Next time you fly through Las Vegas, take a look around for an unmarked white 737-600 with a red cheatline down the center. That’s “Janet” Airlines, a top-secret U.S. Air Force contractor that shuttles workers to sensitive government installations.
Area-51, officially known as the Nevada National Security Site, is at the root of much folklore. But it is a real place and whatever goes on there remains closely-guarded.
“Janet” allegedly stands for “Joint Air Network for Employee Transportation” but the government has never confirmed that. Some joke it stands for “Just Another Non-Existent-Terminal”.
But Janet has a fleet of six Boeing 737-600s and can be seen regularly at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Interestingly, the 737s are former Air China commercial aircraft! The U.S. Air Force uses a contractor called URS to operate these flights.
My friend Dan was an Air Force contractor with a security clearance far beyond top secret and traveled to Area-51 on Janet Airlines on several occasions from Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, CA. He shared this about the experience-
It’s like Southwest Airlines without windows. They didn’t tell me where I was going, but it was clear we were going Groom Lake [Area-51]. Onboard there were no drinks or snacks except for bottled water. No TVs either.
Area-51 is actually part of the vast Edwards Air Force Base even though it is a state away so it was really an on-base flight.
Want to be a FA for Janet Air? You’ll need a top-secret clearance for that. The company last hired in 2010. But I hear the stopovers are lovely…
image: Twistedpictures1 / Wikipedia Commons