Edward Raymond Beauvais
Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame
Edward Beauvais was born November 13, 1936 in Pueblo, Colorado and grew up there. He attended Regis College in Denver where he received a degree in accounting. His career in aviation began in 1960 when he went to work for Frontier Airlines as an accountant. In 1963 he was hired by Bonanza Airlines as Manager of Budgets and Cost Control. Ed and his family first came to Arizona in 1966 when Bonanza moved its headquarters to Phoenix from Las Vegas. Two years later he moved along with the airline to California when it merged with Pacific Airlines and West Coast Airlines to form Air West.
In 1979, Edward formed his own aviation consulting business called Beauvais, Robert, and Kurth. Headquartered in Burlingame, California the company provided economic, route system, and marketing support to numerous airlines and cities throughout the country. Eventually the company would open offices in both Washington DC and Phoenix. Edward led the company until 1981 when he developed a business plan for a new low cost airline, America West to be headquartered in Phoenix. Over the next two years he worked to secure financing and lease aircraft for the fledgling airline. America West began service on August 1, 1983 with flights from Phoenix to Kansas City, Wichita, Colorado Springs and Los Angeles. Over the next ten years Beauvais built America West into one of the most successful of the 1980s post-deregulation airlines. He left America West as Chairman and CEO in 1992 and returned to his native Colorado. Two years later he founded Western Pacific Airlines and a year after that began Mountain Air Express. Mountain Air was sold in 1998 and that same year he retired from Western Pacific. In nearly forty years in the airline industry Beauvais founded three successful airlines, one of which, America West, has grown through mergers to become one of the largest airlines in the United States and has adopted the name of its latest acquisition, American Airlines.
Beauvais has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years including: an honorary Doctorate of Aviation Management from Embry Riddle University, Entrepreneur of the Year from Arizona State University College of Business for 1988, the Key to the City of Tempe, Honorary Doctorate of Management from Colorado Technical University, and the Laurels Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Transport from Aviation Week & Space Technology.