Background: The Airline Deregulation Act took effect of December 1, 1978. The main purpose of the Act was to remove government control from commercial aviation and expose the passenger airline industry to market forces. This Act changed the face of civil aviation in the US. Air Mail would continue to be carried by Air Carriers but the old system of CAM and FAM routes would evolve into Air Mail flown by individual US airlines to both domestic and foreign destinations.
On April 17, 1968 West Coast Airlines (AM-77), Bonanza Air Lines (AM-105) and Pacific Air Lines merged to become Air West. In 1970 Hughes Air Corporation acquired Air West and the carrier became Hughes Airwest.
McDonnell Douglas DC-9
On October 1, 1980 Republic Airlines purchased Hughes Airwest making it a wholly-owned subsidary, Republic Airlines Airwest.