Empire Air is one of the largest companies in the Empire State. Primarily a cargo-handling and long-distance air-freight concern, Empire Air also has extensive interests in the mining and construction industries.
Founded in February 1930 by Mayoral candidate Robert Pope, Empire Air was a small freight concern, with four airships running between New York City and Philadelphia. Canny investment and the derring-do of her zeppelin pilots, however, meant that Empire Air rapidly gained a reputation for reliability and determination in the face of significant odds. Popular fame became theirs after a pair of Empire Air zeppelins deadheading back from Philadephia became caught in the crossfire between the Broadway Bombers and an ISA-backed pirate gang near the border. Rather than fleeing the action, the Empire Air zeppelins used their light anti-pirate weapons to provide fire support for the Bombers, a decision which proved decisive after the pirates were able to down the Bombers' zeppelin Torch Held High. Their stubborn defence of their countrymen was covered by an Eye In The Sky news zeppelin, which broadcast the story on that evening's news.
Empire Air were lauded by President Fiorello La Guardia, and, forced to hide their backing of the pirates, the Industrial States agreed to open their borders to Empire Air zeppelins. This new market allowed Empire Air to expand massively, and they took full advantage of this new market opportunity.
Empire Air's considerable reputation was only enhanced after its zeppelin Fulcrum was stolen by air pirate Nathan Zachary and renamed Pandora. While some trade experts mocked the ease with which Zachary was able to make off with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of zeppelin, Empire Air were able to barter an agreement with Zachary, whereby the charges of air piracy and grand theft zeppelin were dropped in exchange for a series of posters featuring Zachary endorsing Empire Air as "the safest cargo in the sky". It is notable that Empire Air zeppelins are generally considered too heavily-armed to be worth attacking by most pirates.
Empire Air remains one of the most consistently profitable cargo and haulage companies in North America, and her distinctive green-and-white zeppelins are a common sight from the Maritime Provinces to Sea Haven.