A group of former Braniff International employees, headed by pilots Glenn Shoop and Jack
Morton, approached Chicago businessman Jay Pritzker regarding the purchase of the
airline. Pritzker, Chairman of the Board of Hyatt Corporation and partner in the law firm of
Pritzker and Pritzker, became President and Director of Dalfort Corporation, as well as
President and Director of Hyatt Air.
Pritzker’s interest in acquiring the company centered around the many concessions offered by
former employee union groups. A deal was agreed upon and like the Phoenix rising from ashes,
Braniff emerged as a new company. The company was incorporated in Nevada.
March 1 a new smaller Braniff began service with 30 B-727 jets flying to 25 cities. William
Slattery, formerly with TWA, became president of the enthusiastic and hopeful organization.
There wasn’t a dry eye among all the employees. “We’re back and we’re better!”
Braniff II was back in the air and we wore a dark navy blue suit with an off-white satin blouse.
We had a choice of two ties to wear..either a red or off-white piped in red to brighten up the
uniform. Additional pieces of the uniform were a vest and split skirt. For warmer days we had a
two-piece light weight dress that was navy and white worn with a navy belt. The serving apron
was a navy wrap-around. Later the satin blouse was changed to a shirt waist blouse. This uniform
was designed and made by Brenner of Dallas
In November, Braniff redefined its place in the airline industry, and reduced the fleet by 20 aircraft,
some of which were used in on-line service, others were used in charter operations.
Ron Ridgeway, former Braniff executive and former president and CEO of SMB Stage Lines,
replaced Mr. Slattery as president. Braniff eliminated short-haul flights “business cabin” and
instituted long-haul flights with low, unrestricted fares, reducing the number of cities served to 10.
1985 Braniff once again became profitable, utilizing a low-cost, low-fare strategy and posted a $23 million profit for fiscal 1985.
The company leased 20 B-727 aircraft from BRNF liquidating trust.
In June Braniff grew slowly but profitably, employing 2,000 and serving 15 airports with 22
aircraft. They posted a net income of $23,000,000 for the year.
May 1987 J. Patrick Foley replaced Mr. Ridgeway as CEO while retaining his previous title of
vice chairman. Mr. Foley was also Chairman of Hyatt Hotels Corp. which operated more than 88
deluxe hotels in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
October 22, Braniff announced scheduled delivery of 10 leased 737-200 aircraft due in November
1987 and March 1988.
October 28 Braniff announced negotiations for a merger with Florida Express and acquired control
on April 18, 1988.
November 18, Braniff announced daily non-stop service between Orlando and Chicago, Detroit,
New York, Washington and DFW, to become effective January 15.
On June 13 a memo to employees announced the offer of a viable buy-out of the airline by Paine
Webber Inc. and an unnamed investment group.
In June, majority interest in Braniff was acquired from Dalfort, by BIA-COR Holdings and Braniff became a subsidiary of BIA-COR. A new senior management team was installed: Chaired by CEO William G. McGee, VP and Chief Financial Officer W. Howard Mackinnon, Executive Vice President, Planning, Richard L. James. All these men were former executives of Piedmont Airlines. BIA-COR Holdings was headed by Jeffrey Chodorow and Arthur Cohen investors from the East Coast.
On September 12, Braniff’s expanded Kansas City, MO hub opens with 72 flights.
On December 20 Braniff took delivery of the eleventh 737-200 jet aircraft.
On January 1 Braniff operated a fleet of 24 Boeing 727-200 aircraft, 18 BAC-111 aircraft and
15 737-200 aircraft.
January 4, Braniff re-established itself as a major competitor with the announcement of firm orders
for 50 Airbus Industrie A-320 aircraft, with options for 50 more.
In January, Braniff announced plans to acquire the lease of 16 gates in Terminal A in Kansas
City, representing a 50% increase in capacity at its major hub. Braniff operated 84 daily departures
from MCI, and 34 flights from Orlando, Florida.
In February Braniff announced its headquarters were to move from Dallas to Orlando and
maintenance facilities were to move to Kansas City and Orlando.
Refurbished reservations facilities opened in Kansas City in March.
In April Braniff began operations from enhanced facilities at Kansas City Airport Terminal A.
Braniff’s Kansas City hub offered travelers 93 daily departures, with 34 nonstop destinations.
On May 8 Braniff opened its new interim corporate headquarters in Orlando.
Braniff’s intent to purchase 50 A-320s from Airbus Industries won the Air Finance Journal “Deal of the Year.”
On June 1 Braniff had 4,829 employees systemwide. It operated a fleet of 61 aircraft including 19 737-200s, 24 727-200s and 18 BAC-111s.
In June Braniff borrowed $5,000,000 from Singer-Link.
By July 1 Braniff’s Orlando hub offered 31 daily jet departures to 22 nonstop destinations. Braniff accepted delivery of its first Airbus Industrie A-320 aircraft.
In August the Company borrowed another $5,000,000 from European American Bank.
In September furloughs began at all stations and the company borrowed $15.8 millon from Columbia Savings.
December – Ceased operations due to bankruptcy but charter operations continued.