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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

WRIGHT AIRLINES, INC.

WRIGHT AIRLINES, INC.

WRIGHT AIRLINES, INC., was established in 1966 by Gerry Weller and Ernie Rolls to provide service between downtown Cleveland and downtown Detroit. Based at BURKE LAKEFRONT AIRPORT, it served the businessmen of both cities and helped alleviate congestion at the two major airports. Wright first expanded its services beyond Cleveland and Detroit in 1970, and in 1972 became a certified, scheduled interstate air carrier. Gilbert Singerman, who became president of Wright in 1978, expanded the company into a leading regional carrier of both freight and passengers. In 1982 he expanded airline service into numerous other cities, and on 1 Oct. 1983 merged Wright with Aeromech Airlines of Clarksburg, WV, to create the 9th-largest regional airline in the U.S., with a fleet of 10 aircraft. It had moved part of its operation to CLEVELAND HOPKINS INTL. AIRPORT in June 1980. Expansion of both service and aircraft was too rapid, however, and late in 1984 Wright filed for protection under Chap. 11 of the Bankruptcy Law. Two months later, in Nov. 1984, it laid off 240 employees and reduced its schedule to 11 flights between Cleveland and Detroit each day. Losses continued, and Wright cut down to 3 round trips to Detroit daily. By Dec. 1985 the airline was in Chap. 7 liquidation and never emerged.