Archive for Saturday, December 28, 2002

Hooters owner buys N. Carolina airline

December 28, 2002

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— The owner of the Hooters restaurant chain -- famous for its hot wings and high-cut shorts -- has acquired a small North Carolina charter company in hopes of taking the company name to the skies.

Hooters of America Inc. chairman Robert H. Brooks said Thursday he had bought Pace Airlines, a division of Piedmont Hawthorne Aviation.

The airline has 17 Boeing jets and 350 employees, most of whom are based in Winston-Salem. It specializes in corporate shuttles and business jets, catering to sports teams, VIP business travelers and charters.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a news release, Brooks said he intended to establish a charter air service called Hooters Air and would provide leisure travel services for the golf industry to serve Myrtle Beach, S.C., as a prime destination.

The extent to which the restaurant's brand image will be used -- beyond the name -- was not immediately clear.

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