Yes, the rumors are true! Hooters diversified so much through-out the years that they had a video game, an arena football team, and an airline. Hooters Air was headquartered in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The airline specialized in affordable, non-stop flights to popular golfing destinations.
A Brief History of Hooters Air
In December 2002 Robert Brooks (Hooters of America founder) purchased Winston-Salem, North Carolina based Pace Airlines. Pace Airlines, started in 1996, was a charter service for sports teams and corporations. Robert Brooks had a fascination with the aviation industry, beginning Hooters Air 6 March 2003. The first flight was from Atlanta to Myrtle Beach.
The target customers of the airline were casual and tournament golfers. The airline offered less-expensive, faster options for golfers commuting to the numerous courses in Myrtle Beach. In addition to convenience and competitive pricing, aircraft seats were upholstered with leather and meals were served on flights that were over 60 minutes long. Hooters servers waited on patrons in flight, accompanied by trained flight attendants.
Hooters Air Fleet
All Hooters aircraft were painted in the orange and white of the restaurant with an image of Hootie the owl on the vertical stabilizer. The airline had a fleet of 7 Boeing aircraft, two 737-200s (136 max capacity), four 737-300s (149 max capacity), and one 757-200 (230 max capacity). Rows of seats were removed to provide extra leg room in the “Club Class” seating area (comparable to business class seating).
Hooters Air operated out of eighteen US airports, San Juan Munoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico, and Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas. Tickets were priced at a flat rate, and only offered for one-way flights. Hooters had an average of 1,100 passengers per week. As fuel prices began to rise, the carrier faced difficulties. Analysts note the emerging competition from other low price airlines. Hooters ended service to thirteen US destinations, San Juan, and Nassau by March of 2006. Commercial operations ceased entirely 17 April 2006.