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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Off to Europe

Written by Charlie Dolan

I think I goofed with my last submission. It seems that I referenced several carriers, which I had featured in an earlier article. To avoid another such error, I have moved to an entirely different area of our planet.  So, moving north and east, across an ocean, I will display a first article featuring the airlines of Europe.

I hope you enjoy them. Some were early carriers, some were small and short-lived and others have a long and storied history.

Aer Lingus – Irish International Airlines
EI – EIN  1936 – present

Aer Turas 1962 – 2003

Air France
AF – AFR  1933 – present

Air Holland        HD – HLN
1985 – 2004

Air Malta           KM – AMC
1973 – present

Alisarda (Italy) IG – ISS
1966 – 1991

Alitalia               AZ – AZA
1946 – present

Calair (Germany)  charter operator
1970 – 1972

Cargolux   CV – CLK
1970 – present

German Wings  4U – GWI
1997 – 2020


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Warmer Climes

Written by Charlie Dolan

I think I should have covered these carriers during the winter, but I was stuck in Canada during our cold weather. Oh well, nobody’s going anywhere these days, so the outside temperatures don’t really affect us. I decided to follow the alphabet again and will look at airlines based in the Caribbean and Central America.  Many of these airlines are no longer in operation, but they brought aviation to their countries and had both colorful histories and liveries. Several had more than one version of wings and cap badges.

Air Jamaica JM AJM 1968 – 2015

The carrier was assisted in its start-up by Air Canada, which provided equipment, aircraft service and training.  The lower wing has the AC maple leaf and was worn by Air Canada pilots seconded to Air Jamaica to train the JM pilots.  Air Jamaica wore white caps with the orange insignia and that gave a sharp look to the uniform.

Belize Airways Limited BAL 1977 – 1980

The carrier operated five Boeing 720 aircraft, which had started operational lives with United Air Lines. The BAL insignia is one of the most colorful in my collection.

BWIA BW BWA 1939 – 2006

Originally named British West Indian Airlines, it had a close association with B O A C. It’s last operating name was British West Indies Airlines. The wings and cap badge are designed to resemble the steel drums of the Caribbean.  This design was also incorporated in the livery of the aircraft.

Cayman Airways KX CAY 1968 – present

The insignia feature “Sir Turtle”, the tourism bureau’s logo for the island nation. Until he became the image of the air carrier, he did not sport a red scarf. I wonder if Charles Schultz and Snoopy objected to his use of this fashion accessory.

CUBANA CU CUB 1930 – present

The first two sets of insignia show the influence of Pan American Airways, which was instrumental in the formation of the carrier. After the Castro take-over the insignia were changed and began to take on a look similar to the eastern block countries.

C D A Compania Dominicana de Aviacion Dominicana DO DOA 1944 – 1999

Three variations of the carrier’s insignia. The first, in PAA style, shows the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west and the Dominican Republic to the east.

LANICA Lineas Aereas de Nicaragua NI 1946 – 1981

SAHSA Servicio Aereo de Honduras, S. A. SH SHA 1945 – 1994


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Canadian Carrier Crew Wings Part IV

Written by Charlie Dolan

With all this free time on my hands while under house arrest, I found a few more Canadian airlines which I have not shown in the past. Several were short lived or so small that little information is published about them. Here are the images of their insignia and the information I have collected.

                                                              Air Creebec YN CRQ 1982 – present

                                                           Conifair Aviation COF 1979 – 1997

Engaged in spruce bud worm spraying in Quebec using Lockheed Constellations and DC-4 and 6 tankers. It began charter and scheduled passenger service and later changed its name to Royal Airlines.

 Great Lakes Airways GX 1958 – 1987   Merged into Air Ontario

     Ilford Riverton Airways 1960 – 1986

                                                                  Quebec Aviation QR 1978

                Regionair  –  Had been known as Northern Wings. Acquired by Quebecair in 1965

 Voyageur Airways 1968 – present

 Westjet WS WJA 1994 – present

                                                      Worldways Canada WB 1974 – 1990

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A Few More Canadian Carriers

Written by Charlie Dolan

Now that I have had a chance to thoroughly clean, organize and paint my garage, I found time to rummage through my images of Canadian insignia. Some of these are from way back in time (Quebec Aviation Ltd.) or were so short lived (Air Niagara?) that there are no references to them in my usual sources. Or them I will have to rely on memory.

Air Niagara – This carrier came into Baltimore Int’l on a charter flight with a Convair 560. I was impressed that the wing insignia featured a plane resembling the Concorde. If you dream, dream big.

Air Niagara

Canada 3000 – They had a good run until the terrorist activities caused many carriers to fold their wings.

Canada 3000  2T  CMM  – 1988-2001  went bankrupt.

HMY / Harmony – The airline was founded by a gentleman who was dissatisfied with the services provided by other carriers.

HMY / Harmony      HQ     HMY         2002-2007

Intair  –  Provided charter and scheduled service with Convair 560 and Fokker 100 aircraft in eastern Canada. Intair was able to take over Nordair’s IATA code ND after Nordair was absorbed by Canadian Air Int’l.

Intair – ND INT 1989-1991

Nationair Canada – Nationair operated from Montreal’s Mirabel Airport with charter service worldwide. A fatal Hadj charter accident at Jeddah brought Nationair’s maintenance practices into question. A lengthy strike by cabin staff affected operations adversely and the negative publicity about the quality of service led to the end of the carrier.

NX  NXA     1986-1993

Odyssey International – This charter company was spun off from Soundair, a Canadian cargo carrier which had been operating since the late 1940s. After a very short period of operating, the mother company went bankrupt and Odyssey followed quickly

Odyssey International IL ODY 1988-1989

Quebec Airways Limited – Very little information about this airline, but impressive insignia.

This carrier used former military aircraft (C-46) carrying supplies to the DEW Line facilities in northern Canada. They also ran passenger flights to Cuba using Lockheed Constellations. The reason for the carrier’s demise was listed as “political”.

CDN World Wide Airways Inc

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Some additional Canadian carriers

Written by Charlie Dolan


Some additional Canadian carriers

Air Inuit    3H  AIE     1978 – present

Air Ontario   GX  ONT    1983 – 2001 (to AC Jazz)

Air Transat   TS  TSC   1987 – present

Norontair   NOA   1971

Northwest Territorial Airways  1960s – 1997 (to First Air)

Canadian Airways  1930 – 1942

Central Northern A/W   1947 – 1956  (became Transair)

City Express   OU  OUL    1984 – 1991

Greyhound Air   1996 – 1997

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A few more Canadian carriers which have left the skies

Written by Charlie Dolan

A while back, before my Boeing 747 article, I spent some time talking about the two (now one) major airlines of Canada.

This time around I’d like to feature some of the carriers, and their insignia, which over the years either went bankrupt or merged with other airlines, thus losing their distinct identities. Most of these were large regional carriers, but some were large charter airlines with routes all around the globe and with large staffs.

The first I mention, Canadian Colonial Airways, operated between 1942-1956 before heading south to become Colonial Airlines, which ultimately was absorbed by Eastern Air Lines.

Eastern Provincial Airways (PV-EPA) 1949-1986 operated in the eastern part of Canada and had a presence in Montreal. They eventually merged into Canadian Pacific.

Maritime Central Airways 1941-1963.

Again, as the name implies, this carrier operated in Canada’s east and, before disappearing, formed the new carrier, Nordair.

Nordair  ND  NDR  1947-1987

Nordair operated into the north of Canada using Boeing 737s into gravel airstrips that required special gravel pans around the nose wheels and special pressure probes at the front of the engines to keep stones from damaging the turbine and stator blades. Several of the aircraft were combis, with cargo up front and passengers in the rear. During the winter, weekday flights went north of the arctic circle and on Saturday mornings the same planes operated charters from Montreal to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale.  It showed how versatile the Boeing 737 was.

Nordair was obtained by CP Air

Quebecair QB  QBA 1947-1986

Quebecair operated scheduled service as well as charters utilizing Fokker F-27s, BAC 1-11s and Boeing 737s. Toward the end of its existence, it obtained DC-8s, hoping to expand it’s long haul operations, but CP Air made them an offer they could not refuse. In the early 1980s, Quebecair sold two of the BAC1-11s to Nigeria’s Okada Air and I was able to get some photos of one of them in Okada livery.

Transair   TZ   1956-1979

Transair was one of the first carriers to be absorbed, merging into Pacific Western Airlines.

Wardair Canada  WD  WDA   1952- 1989

I have a feeling that Max Ward was one of the few people to have made money in the airline business. He started with bush flying in single engined airplanes and wound up with a fleet of company owned DC-10s and Boeing 747s and an airline which maintained a reputation of providing great service worldwide. Wardair became part of Canadian

I hope you’ll enjoy the article and the images.

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Well, it’s about time!

Written by Charlie Dolan

It took me only 47 years from the time I first saw a Boeing 747 in real time until I had my first flight on “The queen of the skies”.

My first flight was on my tenth birthday in 1954, I first soloed in 1965 in a Piper J-3 Cub and I have been hanging around airports for at least forty-five years as both an Army officer and a civilian. I’ve ridden in allsorts of flying machines, single engine, twin engine, push – pull Cessnas, tri-motors, military helicopters and a wide variety of two, three and four engine airliners. The one aircraft which eluded me was the Boeing 747. It seemed that no matter where I traveled, the 747 was going in the same direction at the same time as I.

I first saw a 747 in 1972 when a Pan American charter flight passed through Niagara Falls (NY) International Airport (KIAG). That same year, while at Fort Dix, NJ for a two week Army reserve active duty period, two other officers and I went up to JFKIA and got to go on board a Pan Am 747 which was at the gate for an evening departure. My Customs ID and badge made that tour possible.

I had been ON many 747s during my thirty-six year career with the U.S. Customs Service, but never when their main engines were running and the aircraft was not firmly planted on the ground. I have searched the 747 in many configurations, in passenger service, cargo operations and VIP transport versions. I knew its interior, exterior and all the areas below decks. But, I had never been off the ground in one.

That depressing situation changed on December first of this year. My wife and I had booked a river cruise on the Danube to visit the German and Austrian Christmas markets. We have been on many deep water cruises, but this was our first river cruise. Once I saw that we had been booked on a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400. I had to jump into action. I wanted Karen to see why that plane fascinated me so much that I wrote to Lufthansa’s Orlando station manager to see if it could be arranged for us to board a tad early so I could show her around the aircraft.

At check-in we were greeted by the assistant station manager and we were  allowed us to board with the families with children. I was able to stow our hand luggage quickly and give Karen a quick tour of the upper deck. I asked about a peek into the cockpit, but the purser indicated that the crew was occupied with pre-flight duties. Just after we returned to the lower level, the purser called us back and said that the captain would allow us to visit the “front office”. We had an enjoyable conversation with the two experienced pilots and thanked them for their time. Karen was allowed to take a photo of them – “as long as it wasn’t going to be on facebook”.

The flight to Frankfurt was comfortable and the landing was as smooth as any I have ever experienced. It was a tribute to both the aircraft and the crew. It was one more item checked off my “bucket list.

Early DLH cap badge

Pre war G

DLH wing Nec Soli Cedit “He yields not even to the Sun”

Post war DLH insignia pilot, f/e, navigator and radio operator.

DLH Ost (East Germany post war)

Interflug (after DLH Ost lost case to DLH)


German Cargo System

DLH Boeing 747-400






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That “other” Canadian airline Canadian Pacific Air Lines / C P Air Canadian Airlines aka “Empress”

Written by Charlie Dolan.

While Air Canada managed to operate under only two names, “Trans Canada Airlines” and “Air Canada”, their chief rival in the northern skies had several names and operational eras. What began as an amalgamation of bush carriers became Canadian Pacific Air Lines in 1942. This identity worked well and lasted until 1968 when the carrier became “C P Air” and adopted the logo shared with CP Rail, CP Ships, CP Hotels and CP telecommunications. The airline was assigned the color orange in the corporate logo scheme and this color was attached to not only letterheads but to the aircraft in the fleet. They looked impressive to say the least. As an added bonus, they were impossible to miss in the pattern.

During the mid to late 1980s, the urge to merge hit the Canadian air carrier industry and CP Air merged with Nordair and Eastern Provincial Airways. Shortly after that, the carrier was bought by Pacific Western Airlines and became “Canadian Airlines”.

The carrier lasted until 2000, when it was absorbed by Air Canada, the dominant airline in the skies to our north.

Future articles will show the insignia of the carriers which became Canadian (Canadien) Airlines, but today we will concentrate on Canadian Pacific Air Lines, C P Air and Canadian Airlines.

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Oh, Canada – Air Canada

Written by Charlie Dolan

Air Canada (AC – ACA) began life as Trans Canada Airlines in 1937. It operated under that name (in English) until 1965, when the carrier adopted its French name “Air Canada” as its identity as the flag carrier for our neighbor to the north. The change of name was reflected in new livery for the aircraft, new corporate logos and extensive uniform changes.  Over the years, Air Canada and Canadian (Canadien) Pacific Air Lines were the major competitors for air travel by Canadians. Smaller carriers, such as Nordair, Quebecair, Pacific Western Airlines and Eastern Provincial Airways were merged into one or the other of the big two carriers. It was during this period that Canadian Pacific Air Lines became Canadian (ien) Airlines. In 2000, Air Canada acquired Canadian Airlines, thus removing its biggest competitor.

In 2019, Air Canada received approval to purchase Transat A. T., which was the parent company of Air Transat. It’s anyone’s guess as to how large Air Canada will grow.

Future (several) articles will cover other Canadian airline companies. I was stationed at Dorval Airport (CYUL) for eight years and that was where I began collecting.

Wing and cap badge for Trans Canada Air Lines

TCA flight engineer wing. An “E” replaces the “speedbird” at the center of the wing. The navigator’s wing had an “N” at the center.

TCA cap with badge

Bullion TCA wing and cap badge circa 1949 during a “tiff” with BOAC when the “speedbird” was removed from the uniforms. The metal TCA insignia with the “speedbird” returned and were used untll 1965, when Air Canada became the new name

Air Canada’s first insignia. The cap badge was short lived, but the wing is a mystery to me and other collectors. The wing had various colors behind the maple leaf. I have seen blue, yellow, white, red and green (or turquoise) enamel. Whether these colors represented crew members’ home base or job  classification has not been determined. Air Canada pioneers and the wing manufacturer hav been unable to answer the question. Any information would be greatly appreciated

More colorful cap badge and squared off wing in metal and bullion. These were used in the 1960s and I have seen white behind the maple leaf of the cap badge which might be related to the color issue with the former wing insignia. All pilot ratings wore the same style wing

New wings of the 1980s indicated the rating of the pilots. Captains had three stars over the center disc, which was surrounded with leaves.  First Offices had leaves around the disc, but no stars. Second officers had a plain disc

The current style wing has the disc in red with the maple leaf in brass metal color. With only two flight crew, the F.O has a plain disc and the Captain has a wreath around the disc. I understand that the new cap badge has the maple leaf and circle in gold bullion thread, but the scroll with “Air Canada” has been deleted. A plan to have “AIR CANADA” in gold bullion at the front of the chin strap was not adopted

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