • 2013
    In August implementation of new 1500 hour ATP First Officer qualifications goes into effect.
  • 2014
    In January new Part 117 Flight & Duty Time Rest Rules took effect.
    In March received FAA authorization adding Part 135 Operation Specifications to existing Part 121 Certificate.
    Also, in March added Delta SkyMiles program to all Delta ticketed flights.