If you’ve ever spotted a Boeing 737-600 with no livery except for a red line running from nose to tail, you might have just met Janet. Janet Airlines connects US Defense Department employees with weapons ranges and research centers.
What does Janet stand for?
Janet stands for “Joint Air Network for Employee Transportation” or “Just Another Non-Existent Terminal.” The latter is due to the lack of public-facing documentation on Janet Airlines’ activities and the use of fake identifiers to hide operational details.
Where does Janet Airlines go, and why?
Janet Airlines flights fly out of Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, from a terminal and parking lot dedicated to the highly classified airline. Its operations are not well known, but it is sometimes spotted flying to the US Air Force range Area 51.
Area 51 does not support commuting by car – only by the airline to maintain national security. Below you can hear about a foreign military exploitation project called “Red Hats” that sadly had a sortie go wrong at Area 51:
Janet Airlines also flies to Tonopah Test Range to support various stealth aircraft programs like the F-117A Nighthawk stealth jet now used for scrimmaging after decades of service as a strike fighter. Tonapah Test Range is also home to the RQ-171A Sentinel stealth reconnaissance drone, among other stealth projects.
Finally, Janet Airlines 737s have been tracked supporting other US military range and research facilities such as Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, US Air Force Production Flight Test Installation (Plant 42), and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The mission of Janet Airlines appears to be to shuttle military aviation technicians to where they go in airplanes that provide the maximum possible operational security.
Naturally, the general public cannot book a ticket to fly on Janet Airlines. After all, who would want to fly out of Las Vegas to some classified locale where no civilian is welcome to walk freely?
What’s in Janet Airlines’ fleet?
The Janet Airlines fleet is not just six Boeing 737-66Ns but also five twin-engine Beechcraft turboprops for those shuttle flights when a 737-600 would draw too much attention or require too much runway. The 737-66Ns used to fly for Air China, but starting in 2008 now fly for Janet Airlines. It’s worth noting also that Janet Airlines aircraft are not used in any way for training.
Want to work for Janet Airlines?
To get a job flying with this classified airline, not only must you be able to do the routine aspects of being an aviation employee, but you’ll also need to gain and maintain a top-secret clearance. According to a Business Insider report and a defense contractor in AECOM’s job posting saved on Web.Archive.Org, even the flight attendants “must qualify for and maintain a top-secret government security clearance and associated work location access.”
This is in case a flight attendant overhears a conversation about a US Department of Defense project or sees a sensitive document – the Department of Defense needs to know that information will not end up either on social media or in the custody of foreign agents.