His four-year reign was short-lived and tumultuous, with a high rate of what would have remained the same if ambitions had not exceeded costs. But perhaps his greatest legacy is that he triggered one of the development cycles of Long Island MacArthur Airport, attracting passengers and ultimately other carriers by putting at stake an inflamed airfield that was constantly striving for identity and purpose. The airline was given a name that suggests a globe – Northeastern International Airways with an unlikely two-letter code “QS”, although it has never stretched further than the West Coast. And its founder was Stephen L. Quint.
Born July 8, 1935 in the Bronx, but raised on Long Island, he could certainly identify himself with the roots of his possible venture, and his impact on aviation came in his teens, at the age of 12, when his older brother started his own air service. Like a father, like a son, it is said, but in this case it was closer to “like a brother, like a brother.”
His brother’s reign, at least characteristic of his life, was also short-lived, as he subsequently succumbed to a military plane crash. Despite the tragedy, this event could have become the grain that turned into Quint’s own airline, turning into a “philosophy”.
“I think it probably had a lot to do with seeing what it was all about,” he noted later.
However, two decades passed before the seed took root, and during this time his search ended in failure.
Just as honestly, his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point was uneven because he was too young to legally accept him all seven days! His other educational efforts, including at the University of Michigan, New York University, Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and Prato University, were also impressive and at least allowed him to leave his mark on campuses, but he left without a degree. from any of them.
In an effort to avoid all this, he moved to France for a decade, but it was on this side of the Atlantic, particularly in England in 1968, that his aviation seed finally sprouted wings with the company Sagittair, which he created. That would be the first of three. The latter, as already hinted, rose from the native soil of Long Island, emphasizing its inclusion in the name of the very airport that will become its operating base, Long Island MacArthur. Until his airline’s fleet, which originally consisted of a single plane, appeared on its asphalt, no one had heard of it. Then, again, the airport was hardly world famous.
Built in 1942 as a result of the development of airborne territories for the National Defense of Congress (DZZD), it was originally conceived as a military facility caused by the outbreak of World War II and could be used for civilian purposes in peacetime. Because it was originally considered an adjunct to military aviation, its commercial counterpart was seen as a segment of the national defense system.
This commercial goal was realized, albeit in a limited form, by the end of the decade, when a 5,000-square-foot passenger terminal was built and the Gateway Airlines taxi operator began regular service to Boston, Newark and Washington with 11 passengers de Haviland Pigeons. passenger herons of 1956.
As a long-thought-out airport of relief for JFK and La Guardia, it achieved this goal ten years later when a more ambitious 50,000-square-foot oval terminal was built to handle predominantly morning business signals in Albany, Boston and Washington. USAir BAC-111-200s and DC-9-30s and in Chicago with American Airlines’ 727-100 astronauts.
Another long-term goal, as market research has found, was to create a 24-hour Long Island Florida service to facilitate travel for those wishing to visit their retirees ’parents and capture the tourist trade in search of winter heat. Deregulation of the airline and Quinto made both possible.
By renting the former Evergreen International DC-8-50, registered N800EV, and operating it in a single-class configuration, 185 passengers, it opened McArthur on Long Island (Islip) -Ft. Service in Lauderdale on February 11, 1982, paying low, unlimited rates. As an intercontinental aircraft its relatively low fuel rise combined with a full-fledged passenger and luggage supplement allowed it to use the runway 33-left take-off, from which it ascended over Ronconcoma Lake and headed to Long Island over its South. additional carbonated drinks and snacks with peanuts, cheese and crackers, sandwiches and fresh fruit were served at the salon. Checked baggage was included in the fare.
The original schedule provided for four weekly rotations in Ft. Lauderdale and one aircraft in Orlando, although a second aircraft, registered N801EV, increased frequency and destination capabilities.
In its first year of operation, it carried more than 150,000 passengers and ended the period on a large scale, transferring a monthly record of 32,075 in December, a figure due to weather-related Florida flight cancellations at major New York airports. and the subsequent bus transfer of fillers to Islip.
Long Island’s own statistics were also promising: in 1982, 3,071 air traffic and 250,406 passengers were filed, as it now boasts three operational operators after America and the United States.
Kinta linked the initial success of its carrier with proven and proven service quality concepts and low, unlimited tariffs, along with filling a market gap that had starved for years. For this reason, Northeast has adopted the slogan “: a lot of airlines for little money,” and because it served the airport of his hometown of MacArthur, excluding travel to either JFK or La Guardia for residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties, he also toted, “We’re one step closer to home.”
Although its corporate headquarters were in Ft. Lauderdale, Long Island remained its operational base. By renting two 128-passenger former pan-am-727-100s that were draped with pink and blue clouds, he offered seven daily departures from Islip to the Fort. Lauderdale itself, Hartford, Miami, Orlando and St. Petersburg, which was Tampa’s secondary airport. Round-the-clock flights from Connecticut airfield were also offered.
After the initiation of the impulse caused by deregulation, it was impossible to arrest. The following year, which resulted in the acquisition of three further-tier DC-8-62s, including the N752UA from United Air Leasing, OY-KTE from Thai Airways International, and the N8973U from Arrow Air-saw-service in 11 destinations and annual transportation slightly. less than 600,000 passengers.
McArthur Airport on Long Island, with which it was inextricably linked, also suffered a financial reward, recording 5,997 airline movements and a capacity of 546,996 passengers in 1983.
And yet, deviating from its hitherto successful strategy and ignoring the tried-and-true “if it doesn’t break, don’t fix” philosophy, Northeast has chosen to fight the big boys at airports such as JFK, and acquire wide-ranging aircraft, ultimately acting . The widest displays were available as four Airbus A300B2 aircraft in 314 passenger single-configuration configurations with eight beams: D-AIAD from Lufthansa in January (1984), D-AIAE from Lufthansa in February, F-ODRD from Airbus Industrie in May, and F- ODRE from Airbus Financial Services, also in May. It became the second American airline after Eastern, which operates the European type.
The strategy may have led to an inexpensive carrier with Long Island roots to a big player, but its excess was crushed by insufficient cash flow. Although in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1984, it received $ 64.7 million in revenue, it recorded $ 5.2 million in losses.
His non-financial statistics told another story. By the summer, it operated 66 daily flights to 17 U.S. destinations with a three-type, 16-strong fleet, including 727-200 with similar Mexican de Aviation and VASP, and employed 1,600 people. During the first half of the year, it recorded the highest load factor, 71.5 percent, of any American airline, and in May became the 18th largest measured by passenger mileage revenue.
His systemic schedule for June 1984 covered Boston, Fort. Lauderdale, Hartford, Islip, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York-JFK, Oklahoma City, Orlando, St. Petersburg, San Diego, Tulsa and West Palm Beach.
Although Long Island MacArthur still remained a flight base, New Orleans became its main hub, serving 15 cities. Large capacity A300s were located on the east coast from JFK to Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando, and the southern transcontinental from Miami to Los Angeles via New Orleans.
However, gravity was not the only element that made it descend from the air, even with the wings. Finances are equally secured – or, in this case, the lift is reversed, causing a rapid descent. Another $ 4.4 million was lost in the third quarter, which ended on September 30, 1984, and began a survival strategy that eliminates aspects that can no longer be maintained in cash, including the dismissal of 450 employees and return – this is the most the case was a reposition of the A300 fleet.
Browsing his fast-rising media as a puzzle, Quinta tried to keep his image intact without forcibly removing the pieces and replacing them with something he could break. The ten former Braniff 727-200s, which were vital to quenching the winter sun’s thirst market in the 1984-1985 season, promised a replacement. However, a judge in Dallas ruled that this sublease of aircraft and crew would violate the terms of the agreement to reorganize the bankruptcy of Branif.
Like plugs drawn from the rapid rise of the Northeast, the light that outlined its structure went out. Destinations were eliminated, booking lines were canceled, flights were canceled, bills were not paid, and passengers were stranded. And on January 3, 1985, the three-year-old low-cost carrier was in the same fate as Braniff, suing Chapter 11 in a Miami bankruptcy court with assets of $ 28 million and liabilities of $ 48 million. He borrowed about $ 15 million from more than a thousand unsecured creditors and could no longer meet the salaries of his employees.
“I don’t know what I’m guilty of,” Quinta told reporters at the time. “All I can tell you is that we have a lot of paper, but no cash.”
The Northeast never rose to its former but again short glory, though Quinta gave her soul and heart. Similar to a “lawyer’s dog,” he constantly tried to collect debris and keep the business in the air, which he did sporadically despite filing for bankruptcy.
The only unmistakable flight – from Islip to Fort. Lauderdale is priced at $ 69.00, stringing an aerial thread down the East Coast, but with a gradual regrowth, Florida’s four major cities to the Fort. Lauderdale, Orlando, St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach were connected to Chicago, as well as to Islip and Philadelphia, albeit for $ 20.00 more than the fare, until in March it stretched again when he missed paying the plane rent.
It was four months before he was back in the sky on June 21, serving Florida’s familiar routes from the 727-200s leased by United, although some sectors are periodically operated by All Star Airlines and Emerald Air DC-9s on his behalf.
But its market was intermittent. Confidence was lost. The planes got lost. And the cost of its fares, which is just $ 49.00 to compete with more established, well-known carriers, is unlikely to be able to support it.
The last glimmer of hope appeared at the end of the year with a $ 1 million loan and the lease of a single MD-82 from Alisarda, registered by HB-IKL. Yet its final light was diminished in early 1986, muffled by liquidation, but not necessarily at Long Island Airport, which spawned it and left a legacy.
Attracting the interest of passengers and other airlines, with 10,750 air carriers and 810,751 passenger passengers in 1984, the last full year of operation in the Northeast region, it demonstrated the market potential of the airport, serving as a catalyst for its growth and never leaving it untouched. Long Island Florida, which was subsequently supplied by dozens of other airlines including AirTran, Allegiant, Braniff (III), Carnival, Delta Express, Eastern, Elite, Frontier, Pan Am, Southwest, Spirit and USAir.