A Few More European Carriers to Close Out the Year

Written by Charlie Dolan

Now that the holiday season is fast approaching, I decided to put together a few more images of carriers from Europe to share with the members of the society.  I spent a few hours over several days going through my records to determine which airlines I have included in past postings. My objective is to prevent duplicating images in the Log which I have done in the past. If anybody thinks I have missed or ignored a particular air carrier which they would like to have seen in he Log, let me know and I will upload it to the log, providing hat I have it to share.

Next year I plan to feature the British Isles, Scandinavia and, if I am quick enough with my writing and imaging, Mexico.

So, as Monte Python used to say, “Off we go”.

Balkan Bulgarian Airlines LZ LAZ 1947 -2002

Belavia Belarusian Airlines B2 BRU 1996 –present

CityBird (Belgium) H2 CTB 1996 – 2001

Croatia Airlines OU CTN 1989 – present

Deutsche BA DZ BAG 1992 – 2008

D L T CL CLH 1952 – 1998 Now Cityline of DLH

DutchBird 5D DBR 2000 – 2004

Finnair AY FIN 1923 (as Aero O/Y) – present

JAT Jugoslovenski Aerotransport JU JAT 1947 – 2013 Now Air Serbia

Kar Air (Finland) KR KAR 1947 – 1996 To Finnair

Malev Hungarian Airlines MA MAH 1954 -2012

Sobelair(Belgium) Q7 SLR 1946 – 2004

Spantax Spanish Air Taxi Lineas Aereas S.A. SZ BSX 1959 – 1988

Tarom (Romania) RO ROT 1954 – present

T E A Trans European Airways HE TEA 1971 – 1991

Tyrolean Airways VO TYR 1980 – 2015 To Austrian Airlines

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Collector Alert – Fake Junior Wings

Written by Lane Kranz

With the popularity of online shopping we have seen a rise in fake merchandise on websites such as eBay.  Unfortunately, our little collectors’ niche is not immune to this trend.  I recently saw a few of these wings sold on eBay for very high prices and was very upset.  I wanted to share the 4 known Fake Junior Wings with you in hopes of preventing these wings from ending up in your collections.

As of this writing, there are 4 known Fake Junior Wings:  Virgin Atlantic, TACA, Rich International and Falcon Air Express.  Each of these wings appears to be a junior wing from another airline that has a laser printed logo placed in the center with a clear epoxy resin applied over the top.  Buyer beware—these are fakes.   Thanks for reading and for collecting real junior wings!

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The Plane that Smiled Back

Written by Emma Rasmussen

Few airlines in the twenty-first century can provide the same friendly allure that the airlines of decades past once exuded. One such example of this seemingly forgotten vibrance and zeal is Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA). Sporting an iconic “smile” on the noses of their aircraft, it is hardly any wonder their slogan was “The World’s Friendliest Airline.” Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, their smiley airliners, adorned with colorful cheatlines, proudly served the state of California. Headquartered in San Diego, PSA became the way to fly in the Golden State.

PSA’s humble beginnings can be traced back to the years immediately following World War II. Kenny Friedkin, an American aviator, and businessman founded the airline and set the tone for its colorful culture. Friedkin had previously attempted to start an airline known as “Friedkin Airlines,” but this venture failed. PSA was his second and successful attempt. Friedkin’s new airline began offering a weekly round-trip flight from San Diego to Oakland and Burbank. A single DC-3 was leased for $1,000 USD per month.

By the 1950s, PSA’s fleet had grown and been modernized. Friedkin replaced his DC-3s with DC-4s, and painted rectangles around the windows so they more closely resembled the newer DC-6 (which had rectangular windows). At the end of the 1950s, the operation had evolved. An average of 37 flights across California were conducted, with a fare of $9.99 USD. When larger Lockheed L-188 Electra’s joined the fleet PSA instantly overtook its competitors by carrying more passengers between Los Angeles and the Bay Area than any other airline. PSA’s fleet would become even more advanced with the introduction of the Jet Age.

Between 1965 and 1970, PSA took delivery of several new Boeing and Douglas jet airliners, replacing its fleet of propeller aircraft. Between 1974 and 1975, PSA operated two Lockheed L-1011 Tristars. The operation of this twin-aisle airliner would make PSA the only intrastate airline to operate a wide-body airliner. The Tristar was particularly unique for PSA at the time, as it featured a luxurious lower deck lounge. Despite these major fleet updates, PSA was faced with stiff competition from Air California (later “AirCal”), it’s fellow Golden State intrastate airline and largest rival.

PSA and Air California operated the few remaining Lockheed Electra’s in their fleet (in PSA’s case L-188’s that were re-purchased after its original Electra’s was retired) to provide flights into Lake Tahoe Airport, which had a jet ban until the 1980s. PSA retired it’s Electras, as did Air California when the jet ban was lifted. PSA never returned to this hot destination, but AirCal recommenced flights with all new McDonnell Douglas MD-80s and Boeing 737-300s. PSA focused on expanding its business model to other neighboring states after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 took effect. AirCal soon followed suit.

PSA’s new pastures included Albuquerque, Phoenix, Tucson, Reno, Las Vegas, and Salt Lake City. The maturing airline installed automated ticketing and check-in machines at its various destinations. PSA had planned to expand further east through the purchase of assets from Braniff International Airways, a struggling Texan airline. Unfortunately, this transaction did not come to pass, and PSA expanded to Idaho, the Pacific North West, and small under-served airports throughout California. The introduction of the BAe-146 in the early 1980s enabled PSA to expand within California.

One can attribute PSA’s success to their affordable intrastate business model, which Southwest Airlines later pursued upon its own founding. However, it is important to note that PSA had a pleasurable company culture that made it unique. Friedkin, the airline’s founder, was known for his laid-back attire and assortment of Hawaiian shirts. Management encouraged crew members to joke with passengers and provide extravagant customer service. The airline introduced flamboyant, yet flattering uniforms for their stewardesses, which matched the airline’s branding. PSA’s corporate culture inspired Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest Airlines. Kelleher implemented many of PSA’s innovations in his own airline after ample studying.

Today, PSA’s legacy lives on as a nostalgia livery for American Airlines and the inspiration for Southwest Airlines. In 1988, PSA completed its merger with USAir, which eventually became US Airways. By the mid-1990s, PSA’s original route network had completely ceased to exist within USAir. After several more airline mergers, PSA eventually found a place in American Airlines’ heritage. PSA may no longer exist, but it remains a colorful part of aviation’s extensive and storied history.

Originally published in Horizons – Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Photos  from the Jon Proctor collection & WikiMediaCommons

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Book Review: Aircraft Display Model Collector Investor and Appraisal Guide

Aircraft Display Model Collector Investor and Appraisal Guide

By Henry Tenby
Self-published
ISBN 9781926714011
163 Pages

Review by Shea Oakley

I have been collecting airliner models since I was old enough to point up at the sky and say “plane.” That is about 50 years. During this time a precious few of them have been what I always called “airline ticket office” or “travel agency” models. These were the kind of big replicas I remembered from the 1970’s. In those early childhood days, my dad and I would walk down Fifth Avenue in New York City once a year so I could collect ticket folders from the often beautifully appointed ticket offices which, for a long time, lined that street representing every major world airline. I also remember seeing these models in other places, as in the case of an unbelievably huge National Airlines 747 “cutaway” example that sat in the ticketing lobby of their JFK “Sundrome” terminal during that same decade.

While I have collected everything from 1/600th to 1/24th scale airliners in my time, I always knew that these special models were truly in a class by themselves.

Now a physically impressive new paperback book from Henry Tenby, a major collector and true expert on these types of replicas, for the first time gives us not only a comprehensive history of all the makers of “professional aircraft display models” but also a very useful price guide and great general overview of this important segment of the airline enthusiast hobby. His self-published work does so with 162 pages of images that are virtually all color-printed on excellent heavy-stock glossy paper. Photographically this volume is a beauty to behold, in terms of content it is a pleasure to read.

The Vancouver, Canada-based Tenby started collecting in 1988 after visiting Brazil to chronicle the late, great Varig’s legendary “Ponte Area” Lockheed Electra shuttle operation as a reporter for the former “Airliners Magazine.” At the end of his interviews with the Brazilian flag carrier’s executives he was presented with a new 1/100th model of an Electra produced by one of the major players in the field of display models built for airline promotional use, Vogelaar. In his own words “from this point forward the author was perpetually hooked.”

Today Tenby, along with some other familiar, long-known names in the hobby, including Anthony Lawler, David Marx and Dr. Charles Quarles, is one of a small group of collectors who have large collections of these often extremely valuable models. I had the pleasure and rare privilege of visiting one of these collections at the home of its owner last January. In fact that is where I first encountered a copy of this book.

Since the rarest of these pieces can fetch as much as five figures for a single example; this segment is among the most “upscale” in the world of airline collecting and most of us cannot afford more than a few of them (at least without taking out a second mortgage!)  For instance, your reviewer currently has just six models that would qualify as professional aircraft display models by the author’s well-thought out standards.

While not inexpensive (no high-quality illustrated book this size is these days) I highly recommend Tenby’s work for anyone who has had more than a passing interest on this subject. It is rare to find a book that is both chockful of useful and engaging content yet could be proudly displayed on any true airline enthusiast’s coffee table. In my opinion this one definitely qualifies!

There is very little to criticize in Aircraft Display Model Collector Investor and Appraisal Guide. There are a fair number of minor typos that slightly detract from the reading experience. The book ends with some mouth-watering selected photos from some of the largest collections of these replicas in the world. I might have enjoyed a few more photos from them, but the book is self-published and paying for the reproduction of color photos in a book of this quality cannot be cheap! We can certainly be grateful that these collectors were willing to work with Tenby to the degree they did, as I have seen very few glimpses of such collections in my over 25 years in the “official” airline collecting hobby.

So, to sum up, this one is truly a keeper. I can tell you that my personal copy will be treasured for many years to come. Even if you cannot afford a single professional aircraft display model for your own “fleet” this book provides a way to vicariously enjoy hundreds of them!

Availability: Copies of this book can be ordered directly from the author’s website, www.aircraftdisplaymodels.com, for US $36.95 each (plus postage from Canada).

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New Junior Wings in 2020

Written by Lane Kranz

Despite the ongoing pandemic and resulting crisis on the travel industry, several new Junior Wings have appeared in 2020.  Each of these are airline issued and will make beautiful additions to your collections.

This is the current issue American Airlines junior wing. 

This is believed to be a prototype wing in full color made for American, frequently seen on eBay.

Top – This is the new Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant junior wing. This wing is gold and replaces the silver junior wing.
Bottom – This is the current Delta Airlines Pilot junior wing (not new) shown due to similarity to the new Flight Attendant junior wing.

Alaska Airlines has issued a new Junior Wing. This wing is nearly identical to the previous issue, except for the unique back. It uses a magnet instead of a pin to attach to clothing. Many thanks to fellow collector Bryan Mellon for identifying this new wing!

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Airline Menu Postcards

Written by Marvin G. Goldman

Many airlines, particularly on longer flights, have typically handed out beautiful menus in advance of their meal service.  One type of menu, popular in the past with certain airlines, served a double purpose – it had a postcard back, as the airline hoped the passenger would mail the postcard, and this would publicize the airline more widely.  Some of the early menu postcards even state on the back: “Please address and return to Stewardess, who will stamp and mail for you”.

Surprisingly few airlines actually issued menus in postcard form.  I know of only 17 airlines that did so, although probably more exist.  Also, at least three other airlines issued menus with postcards attached so they could be separated and mailed or saved.

The late 1940s through the early 1960s were the high point for the popularity of airline menus with postcard backs.  Some, however, date as early as the1930s and the latest I know of were issued by TWA in 1987.

All the postcards shown in this article are airline issued; standard or continental size; and from my collection except for those of B.O.A.C., Ghana, and South African Airways.

The airline that issued the most menu postcards, by far, was United Air Lines.  I estimate that more than 80% (and maybe 90%) of the menu postcards that you can find at airline collectible shows or on the internet are those issued by United.

So let’s start with menu postcards of United Air Lines.  United issued many types of menu postcards, including those celebrating special events, holidays or destinations, menus with suitable illustrations for breakfasts, and a lengthy set with photographs of United destinations.

Here are my three favorite United menu postcards.  I was fortunate to acquire them over 30 years ago from collector Randy Lieberman, and I have never seen other originals of each.

United Air Lines postcard celebrating Navy Week: Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 1941’. It is ironic that this menu postcard was handed out one month before the attack on the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. Note also the border resembling the rope of a ship.

United Air Lines menu postcard issued especially for St. Patrick’s Day, 16 March 1940.  There’s a lot of Irish in the text of this card.

United Air Lines menu postcard issued especially for Valentine’s Day, 14 February 1942.  This menu has a lot of hearts as well as ‘Cupid’s Ice Cream’. 

In the 1940s United several menu postcards with the symbol of a chef running to serve a steaming hot meal, such as the following:

United Air Lines menu postcard showing a DC-3 and noting ‘Los Angeles’, postmarked 20 January 1943.  The message on the back says: “This meal on the other side of card I just finished while in flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It was very tasty and I enjoyed it very much. Best to all the office.”  I’m sure this was the kind of publicity that United desired. 

United Air Lines ‘Breakfast menu’ postcard, 1950s.  The image of the very early milk delivery suggests the freshness of the food served.  United also widely publicized its Flight Kitchens and chefs, as can be seen in the text above the menu. 

United Air Lines menu postcard commemorating its 25th anniversary, April 1951.

 In the early 1950s United issued a set of menu postcards, each with a photograph of a particular United destination.  I know of at least 20 different destinations in this set, and there may be more.  A particular destination card was sometimes used for several different menus, so the varieties multiply.  The postcards in this set are the most common of all the menu postcards and are widely available.  Here is one example,

 

United postcard with menu prepared by United’s Chicago Flight Kitchen, Eugene Ertle, Chef, and destination photo of Santa Catalina Island, California.  Another menu postcard with this view has the logo of the 50th anniversary of powered flight on the postcard side and so must have been issued in 1953. 

Let’s now turn to the other U.S. airlines that issued menu postcards.

American Airlines foldover menu postcard.  When folded the AA logo appears on the picture side and the postcard side is on the back, while the menu appears inside. This style exists with different menus.  The one shown was served on American’s ‘New York Toltec’ flight.  ‘El Tolteca’ was American’s name for its service to Mexico City in the 1950s.  So this menu is in Spanish as well as English.  One of my cards of this type is postmarked 29 April 1950.

American Airlines menu postcard showing symbols of California as a destination.  The postcard back says ‘First with Jets Across the U.S.A.’.  This is part of a destination set issued in the early 1960s.  The same destination can have different menus.  Other destinations in this set include Mexico, New England and New York, and there may be others.

Eastern Air Lines postcard showing actual photo of what’s on the menu aboard a Lockheed Constellation, postmarked 18 July 1955.  Part of a set that shows photos of different meals served on Eastern.  On this postcard a child wrote “Hi Grampa !  Just ate all of it.  Not sick at all !”    Well, I guess that’s a good enough testimonial for airplane food.

Northwest Orient Airlines menu postcard, ‘Orient’, 1960s.  This is part of a set with beautiful illustrations of symbols and foods of the particular destination.  Other destinations in the set include Alaska, Atlanta, Florida, Pacific Northwest and Philippines, and there are probably more.

Pan American menu postcard, ‘On Board: Bermuda Clipper’.  This rare card dates from the late 1930s or 1940, and was probably used on Pan Am’s Baltimore – Bermuda seaplane route.

Pan American ‘Clipper Menu’ postcard, Seattle – Juneau, ‘Alaska Service’, with DC-3, late 1930s or early 1940s.  Ex Deke Billings collection.

 

Pan American ‘Alaska Service’ menu postcard, Seattle – Juneau with a destination photo, in the style of the 1950s.    Ex William Demarest collection.  There are other views in this set, and they are much harder to find than the corresponding United menu postcards of the same style.

TWA (Trans World Airlines) foldover menu postcard, showing the postcard back and foldover view, here Monterey Peninsula, California.  The menu takes up the entire other side of the postcard and view portions.  Issued March 1953.  The postcard back says: “This in-flight menu is printed in post card form, so that you may mail it home to family or friends as a remembrance of your TWA flight.”  I am aware of similar postcards with views of Naples and New York, and there may be others.

 

TWA ‘Menu a la Card’ postcard, with artwork typifying ‘Phoenix’.  Card is slightly larger than continental size.  Part of a set of destination menu postcards issued in 1987.  This is the latest date I know of for an airline menu with a postcard back on the menu itself.  The postcard back says: “TWA is pleased to present our new Great Destinations Series.  Through an artist’s vision we wish to share with our passengers the spirit and the aura of some of the Great Destinations that TWA serves.  Rather than depict famous landmarks, we have chosen scenes that we think typify the life style, the feel for a country or city that no monument can convey.”  Other destinations in this series include London, Paris, Puerto Rico, St. Louis and San Francisco, and there probably are others.

National Airlines ‘Bar Service’ menu service, 1950s.  Note the text ‘Liquor may be served outside the three mile limit or over the State of Florida’.  Before 1949 U.S. airlines generally did not serve alcoholic beverages in flights over the U.S.  Thereafter, for a brief period into the 1950s, various States did not permit the serving of alcoholic beverages in flight.  Apparently, on the flight where this card was handed out, National could serve drinks only when the aircraft was over Florida, or more than three miles offshore, considered to be ‘international waters’.

Pacific Northern Airlines ‘flying high above Scenic Alaska’ menu postcard, late 1950s.

Hawaiian Airlines menu and adjoining postcard that can be easily detached and mailed, issued about 1995.  Ex Kuo-ching (‘Peter’) Fu collection.  The other side of the postcard portion shows artwork of Hawaiian artist Juno Galang, and the reverse of the menu portion advertises Lion Hawaiian coffee, served on Hawaiian Airlines flights.

 Not illustrated here, but in my collection, are menu cards with detachable postcards issued by three other airlines: Finnair (with attached DC-10 postcard), KLM Amsterdam-Los Angeles service menu postcard (with attached 737-300 postcard), and Virgin Atlantic (one with attached artist’s depiction of people in London looking up to sky, and another depicting a London double-decker bus).

Now let’s turn to menus with postcard backs issued by airlines outside the U.S.

Trans-Canada Air Lines – Air Canada postcard with French and English text and rodeo photo, issued September 1963.  Part of a set with other menus and views. 

 

Canadian Pacific ‘Princess Menu’ postcard with photo of Victoria Glacier and Lake Louise, Canada. Card postmarked 27 October 1962. Part of a set with other menus and views. Canadian Pacific also issued menu postcards with the menu surrounded by the insignia of the various Canadian provinces.

I am not aware of any South American, European or Middle East airline menu cards with a postcard back other than those issued by B.O.A.C. (British Overseas Aircraft Corporation)

B.O.A.C. (British Overseas Aircraft Corporation) menu postcard, with artist’s view of the Drakensberg mountains, South Africa. 1950s. Internet image. Part of a set with other menus and views. Note the ‘Speedbird’ logo in the lower right. B.O.A.C. also issued, probably in the 1960s, another set of menu postcards with destination illustrations and the tagline ‘all over the world B.O.A.C. takes good care of you’ and with no Speedbird logo.

There are two African airlines that apparently have issued menu postcards, as to which I have never seen an actual card.  They are illustrated on the Famgus Aviation Postcards website, as follows:

Ghana Airways menu postcard with view of Accra.  1960s.

 

South African Airways menu postcard in two languages, Afrikaans and English. Late 1950s. 

From Asia and Australasia, I am aware of three airlines that have issued menu postcards.

Civil Air Transport (CAT), Taiwan, menu postcard showing a painting of an elf offering peaches symbolizing a long life.  Probably 1950s.  Ex William Demarest collection.  CAT issued other similar menu postcards, including one showing two Chinese boys greeting one another.

Philippine Airlines menu postcard showing folk art, postmarked 17 August 1971.

TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited] menu postcard highlighting the ‘enchanted isles of the South Seas’, postmarked 22 April 1961.

I hope you enjoyed this overview of airline menu postcards.  If you know of any other airlines that issued menu cards with postcard backs, or if you have any comments on my article, I would be pleased to hear from you.  Just email me, Marvin Goldman, at worldairsociety@aol.com.

Until next time, Happy Collecting.
Marvin

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Musings from a Passenger’s Seat ~ Pictorial Tour of Some Boarding Passes (plus)

Written by Lester Anderson

There was a day when you needed a paper ticket to get on an airplane.  You checked in at a ticket counter (or sometimes a gate) and if assigned seating was available, you were assigned a seat.

You were given a gate pass folder (or envelope) telling you the gate assigned to the flight and the flight details.  Some airlines then took your flight coupon and your next step was boarding the aircraft. Some airlines put the flight coupon in the boarding envelope and collected it as you exited the gate to go the airplane, or sometimes the stewardess (too early to call them flight attendants) collected it as you entered the aircraft. Early tickets were handwritten. Later came computer tab cards with a magnetic stripe on back along with multi page dot matrix computer printout, often with a distinctive print of bright red carbon paper marking the impression.

Airlines used this paper opportunity to market their own services (like fly now pay later) and promoted new aircraft. Many  included a graphic of their route map and lines to show what city pairs they were authorized to fly (recall the days when the Civil Aeronautics Board dictated routes).

Most probably through a joint marketing program gate passes often also promoted a car rental company (or in the case of the Northeast gate pass included, the petroleum company that provides them fuel or for American the official timepiece ). Boarding passes from the 60’s and 70’s were universal in their reminder to reconfirm you reservations if you have break in your travel.

As time and technology progressed, the ticket became a record in the airline computer.  The boarding pass became a card (the standard size of an IBM computer punch card). Then as check in became more self-service, the boarding pass was generated at self-check in kiosks at check in using a thermal printer.

My collection is exceedingly small and in no way comprehensive. Besides creating this record of history for your to enjoy, I use this as an opportunity to ask all of those reading who have old boarding passes and other interesting airline memorabilia, to write an article and submit it to share those images on the Captain’s Log.

As a pictorial I am grouping them by airline.  Except for the Northwest Orient shown here, all were my flights (NW was a visit by my grandmother). I did find an occasional treasure with them, which I have also included.

Enjoy the memories:

American
This was more an envelope than a folder. The image is of the front and the back of that envelope

Continental


As a personal note – these thermal boarding passes were my son’s favorite bookmark for all his books.

Delta

Eastern

Note the graphic design is different on the computer generated passes, and no longer were the details hand written on the boarding envelope, just a boarding pass stapled.

And in the days where travel agents were a big facilitator in ticketing, some airlines provided special travel agent boarding passes for the agent to provide to their customers.

Mohawk Airlines


Northeast

And if you asked nicely at the gate, often the agent would give you an airline sticker that you would put on our suitcase to show your travel experience!

 

Northwest Orient

In the first Airport movie one of the characters who would sneak onto the plane as a stowaway explained she always carried a thick black crayon pencil to write on a blank gate pass.  Here is a real example of a 1960 Northwest gate pass written with a thick black crayon/pencil.

My grandmother took that flight, and saved two of the napkins from her meal service.  She flew on a Northwest DC7C for this segment of her trip.

United Airlines

 

A United Suitcase sticker

And this is the way you get on a United flight today

The physical size of this boarding pass is a throwback to the IBM Punch Card, used years before. It is no longer used in that fashion and no holes are punched in it to signify data (that is done by scanning the bar on the right).  In the early days of computer reservations, flight tickets were issued on IBM punch cards at the ticket counter and even when tickets became dot matrix printer output, they size of the ticket still echoed the punch card.

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On Time, On the Hour, and On the Money

Written by Shea Oakley

If you are an older traveler and airline enthusiast living along the so-called “Northeast Corridor” of the U.S. it is likely you have a story about the Air-Shuttle. When I use the term “Air-Shuttle” I’m not referring to those run today by Delta or American. For me this reference has always been synonymous with Eastern Air Lines, the airline that started the whole concept of an hourly guaranteed seat service between New York-La Guardia, and both Boston-Logan and Washington-National airports. The airline that “threw in the towel” only after over a quarter-century of dominance on those routes, and that only two years before its own demise as a pioneering American air carrier. At the time of the Shuttle’s sale to Donald Trump in 1989 there was perhaps no greater symbol of the decline of a once great company than its loss.

I am one of those “avgeek” denizens of the Northeast who has a few personal recollections of the Eastern Air-Shuttle to share.

Sorry, no tales about eventful LGA-DCA Connie flights through summer thunderstorms. The last back-up L-1049’s were retired less than a week after my birth in February 1968. The retirement took place on St. Valentine’s day that year and EAL had a brilliant advertising tagline touting the advent of all jet-powered service: “On Valentine’s day You can Kiss Connie Goodbye.” I do, however, have a Lockheed Electra story. It was July of 1977 and my dad and I were returning to our home in New Jersey from a whale-watching trip in Nova Scotia. At Logan we hoped to catch what I believe was the last La Guardia-bound Shuttle that night. I remember gazing at two aircraft from the concourse windows of Eastern’s exclusive terminal building at that airport. One of them was a newly stripped to bare metal DC-9-31. Beyond it, gloriously lit by airport floodlights, was a white EAL airplane with four turboprop engines incorporating the largest propeller blades I had ever seen. Apparently the load looked heavy that evening so Eastern, true to its perennial Air-Shuttle guaranteed seat policy, had trundled out the old bird (one of several still being used for back-up sections only). I was nine years-old and more than a little excited. The Electra looked so exotic to this child of the “Jet Age” and I wanted that ride so dearly that I could taste it. Alas, it was not to be. We were all accommodated on the ‘Nine and as we pushed back my dream plane sat there, forlornly alone on the ramp. Three months later the airline retired its last Electra’s, thus crushing my hope of ever having such an opportunity again. At age nine you don’t tell your parents you are heading out to the airport and catching every Air-Shuttle flight until you manage a ride on a Lockheed 188.

One day in 1981 I boarded flight 18256, once again from Boston to New York. My logbook confirms it was a Boeing 727, and my strong recollection was that it also was a 727-100, the airplane possibly was an equipment sub for the Shuttle-dedicated 727-200’s on strength at the time. The interior (and the “flight dynamics” that day) seemed to me a bit rough around the edges, generally projecting an aura of the aircraft in question having been perhaps an early, 1964-era, build “Three-Holer”. That said, the flight was on time and the service as good as the Shuttle framework allowed. It is interesting to me that some of those very early 727-100’s were still wearing the distinctive EAL “Falcon” logo while flying late into the 1980’s.

My last Shuttle trip was just before I left home to get an aviation management degree at college. I wanted my father, with whom I had enjoyed many trips in earlier years, to accompany me on one last journey before I “left the nest,” so to speak. Having decided on a day together in Washington D.C., we were on the first LGA-DCA flight that morning. This was during the late summer of 1986 and Eastern was in the process of renovating all of its Shuttle terminals. The recent Texas Air buyout struggle (which would ultimately lead to the ignominious end of EAL) seemed very far away as the smells and sounds of construction filled its section of National Airport when we deplaned that day. I remember that the 727 stretch back to La Guardia said “Air-Shuttle Plus” on the forward fuselage. This was part of a leftover marketing effort to become more competitive with the New York Air shuttle which had attained to a fairly large chunk of the market at Eastern’s expense. New York Air ironically had also belonged to Frank Lorenzo’s short-lived airline empire along with the airline that “earned its wings every day.”

Today if I want to head North to Boston or South to our nation’s capital there is, of course, no Eastern Air-Shuttle to fly. There is little doubt in my mind that American or Delta’s contemporary shuttle operation will get me there with reasonable dispatch and bearable service. But they are still imitators as far as I am concerned. When someone uses the term “Air-Shuttle” I will always only remember the one that was “On Time, On the Hour, and On the Money.”

Note: All photos sourced from Wikipedia.com and WikiCommons

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A few more European carriers

Written by Charlie Dolan

Some very old and established carriers, operating under their original names , and several very small, short-lived charter carriers which had interesting insignia.

Iberia         IB        IBE        1927 – present   (two versions, metal and cloth)


KLM    Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, N.V.
KL     KLM     1919 – present

Lion’s Air  (Switzerland)   1986 – present
Small charter carrier

L O T   Polskie Linie Lotnicze  LOT
LO   LOT   1929  – present

Martinair Holland     MP      MPH    1958 – present
Since 2011 a purely cargo airline, had been a large charter carrier

Martin’s Air Charter  – MAC  1958 – 1966

SUDFLUG    Suddeutsche Fluggesellschaft   1952 – 1968  (to Condor)

TASSA    Trabajeros Aereos del Sahara, S.A.   1961 – 1965 DC-6
Holiday charters

Transavia Holland  HV   TRA    1966 – present

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A Virtual Return to Europe

Written by Charlie Dolan

Over the years, my career has been dealing with international travel or shipping. I began on the border with Canada processing passengers and cargo entering the United States from Canada. Overtime assignments at Niagara Falls International Airport (KIAG) widened my horizons dealing with flights arriving from Europe and the Caribbean. I wish I had started my collection back in those days.

Until our twenty-fifth anniversary, my wife and I had limited our vacation travels to the United States, primarily in the northeast, visiting friends and relatives (VFR?). The big “escape” was when, on our honeymoon (and my reporting to my first duty station) we made a trip from Buffalo, NY to Vero Beach, FL to introduce my new bride to my grandmother. On the way to reporting to Fort Gordon, GA, I dropped Karen off at Jacksonville, FL (KJAX) so she could return to Buffalo and finish her last semester at Buffalo State College.

Fast forward twenty-five years and we began our water borne vacations. I had arranged a week in Bermuda shortly after Karen’s mother had passed away, flying both ways, but she indicated that a flying anniversary was not to be sufficient. Her sights were set on a cruise. To be honest, up to that point, my familiarity with ships had been limited to engine rooms, chain lockers and cargo holds. I was not thrilled with the idea of spending a week on board of a seagoing vessel.

Long story short, Karen prevailed and we became avid cruisers. We have fifteen deep-water cruises (one around the world) under our belts, and had just

discovered River Cruises. Last year we travelled from Vienna to Nuremberg on a river cruise and had a wonderful time.

Before the pandemic shut down the world, we had scheduled a cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna followed by a three-day stay in Prague. Naturally, we cancelled, but we still have a deposit on file for whenever the world gets back to “normal”, whatever that may be.

With that in mind, I am featuring insignia from European carriers including those of The Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic.

I hope you enjoy them..

Austrian Airlines OS AUA 1957 – present

Crossair LX CRX 1978 – 2002

CSA Czech Airlines OK CSA 1923 – present
Czechoslovak State Airlines

LTU International LT LTU 1955 – 2009 – Lufttransport Union to Air Berlin

Luxair LG LGL 1962 – present (beautiful wing)

Olympic OA OAL 1957 – 2009

SABENA SN SAB 1923 – 2001 ~ Societe Anonyme Belge d’Explotation de la Navigation Aerienne

Shannon Air 1960s
A small Irish charter airline utilizing DC- 6s and 7s

T A P Air Portugal TP TAP 1945 – present

SWISSAIR SR SWR 1931 – 2002

TEA HE TEA 1971 – 1991 – Trans European Airways (Belgium)

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