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American West was incorporated in 1981. It began service in 1983 after raising capital as a start-up with an initial public offering. Service began from a hub in Phoenix with 3 737's. By the end of 1990 American West had over 14,000 employees and operated 104 aircraft including 11 157's and 4 747's. In June of 1991 Americna West declared chapter 11 bankruptcy. In 1994 with the assistance of a $214 million outside investment American West emerged from bankruptcy. It has thrived since emerging from bankruptcy.

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