Bonanza Air Lines was created in 1945 as Bonanza Air Services in Las Vegas by Edmund Converse, a former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy; Charlie Keene, once an operator of a small charter operation in Santa Paula, California; and June Simon, daughter of "Pop" Simon the former secretary-director of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. BAS located its home base at the Sky Haven Airfield, now known as the North Las Vegas Air Terminal, and began operating with just one single-engine, four-seat Cessna.The company was part of a Civil Aeronautics Authority effort to develop regional airlines called "local service airlines."
Late in 1945 the trio set in motion a plan to expand the business, changing its name from Bonanza Air Services to Bonanza Air Lines (BAL) and incorporating the company. The home base was moved to Alamo Field, now known as McCarran International Airport, in early 1946.
In 1959, Bonanza introduced the Fokker F-27 (nicknamed Silver Dart) and applied for additional routes to Texas (although these routes were never operated). Bonanza was probably the first United States scheduled fixed-wing airline to go all-turbine, the DC-3 having been dropped from scheduled service in late 1960.
In an attempt to leap into the jet-age, the carrier ordered three British BAC 1-11 twinjets in October 1962, but this request was denied by the United States government. In light of the denial, an order was placed for the American twinjet equivalent DC-9 series 10 aircraft with deliveries of the new type beginning in late 1965 and services commencing with the type on March 1, 1966. The DC-9s, dubbed Funjets, were deployed on the following routes within the first year of service: Las Vegas—Reno, Las Vegas—Los Angeles, Reno—Los Angeles, Salt Lake City—Phoenix, and Reno—Las Vegas—Phoenix. In 1966, the company moved their headquarters to Phoenix.
With approval received from the Civil Aeronautics Board on April 17, 1968, Bonanza Air Lines merged with Pacific Air Lines and West Coast Airlines to form Air West on July 1 of the same year. Air West, later re-named Hughes Airwest, would ultimately be acquired by Republic Airlines (another airline created via a merger, just a year earlier, in this case North Central Airlines and Southern Airways) in 1980, which was later absorbed by Northwest Airlines
in 1986. At the time of the merger, Bonanza operated DC-9 and Fokker F-27 aircraft.
The legacy of Bonanza Air Lines continues as of late 2009. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 was ordered by Bonanza but delivered to Air West following the merger. It still flies today with Northwest Airlines. As of October 2009 it remained unclear if the aircraft would be retained by Delta Air Lines
following its completed takeover of Northwest Airlines in 2010.Close Up of Vignette
Common Stock, specimen, late 1900sPrinter: American Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: NV-Nevada Subject Matter: Aviation and Aerospace
| Commercial Airlines
| Specimen Pieces Vignette Topic(s): Aviation Theme
| Airplane Featured
| Company Logo Featured Condition:
No fold lines, punch hole cancels in the signature areas and body, very crisp. Paper loss in lower right corner into edge of border (please review scan - you will receive the exact piece shown)