No discussion of America West would be complete without a section on the founder, Ed Beauvais.
Ed began his aviation career at Frontier Airlines in Denver, in 1960, as a senior accountant. Three years later, Ed would join Bonanza Airlines in Las Vegas, and later Phoenix, before relocating to San Francisco as part of the Bonanza/Pacific/West Coast three way merger. Ed has noted that everything fell apart during that merger, and when the sale of Air West to Howard Hughes went through, Ed left Air West and started a consulting company, Beauvais, Robert and Kurth, which specialized in marketing and airline economics.
In 1979, Ed moved back to Phoenix and opened a third office of the consulting firm. While working in the consulting firm, Ed also worked on the business plan for America West in the guest house, as a labor of love. Ed's son Mark was part of the initial team charting the business plan for the company. Many of the team hired at America West had worked with Ed while he was consulting for Continental.
Ed remained at America West until the board of directors was reformed during the 1991 bankruptcy, retiring in 1992. Ed moved back to his native Colorado and began work on what would become Western Pacific Airlines, which he remained chairman of until retiring in January 1998. While at WestPac, he founded another airline, Mountain Air Express, making him one of the few people to start three different airlines.
Today, Ed and wife Mary Ellen live in Scottsdale, where he consults and actively follows the industry he loves so much. Ed was inducted into the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame in April 2014.
The following are some of Ed's speeches:
Ed Beauvais - Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame from awareunion on Vimeo. This video was shot on the bus ride with Ed and his family, along with several friends, and includes the complete speech by Ed accepting the induction into the hall of fame.
Ed's aviation blog can be found through the Arizona Aviation Journal.
The webmaster has had the privilege to be able to spend time with Ed and Mary Ellen, and both have graciously opened their archives to assist with not only the history displays with the company, but also with the reunion committee and this website.