US Supplemental Air Carriers of the 1960s – A Pictorial History
Photos from the Collection of Henry Tenby
Write up by Henry Tenby
Prior to the Deregulation Act of 1978, the US airline industry was high regulated with licences and routes being approved by the Civil Aeronautics Board. From the 1950s, a number of supplemental air carriers were formed to provide specialized airlift services that catered to markets beyond the point to point services provided by the scheduled airlines.
These supplemental air carriers provided contract services to the US military, as well as specialized charter and cargo services and passenger charters services, both within the US home market and to points outside of the Continental United States. Sometimes there airlines provided wet lease aircraft operations for the mainline scheduled carriers. Typically these small airliners operated the second hand and military surplus transport aircraft and their operations were focused within certain niche markets in which they built up specializations over their years of operations.
Through my many years of collecting 35mm aircraft slides, I am pleased to present an extensive photo collection of many of these supplemental carriers, including the following (all of which provided US and International passenger and cargo charter services unless otherwise noted):
Seaboard World – using C-46, CL-44, DC-8 and 747 aircraft
Transamerican – Trans International – Based from Oakland operated a fleet which included DC-8, L-188, DC-10 and 747 aircraft
Saturn Airways – Operated in the 1960s and 1970s with a fleet of DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, L-100 Hercules
Flying Tigers / Flying Tiger Line – LAX Based with a fleet of CL-44, DC-8, and 747 aircraft
Airlift International – Miami based with F27, DC-6, DC-7, 727, and DC-8
Southern Air Transport – Miami based cargo airline with DC-4, DC-8, 707, L-100 Hercules
Slick Airways – a 1950s airline with DC-6 and CL-44
Quick Trans – DC-4 and DC-6 cargo airline from the 1950s and 1960s
Riddle – C-46, DC-4, DC-6 cargo airline
Intermountain – primarily Alaskan operations with C-46, Helio Courier, Caribou, L-188, Convair 580
Transocean – 1950s and early 1960s Oakland based with heavy trans-Pacific presence with Stratocruisers and Connies
Standard Airways – 1960s wet lease operator with Convair 400s, DC-9, 707-138B aircraft
Universal – 1960s and 1970s operations with DC-6, DC-8, Argosy aircraft
ONA – Overseas National Airlines – New York based with DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, L-188, and DC-10 aircraft
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