The company was formerly known as Atlantic Coast Airlines. It operated as a contract carrier for United Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc, but when United sought to renegotiate its contract with Atlantic Coast at lower rates, Atlantic Coast executives decided they had a better future as an independent carrier.
After a year of planning, flights began with great fanfare at Dulles on June 16, 2004. A water cannon salute greeted the first outbound plane on what was then a schedule of 39 departures. The first flight, to Atlanta, was full.
Independence Air expanded to fly to most states on the East Coast and major cities on the West Coast. In recent months, it was forced to drop several routes.