Presidential Air, Airbus A300B4-203. Check out those Braniff stairs.

Presidential Air, Airbus A300B4-203. Check out those Braniff stairs.

What better way to celebrate President’s Day, but with a Presidential-style livery?

Information about the airline is hard to come by, since they didn’t exist for very long. It appears the airline had three Airbus A300’s (N14975, N14976, N14977) that they flew from Long Beach, CA (LGB) to Atlanta, GA (ATL). The airline only lasted a few months before going under. It flew from 1995 to 1996.

It seems odd that an airline would be called “Presidential Air” and carry a presidential emblem, when not even flying to or from Washington, DC. Does anyone have any personal stories about this airline? Please share in the comments.

* Photo of N14977 on
* Photo of N14977 on

Thanks to Gordon W, David M and James C for helping me find a Presidential livery.

Image: So Cal Metro

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
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Can’t help but chuckle at the irony that Presidential airlines used European-built aircraft. (Please folks, that is not an A vs B comment, so don’t start flaming).

Also have to wonder where those airframes ended up.

James Burke

N14975 – Bounced around, spent 10 yrs with TNT Cargo, stored by Wells Fargo @ MHV
N14976 – converted to freighter for Tradewinds Airlines, broken up in Greensboro last year
N14977 – Still in service with Air Contractors as a DHL freighter.

Kenric Jongeneel

I have very good intel on Presidential Air. What do you want to know? It was a shady, fly by night operation. The company ran out of money faster than it takes to order a Happy Meal. Not quite.. but it did only last about 12 months. Mx issues, unresolved fuel bills, etc.. all led to the quick demise. The airplanes where actually very nice as was the First Class service.

You have any photos? 🙂


Clay Barnett

I was president of Presidential Air from it’s inception. We were underfunded in the beginning, but were making a positive cash flow when we shut down. We shut down because the parent company had to pay creditors for thier operation and used the fund from the Airline.
Presidential Air was and is still the only Airline to certify with wide body aircraft. When we shut down I personally turned in the certificate to the FAA and we are the only certificated Airline to not have a black mark on our certificate from operations, drug policy, maintenance or training.
The DOT gave us a clean bill of health when we shut down, no outstanding complaints from customers.
If you would like to ask more questions, call me.
Clay Barnett
(562) 212-6064

Moved on to greener pastures

I was a flight attendant with Presidential Air. Clay, the company and Ray Novelli was shady. Unless you call a bunch of girls who worked hard and had to fight for pay not shady. How about the pilot drug abuse that wasn’t addressed???? Or better yet, flying over an airport in Philadelphia worried about not being able to fuel in order to get us to NY. Thank you American Airlines for coming to the rescue!!! Ray should have remained behind bars for putting peoples lives in jeopardy!!!

Melanie Grunder

I was on that flight when AA rescued us. What a mess. Do you know what ever happened to Vera or Ray?

Melanie Grunder

I was on that flight when AA rescued us. What a mess. Do you know what ever happened to Vera or Ray?

Melanie Grunder

I was one of the flight attendants on Presidential Air. What happened to Ray?

I was also a FA for Presidential Air. It was First Class for sure! When we would fly in people thought we were with the President of US. We were treated well, except towards the end when it was going under. Good memories though.

They got me from LGB to IAH and back safely October 1995!

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