MGM Airlines Pilot Hat Badge 2nd Issue
Las Vegas, NV 1987-1995
In 1987, MGM Grand Air was a charter airline with a focus on operating VIP charters with luxurious aircraft wih a hub in Las Vegas, NV. By 1994 they sold off their operaton to Front Page Tours, a small tour operator based in Edina, MN. That air operator's certificate was purchased from MGM Grand Air in July 1995. The name was changed to Champion Air. In March 1997, Minnesota Twins and Northwest Airlines acquired the company. The airline relocated to Minneapolis, MN, where it shared facilities and resources with Northwest. Champion Air replaced Sun Country Country Airlines as the leading charter operator for Northwest-owned MLT Vacations. In late summer 2007 Champion Air management was informed that MLT passengers would be moved from Champion Air to Northwest's own flights throughout the 2008 year. In January 2008, it was disclosed that Champion's contract to provide charter flights for 13 National Basketball Assoiation teams would also be taken over by Northwest. On March 31, 2008, Champion President and CEO Lee Steele announced that the company will cease all flight operation as of May 31, 2008.