By the mid-1960s it was becoming increasingly clear that the three western local service airlines needed to consolidate to help fend off competition from intra-state airlines like PSA, wean themselves off of state subsidies and expand their networks to more profitable routes. The result was the creation of Air West in April 1968.
Thirty two of Air West’s thirty four F-27s transferred to Hughes Airwest ownership when Howard Hughes took over the airline in 1970, but all were gradually sold in the mid 70s as Hughes divested itself of its short multi-stop routes in order to become profitable.
N756L was delivered to Bonanza Air Lines as N156L in May 1963. All of Bonanza’s F-27s were reregistered in March 1964 and thirteen of them transferred to Air West. Sold to UTA in 1974 N756L became F-OCYA and was leased to Air Polynesie. Sold in the USA in July 1982, as N2708B, she ended her career with Air Cortez, being damaged beyond repair in June 1987 at Ontario, California and subsequently used as a fire trainer.
The F-27s served the ancestral airlines of Hughes Airwest well but by the mid-1970s the airline was a major regional carrier and saw its future in jet operations with DC-9s and 727-200s and not the prop-jets that were the backbone of its operations since 1958.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: