Is organized at Krefeld in 1971 to provide local, nonscheduled, third-level, all-cargo services. Operations continue with little change over the next decade and in 1985 the company begins flying to both domestic and regional destinations. Through the end of the decade, flight equipment consists of a Cessna 404, 421, and 425.
In 1991, two Shorts 360-300Fs are acquired. Operations continue with success in 1992 and in 1993 President Jurgen Ossman’s fleet is increased by the addition of a third Shorts freighter and a Cessna 425 Conquest I. Airline employment stands at 80 as operations continue into 1994-1996. On December 19 of the latter year, the company is purchased by LTU International Airways, GmbH. and reformed into its commuter subsidiary RAS Fluggesellschaft, mbH.
RHEINTALFLUG-ROLF SEEWALD GESELLSCHAFT, mbH.: Bahnhofstrasse 10A, Seegalerie, Bregenz, A-6900, Austria; Phone 43 (5574) 48800; Fax 43 (5574) 488008; Http://www2.vol. at/ Rheinalflug; Code WE; Year Founded 1973. Rheintalflug is established at Hohenems in Vorariberg province during 1973 to provide single-engine air taxi services. Shareholding is divided between founder Rolf Seewald and members of his family, who form Seewald,
GmbH. In 1978, the fleet is enhanced by the addition of a Cessna 414A Chancellor.
In early 1984, founder Seewald, with himself as president and his wife, Renate Moser, as vice president, reforms his company into an airline and makes ready to operate it with a small fleet of twin-engine planes: 2 Cessna 414A Chancellors, 2 Piper PA-28 Cherokees, and 1 Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six. Scheduled services are undertaken, beginning in May, linking the carrier’s base with Vienna.
In 1985-1987, two Gulfstream Aero Commander 900s are acquired and flights begin to Parcels Viennen and Brussels. Friedrichshafen is added to the growing route network in the summer of 1988. Enplanements for the year total 10,000.
An order is placed early in 1989 for a de Havilland Canada DHC-8-100. It arrives in early fall and beginning in October is placed on the Vienna to Friedrichshafen route.
Operations continue apace in 1990 as the carrier negotiates shareholding and replacement services with Austrian Airlines, A. G. The flag carrier acquires 49% shareholding in December as the regional agrees to begin flying a route under its “OS” designator during the early part of the following year.
The Aero Commanders are replaced in April 1991 with a second de Havilland Canada DHC-8-300. In the spring, twice-daily, weekday scheduled Graz to Zurich replacement service is introduced on behalf of Austrian Airlines, A. G.
Two more of the Canadian turboprops are obtained in 1992. President Seewald’s 75-employee company airline now flies replacement services on behalf of the flag carrier to Frankfurt, Graz, Linz, and Zurich as well as its own Altenrhein to Vienna route. Throughout the year, discussions are held with Austrian concerning its possible purchase of 51% majority shareholding.
Operations continue apace in the tenth anniversary year of 1993. In February, Austrian Airlines, A. G. announces that it has decided to pass on a possible acquisition of majority interest in Rheintalflug, suggesting that it is, in fact, in its interest to keep the efficient regional independent and operating replacement services on its behalf.
During the decade of service, over 210,000 passengers have been transported. Revenues during 1994, however, decline 7% to $14.92 million.
Flights continue largely without change in 1995-1996. Passenger boardings during 1996 surge 56.3% to 75,000.
The workforce is increased by 5.6% in 1997 to 95. Early in the spring, a DHC-8-400 is ordered (with an option on a second) for the Altenrhein route; delivery is scheduled for the year 2000. A number of replacement flights are undertaken under contract to Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. On behalf of the German national airline, thrice-weekday roundtrips are initiated between Friedrichshafen and Berlin, with twice-daily return service on Saturdays and daily on Sundays. Enplanements reach 101,000.
Company employment totals 120 in 1998. The arrangement with the German major is formalized on April 1 as Rheintalflug signs the papers to become a member of the “Team Lufthansa” regional network. All three of the carrier’s DASH-8s are repainted in the partnership color scheme and operate for Deutsche Lufthansa, A. G. from Friedrichshafen to Cologne, Berlin, and Hamburg and from Munster/Onsabruck to Stuttgart. Enplanements for the year surge to 143,000 and revenues total $21.7 million.
In 1999, orders are placed for an Embraer ERJ-145 Amazon as “Team Lufthansa” flights continue. Dual designator service with Austrian Airlines, A. G. continues to also be operated five times daily from St. Gallen/Altenrhein to Vienna. The carrier’s new Embraer ERJ-145 arrives at Altenhein on the evening of December 19.
Enplanements for the year total 200,000. Revenues of $27 million are generated and expenses are $26.1 million. There is an operating profit of $900,000 and net gain of $2.9 million.
Airline employment at the beginning of 2000 stands at 140, a 16.7% increase over the previous 12 months
The ERJ-145 is christened Vorarlberg under Land (after the carrier’s home province in western Austria) by Ilga Sausgruber, wife of the governor, in a special January 10 ceremony. The next day, founder Seewald personally pilots the inaugural flight to Vienna. Following workup, the new jetliner enters service in late March between Vienna and Altenrhein. It is announced on March 29 that the last DHC-8-100 will be retired by the end of April.
Orders for another two ERJ-145s are placed on July 27 and August 4, respectively. When these join the fleet, they wear “Team Lufthansa” colors. At the same time, the DHC-8Q-400 order is deferred.
The second ERJ-145 arrives at the end of October; christened Stadt Vienna, it operates the Vienna-Altenhein route, freeing up the Vorarl-berg under Land to offer a second roundtrip from Friedrichshafen to Berlin and two new return flights from Friedrichshafen to Hamburg. Burgermeister Markus Linhart christens the third ERJ-145 Stadt Bre-genz during special ceremonies on November 24. It quickly replaces the DHC-8-300 flown between Friedrichshafen and Frankfurt.
Enplanements for the year total 250,000 and revenues of $28.3 million are generated. In February of the new year, it will be announced that the regional is to be purchased by Austrian Airlines Group for an undisclosed sum.
RHINE-AIR, A. G.: Switzerland (1979-1982). Basel-based Air-Sea Service, A. G. is reformed on April 1, 1979 and renamed. Ernst Ballmer becomes chairman/managing director with Fred Hofer as director of operations. The 20-employee, third-level company possesses an inaugural fleet of 2 Nord 262s, 1 Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander, and 1 Piper PA-31 Navajo. Destinations served include Munich and Geneva.
Enplanements skyrocket 138.8% to 5,524.
Operations continue apace in 1980 and in 1981 an Australian-made GAF Nomad N.24A, a Cessna 340, and a Mooney M20J join the fleet. Despite the changeover, the carrier is soon in financial difficulty due to over expansion, higher fuel costs, and especially the world recession. It is unable to fly beyond 1982.
RHOADES AVIATION: 4770 Ray Boll Blvd., Columbus, Indiana 47203, United States; Phone (812) 372-1819; Fax (812) 378-2708; Http://www. rhoades-aviation. com; Year Founded 1976. Rhoades is established at Columbus, Indiana, in 1976 to provide FBO, flight training, and charter activities. Over the next 24 years, the concern becomes a well-known all-cargo carrier, employing a mixed fleet of Convair CV-240s and Douglas DC-3s.
Freight flights are made to and in Mexico on behalf of the automobile, retail, and computer industries. Rhoades aircraft are also found throughout the Caribbean, operating ad hoc charters to St. Thomas, St. Croix, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Cargo services are also provided on behalf of various shippers in the U. S. and Canada. Express and passenger charters are offered employing Cessna 310s, 402Cs, and 421s.
Humanitarian service in Africa has long been a hallmark of Rhoades activity. Upwards of 200 hours a week are flown weekly under contract to the UN, International Red Cross, and Christian relief organizations.
Company employment at the beginning of 2000 stands at 50 and estimated sales of between $5 million and $9.9 million are now generated. On June 22, two each Convair CV-600F and CV-640Fs, previously operated by Kitty Hawk Air Cargo, are obtained.