‘Moonlight Express’ may sound romantic, but back twenty years ago when the old Eastern Airlines tried to boost its aircraft utilisation by running long-distance overnight flights, even the most frugal of flyers called them the ‘redeye’ instead of that alluring trademarked name. This original effort by Eastern was not enough to keep the airline alive, but some carriers today are in fact trying the redeye approach. It's always been part of the JetBlue strategy, and now the latest night rider is US Airways. The airline, based near Phoenix, plans overnight flights between its secondary hub in Charlotte, North Carolina, and both Sacramento, Calif., and Tucson, Ariz. The US Airways move to add cross-country flights is somewhat against the grain, as other carriers are trimming back on transcons in the face of ruinous competition. Perhaps aware of the challenge, US Airways has set both these flights for late night departures.
It’s also planning a roundtrip between its main Philadelphia hub and Sacramento that will be a redeye on the westbound but a daylight delight on the eastbound leg. These will be the only non-stops in the three markets and start June 3