Midwest Air Charter

The company was started in 1970 with a meeting of the Midwest Flying Club. In 1972 the Flying Club developed into a small business and applied for a FAR 135 certificate which would grant the firm status as an air-taxi operator. Also in 1972, they were awarded a five-year contract with the Federal Reserve to ship canceled checks. Midwest then purchased 30 airplanes. Using Midwest, the time required by the Federal Reserve to process the checks was reduced throughout the entire nation. Checks that had been taking one week to clear banks were now clearing in 24 hours.

In 1973, Midwest moved operations to Lorain County Airport, due to larger, better facilities. Midwest’s main customers continued to be the Federal Reserve and small banks.  In 1976, AFC contracted with Midwest to fly in and out of 35 cities in the eastern part of the U.S. A Charter Express system was established and was continually expanded in the capacity and number of cities served. Also that year, Midwest began working out of the Wilmington Industrial Air Park. They used two main hangars, four smaller hangars, the runways, taxi ways and concrete aprons.

Midwest moved their operations from Elyria, Ohio to the Wilmington Air Park in 1978. The Industrial Air Park offered a great deal of ramp and hangar space. In addition, the problem of air traffic control congestion was lessened.  Midwest’s involvement with AFC increased and on April 17, 1980, Airborne Freight Corporation acquired Midwest Air Charter and Midwest was renamed Airborne Express, Inc.

Midwest had been flying 50 aircraft of 11 types. Once purchased by AFC, they immediately began standardizing the fleet to YS-11s for the shorter flights, and DC-9s for the longer routes.