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Florida airways


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Florida Airways a gone but not forgotten airline

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Florida airways

  1. 1. FLORIDA AIRWAYS In our series gone but not forgotten, here is another airline that was swallowed by history’s insatiable appetite, this airline is FLORIDA AIRWAYS which graced the skies of Florida from 1946 to 1949. Florida airways was founded by Thomas E. Gordon owner of Economy cab, Florida Aeronautical Supply Company as well as a 400-acre privately owned airport “CANNON MILLS” in Orlando Florida. Florida airways was born as Orlando Airlines. On March 28, 1946, the CAB issued a temporary certificate to operate intra-state services (route 75) within the state of Florida. Operations began on January 9, 1947 as Florida Airways with a fleet of Beech D18C. beech 18 silhouette from wikipedia The operations proved to be un-economical and extremely costly for the US tax payer. On March 7, 1949, the CAB denied the application for the extension of the company’s temporary certificate beyond March 31, 1949. This decision doomed the airline since according to the CAB, the revenues generated by passenger transport were insufficient to operate without government subsidies as the cost of carrying mail by
  2. 2. Florida Airways was extremely expensive $30c per mile versus a system wide cost of $6.74c coupled with ferocious competition from Eastern Airlines since the CAB allowed Eastern to operate to Gainesville and Ocala on its ATL-MCO run 2 cities that were extensively served by Florida Airways. . The company folded in March 1949 and its founder Tom. E. Gordon fought extremely hard to keep his company alive, he urged the CAB to be awarded Southern Airways route 98 which had not yet begun as the owner of Southern airways Frank W. Hulse had tremendous problems in finding investors and raising capital. Hulse pledged that his Southern flight No1: ATLANTA-GADSDEN-BIRMINGHAM- TUSCALOOSA-COLUMBUS-MEMPHIS will begin on June 10, 1949 as agreed with the CAB. When this door was closed, Gordon pleaded with the CAB to have a shot gun wedding with Southern Airways but to no avail. The route and city authorities granted by the CAB were as follow : Jan 10, 1947: Orlando-Ocala-Gainesville-lake City-Tallahassee-Lake City- Gainesville-Ocala Feb 25, 1947: Gainesville-Jacksonville Mar25,1947:Jacksonville-St Augustine-Palatka-Leland-Sanford-Orlando- Sanford-Leland-Palatka-St Augustine. Mar4, 1948: Leesburg Apr 7, 1948: Perry
  4. 4. FLORIDA AIRWAYS TIMETABLE DATED APRIL 5 1948, FROM THE BJORN LARSSON COLLECTION @ STATISTICS AND MAPS Thanks to the information found on the site (Collection of Bjorn Larsson), we can have the following statistics and maps
  5. 5. FLORIDA AIRWAYS TT 25/07/1947 TT 15/04/1948 Destinations 10 12 Sectors 10 15 Network 818 km 961 km FLORIDA AIRWAYS 1947 MAP
  6. 6. FLORIDA AIRWAYS 1948 MAP From Jacksonville Eastern Airlines and Delta Airlines provided connecting flights to and from a lot of major cities as evidenced by the connecting flights map below.
  7. 7. CONNECTING MAP AT JACKSONVILLE-1948 Maps generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.