Henson Aviation Allegheny Commuter

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Allegheny Commuter Carried 14,000 Passengers in April 1975

Henson Aviation’s Allegheny Commuter air service set an all-time record in April 1975 by carrying more than 14,000 passengers. Henson operated a fleet of five 15-passenger Beech-99 turbine powered airplanes from Hagerstown Regional Airport and Salisbury-Wicomico County Airport, with service to Washington National, and Baltimore-Washington International Airports. There were 16 flights in and out of Hagerstown daily, and another 28 flights in an out of Salisbury.

The record-setting passenger count for April was 14,063 as compared with 13,557 for March. The April figures show 3,045 passengers were handled at Hagerstown, and 5,579 at Salisbury. In addition, 2,875 passengers were carried between Baltimore and Philadelphia, and another 2,564 passengers were carried between Baltimore and Washington.

Statistics filed with the Civil Aeronautics Board by Henson Aviation for its Allegheny Commuter service for the month of April also show a perfect 100% “performance factor.” This means that every flight scheduled during the month was completed. While Henson’s “performance factor,” despite the hazard of mechanical and weather problems, had been consistently high, it was the first time that it was 100%. Other recent ratings had been January 97%, February 99%, and March 98%.

The commuter concept in air carrier service was started at BWI (formerly Friendship) Airport some years ago when Henson Aviation replaced all of Allegheny Airlines’ local services in Maryland. This service, from Hagerstown and Salisbury, marked the initiation of the Allegheny Commuter approach, which has since developed into a rather sophisticated package, including scheduling, connections, reservations, ticketing, through fares, logos, professionalism of flight operations, facilities, and marketing.

Since Henson led the way, the Allegheny Commuter has grown to include a total of 21 individual operations throughout the industrial East.

Photo courtesy Jack King

“In Retrospect” is courtesy of the Maryland Cracker Barrel magazine, the “Sentinel of Washington County’s Heritage.” Since June 1971, the quarterly publication has focused on local history and may be purchased at any of the more than 30 sites in Maryland and Pennsylvania or by subscription. Subscriptions ($17 annually) may be obtained by calling 301-582-3885 or writing to: Maryland Cracker Barrel, 7749 Fairplay Road, Boonsboro, MD 21713.

Hagerstown Magazine