A&E Network has announced that starting on Monday, January 5, 2004, it will be going behind the counter, into the cockpit and beyond the airport tarmac with the premiere of its new real life series Airline. Broadcast via back-to-back 30 minute episodes that will air at 10:00 PM ET/PT and 10:30 PM ET/PT every Monday evening, the initial season of the series will run eighteen episodes in length.

Airline showcases the ups and downs of passengers who board Southwest flights at the bustling Los Angeles International (LAX) and Chicago Midway airports, as well as the staff and crew -- from the pilots to the hard-working check-in staff and supervisors who are often on the receiving end of angry customers' wrath.

Each and every day, Southwest Airline pilots, flight attendants, and airport employees interact with a gaggle of harried executives, howling children, inebriated adults, tall passengers hoping for a little legroom and every other breed of weary sojourner. In Los Angeles’ LAX alone, the airline serves an average of 8,100 customers a day.

Occasional outbursts, weather-related anxiety, everyone’s urgent timetables, heightened security measures -- they all come together to create a daily real life drama that is truly unique to commercial airline travel. Airline is based on the hit U.K. series of the same name which has consistently pulled in strong ratings during its six-year run on Britain’s ITV Network.

America's fourth largest carrier, Southwest Airlines originated the concept of low cost, no frills travel. The 32 year-old company carries 65 million passengers every year and, in an industry struggling to cope post 9/11, is still making a profit.

Airline is produced by Granada for A&E Network. Nancy Dubuc is the executive producer for A&E Network. Patrice Andrews is supervising producer. Joe Houlihan and Charles Tremayne are co-executive producers for Granada. Chris Carey is the series producer.

Granada USA New York and Granada Entertainment USA are the US based production divisions of Granada plc. In the last 12 months, Granada has been responsible for an estimated 125 hours of drama, 35 hours of factual, 20 hours of entertainment and six-and-a-half hours of children's programming on U.S. screens.

Now reaching more than 85 million homes, A&E Network brings viewers the Art of Entertainment through a unique combination of three genres – The Art of Biography, The Art of Documentary, and The Art of Drama. A brand synonymous with excellence in television, A&E Network offers a diverse mix of programming ranging from critically acclaimed original series and movies, to innovative documentaries – to the Emmy Award-winning Biography series - to dramatic specials, feature film presentations, and contemporary performances.

Over the past five years, A&E Network holds the distinct record for the most Primetime Emmy nominations (73) for a basic cable network. The 2003/2004 prime time line-up includes six new series, featuring the premiere of the spy drama MI-5, the premieres of several A&E Network original movies, including The Mayor of Casterbridge, Pride and Horatio Hornblower: Loyalty and Duty. Signature series Cold Case Files, American Justice, and City Confidential also return to the line-up.