It’s only natural that Hooters, the restaurant world’s top destination for strictly owl-themed dining, would want to branch out into commercial aviation. Since Hooters made so much of its theme (owls, just owls) by featuring chicken wings on its menu and employing women dressed in abstract bird costumes, giving its fans a way to take to the skies was an obvious next-step for the business in its heyday.
Unfortunately, like the frequently misunderstood fact that Hooters’ gimmick was only ever meant to be related to owls, Hooters Air was a short-lived business idea that lasted only three years before it came crashing to the ground.
As explained in a video from YouTube channel Half As Interesting, Hooters had succeeded so thoroughly at its main goals of perfecting “buffalo sauce and sexism” in the early ‘00s that it decided to branch out into air travel. The company bought up a small airline and launched Hooters Air in 2003 with garishly painted craft that tried to attract customers via... the exclusive chance to hear two Hooters Girls try to entertain (and sell merch to) passengers during their flight.
Though it started off by working to corner the demographic of golfers and originally based its operations out of Myrtle Beach, the proud Hooters corporation puffed up its feathers and expanded all over the place before a bunch of its routes fell through. Other economic factors and competition popped up (and, not to mention, the airline didn’t even serve chicken wings!). All of this combined to mean Hooters Air closed down in 2006. The overall impact of the lavish branding exercise was about as big as the early 2000s’ second most notable Hooters industry crossover: 2002's Hooters Road Trip video game.
Who knows? Maybe if the airplanes had big metal boobs welded to their hull, things could’ve worked out differently.
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