RAJAIR, LTD.: 27B Panchratna, Ground Floor, Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Bombay, 400004, India; Phone 91 (22) 363-4413; Fax 91 (22) 363-4577; Year Founded 1993. Privately owned RAL is established by Lalit Sheth, its chairman, on December 5, 1993 to operate scheduled services to religious centers with a pair of Fokker 50s leased from Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services. Capitalized at $2.7 million, the company is unable to achieve viability and ceases operations on June 25, 1994 in order to reorganize and refinance.
P. Rajarathinam purchases majority shareholding and plans are made to acquire a fleet of 3 Dornier 328-110s in addition to the 2 Fokker 50s and to resume operations as a feeder on 17 commuter routes.
Under the marketing name Rajair, flights begin again in September 1995, although the number of destinations visited is less than half those expected. From its Bombay hub, the company, offers services to Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Pune, Kulu, Hyderabad, Tirupati, and Jaipur.
Orders are placed for two additional Dornier 328-110s in 1996, one of which is delivered this year and the other in 1997. Service continues.
RAM AIR, LTD.: Canada (1971-1985). Established at Inuvik in the Northwest Territories in 1971, Ram Air initially operates only charter flights. In the summer of 1981, it is decided by company officials to offer scheduled passenger and cargo frequencies and these are duly begun on November 16 over a route to Aklavik.
In 1982, flights are inaugurated over an expanded route to Fort McPherson, Tuktoyaktuk, and the Yukon town of Old Crow.
A total of 11,575 passengers board the carrier’s Piper PA-34 Seneca, Aero Commander 680FL, Cessna 185, and two Cessna 207s.
Enplanements begin to drop in 1983, down to 11,554, and by 1985 the company is out of business.
RAM AIR FREIGHT: P. O. Box 80123, Raleigh, North Carolina 27623, United States; Phone (919) 840-0448; Fax (919) 840-9218; Year Founded 1993. Jon Heuman sets up RAF at Raleigh/Durham in 1993 to provide local all-cargo and courier services. Revenue flights commence and continue with a fleet of 5 Beech 58 Barons.
RAM AIRWAYS: United States (1973-1974). Ram Airways is set up at Carson City, Nevada, in July 1973 to offer scheduled passenger and cargo commuter flights to San Francisco via Reno and Lake Tahoe. Revenue flights commence with de Havilland DH 104 Doves and Piper PA-31-310 Navajos and continue for a year.
In mid-1974, the company is merged with Valley Airlines to form Pacific Northwest Airways.
RAMP 66: United States (1991-1994). Ramp 66 is set up at Grand Strand Airport at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 1991 to provide local and regional all-cargo services and courier flights. Revenue operations commence and continue for 3 years with a fleet that includes 7 Cessna 402Cs, 3 Beech Barons, 3 Cessna 172s, and 2 Beech Bonanzas.
RAMSA (RED AEREA MEXICANA, S. A. de C. V.): Mexico (19431947). Following his departure from LAMSA (Lineas Aereas Mexi-cana, S. A. de C. V.) in October 1943, Gordon Barry elects to set up Mexico’s first all-cargo airline at Mexico City. As an all-freight operator, RAMSA is not a threat to any of the passenger carriers, and hence is allowed to built a route network from Mexico City northward to Zi-huantenejo via Arcelia and southward to Tapachula via Oaxaca and Gutierrez.
Employing a Curtiss Condor II and a Lockheed Vega, the company survives primarily on war-related contracts and ceases operations in 1947.
RAMSEY AIRWAYS, LTD.: Canada (1992-1994). Robert Merrilees sets up his Ramsey Airways at Sudbury, Ontario, in 1992 to provide scheduled and nonscheduled services linking his base with communities in the local area. Employing 10 workers, his fleet features 1 de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter and 2 Cessna 180s. Services continue until 1994.
RANSA (RUTAS AEREAS NACIONALES, S. A.): Venezuela (1948-1964). Carlos Chavez of Venezuela and U. S. citizen Everett Jones put up capitalization of B 500,000 and found RANSA at Caracas in September 1948. With 3 Douglas C-47s (ex-military DC-3s) and 3 Curtiss C-46s, the all-cargo carrier begins nonscheduled charter flights to Miami, both direct and via the Netherlands Antilles. Although officially based at Caracas, the company conducts all of its operations from Miami.
Frequencies increase to such a point of regularity in 1949-1951 that the American CAB launches an investigation of them in 1952. The review is heightened by three operational accidents during these years.
A Curtiss C-46D with three crew is lost at Miami Airport on June 3, 1949; although the plane must be written off, there are no fatalities.
A C-47 crash-lands at El Lorza, Venezuela, on June 30, 1950; although the aircraft must be written off, there are again no fatalities.
A C-46D crashes into the sea off Miami on December 21, 1952; there is no information on casualties.
In March 1953, capitalization is increased to B 2.5 million, with Carlos Chavez holding 85% of the shares. In December, the concern is one of three from Venezuela to receive a U. S. foreign air carrier permit for all-cargo flights; as a result, the 1952 frequency investigation is terminated.
Operations to Florida are now enhanced and the fleet is increased during 1954-1959 to comprise 2 DC-3s and 19 C-46s. Charging RANSA with running guns into the country, government authorities order the company to cease operations in June 1960.
Owner Chavez is accused of participation in a plot to assassinate Venezuelan President Betencourt; by the time the charge is proven false, the Ministry of Communications has taken control of RANSA. Under government direction, the daily services to Miami, Jamaica, and the Antilles are resumed in August and thereafter maintained. The fleet is upgraded by the addition of 2 DC-6As and 13 C-46s.
During 1961-1962 , three old Boeing 307 Stratocruisrs are purchased. The passenger interiors are stripped out and the interiors are converted into cavernous freighters. The trio is christened AndreinaMaria, Carlos, and Princess Everetta Maria II and become regular visitors to Mexico City, the carrier’s existing Caribbean destinations, and Miami.
A fourth Stratocruiser is acquired in August 1963 for conversion into a freighter. That work is not finished, however, before the company suddenly collapses in early 1964.
RANSOME AIRLINES: United States (1964-1986). In October 1964, Mr. and Mrs. J. Dawson Ransome form Ransome Aircraft Leasing at North Philadelphia Airport to supply one small, single-engine aircraft to the Giles & Ransome Company, a construction equipment distribution concern. In July 1966, Ransome Air is formed as a division of the latter.
Employing a nine-passenger Volpar Turboliner (a Beech 18 equipped with Garrett-AiResearch TPE331-1 turboprop engines) named Flagship Trenton, the new commuter inaugurates eight-times-per-day scheduled roundtrip service between North Philadelphia and Washington, D. C. (DCA) on March 2, 1967. A second Turboliner joins the fleet shortly thereafter and services are inaugurated to Richmond, Norfolk, and Raleigh/Durham.
Beginning in April 1968, a pair of 15-passenger stretched Turboliners is acquired.
A total of 6,318 passengers are hauled during the first full year. Overexpanded south of the nation’s capital, the company is losing money.
After two years as an independent, financially troubled Ransome Airlines becomes associated with Allegheny Airlines (1) in June 1969, providing a Part 135 Turboliner replacement service from North Philadelphia to Trenton, New Jersey. In November, the turboprop Beech 18s replace Allegheny Airlines (1) on the important route to Washington, D. C. from Philadelphia.
Some 15 months later in August 1970, the carrier begins operations as a full-fledged partner in the “Allegheny Commuter” network and soon earns an initial profit.
Allegheny service continues apace in 1971 and in need of larger equipment, Ransome requests permission from the CAB to operate larger equipment. The number of annual passenger boardings reaches 200,000.
In January 1972, the government grants the requested equipment permission (in fact, an exemption) to operate French turboprops that weigh more than Part 135 permits. A fleet of eight Aerospatiale (Nord) 262s and a stock of spares are purchased from Allegheny Airlines (1) in May for $3.2 million.
The New London (Connecticut) market is entered in October 1973 and in 1974 enplanements reach 205,058.
Airline employment in 1975 stands at 153. New scheduled service is inaugurated between Newark and Trenton and Princeton. In September, the carrier celebrates the boarding of its one-millionth (cumulative) passenger.
The company’s seven French-built Nord 262s and lone Twin Otter, in a freshly applied new livery, transport a total of 288,814 passengers, a firm 29% increase. Freight, on the other hand, declines 21.9% to 2.5 million FTKs.
The number of employees is increased by 15% in 1976 to 182. An eighth Nord is acquired in January. The one-millionth passenger (cumulative) is boarded in early October.
Customer bookings accelerate 17% to 337,875.
The tenth anniversary is celebrated in March 1977. With routes to five northeastern airports already, Ransome begins a Philadelphia-New York (JFK) route in October.
For the year, a total of 374,461 passengers are boarded.
Trenton to JFK service begins on April 30, 1978 and when President Carter signs the Airline Deregulation Act in October, Ransome, in terms of boardings, is the country’s largest commuter airline.
Bookings climb again, up 16.3% to 447,186.
The workforce is increased by 57.8% in 1979 to 355 and Ransome orders 2 new de Havilland Canada DHC-7-102s for his line. The carrier further extends its routes and now serves all three of New York’s principal airports, Sullivan County Airport in the Catskill Mountains, MacArthur Field on Long Island, Trenton, Princeton, Hartford, Providence, Boston, Washington, D. C., and Philadelphia. Late in the year, the first DASH-7 is placed on the Philadelphia-Washington, D. C. route.
The company enjoys a 38.8% boost in boardings to 616,205 and revenues accelerate 58.1% to $20.61 million.
The employee population grows again in 1980, rising 20.9% to 428. Under the CAB’s new classification scheme, Ransome Airlines officially becomes the “large regional” all by now know it to be. The fleet now comprises 7 Nord 262s, 4 Mohawk 298s, 4 DASH-7s, and 1 Cessna Citation 500. Orders are placed for 6 Avions de Transport Regional ATR42s.
In January, the company receives the 1979 “Regional Airline of the Year” award from Air Transport World magazine.
On November 20 and in cooperation with the FAA, Ransome begins employing a DASH-7 equipped with the world’s first commercial microwave landing system (MLS). A British Airways, Ltd. (2) Concorde reports a near miss with a Nord 262 25 miles east of New York (JFK) on December 1.
Passenger boardings rise 30.7% for the privately held airline to 805,363, which now snatches the title of “largest commuter” away from PRINAIR (Puerto Rico International Airlines).
Service is started to Washington, D. C. (lAD) in the spring of 1981 and to Trenton and Princeton on December 1. Destinations now visited also include Boston, Hartford, Providence, New London, Long Island, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Washington, D. C. (DCA). At midnight on November 30-December 1, a DASH-7 makes the first approach to New York (JFK) employing three-dimensional area navigation (R-NAV) equipment.
The addition of three more DASH-7s can not overcome the problems of general recession and the summer PATCO air traffic controllers’ strike. As a result, the company experiences a 9.2% drop in bookings to 731,270, but freight traffic receives a 17.5% boost to 823,705 pounds.
The country’s largest commuter airline, Ransome celebrates its fifteenth anniversary in 1982 by departing from its 12-year membership in the “Allegheny Commuter” network on June 1. It now contracts with Delta Air Lines for operation of its ground-reservation services and strikes out into the deregulated skies under its own colors.
Still the country’s largest regional, the airline introduces direct service between JFK and Dulles Airports and adds another DHC-7 to expand its routes to Baltimore, Boston, and Hartford. Service is expanded from MacArthur Airport at Bohemia, Long Island, on August 12 to include Trenton, Hartford, Washington, D. C. (DCA), Baltimore, and Providence. Unsuccessful, the Dulles-JFK route is suspended on December 3.
In the midst of these changes, passenger boardings fall again, dropping by 8.6% to 544,437.
The ninth Canadian DASH-7 turboprop is acquired in 1983 and while retaining four Aerospatiale 298 Mohawks acquired earlier, Ransome disposes of its remaining Nord 262s. Service is extended by the 360-employee large regional to Worcester, Massachusetts.
The number of travelers enplaned continues to fall, down another 6.8% to 540,759. Once the leader, Ransome is now the 10th largest regional airline.
The time comes to once again affiliate with a major and in May 1984 Ransome becomes part of the new “Delta Connection” commuter network. In the code-sharing arrangement with the major, the feeder is able to employ Delta’s “DL” reservations code, is assigned special Delta flight numbers, and obtains many other considerations it had during the “Allegheny Commuter” period. Meanwhile, flights are initiated to the New York capital at Albany and to Burlington, Vermont.
As a result of these developments, a 4.8% rise in passenger traffic occurs on the year, to 566,754 passengers flown.
In February 1985, Ransome inaugurates operations to Boston and Hyannis, Massachusetts, and on May 30 a portion of the failing operation of financially beleaguered Susquehanna Airlines is acquired.
The new arrangement gives the Philadelphia-based carrier operating rights between New York City and Binghamton, which it begins to exercise on June 24, employing a Beech 99 also obtained from Susquehanna. In July, the carrier purchases four additional Aerospatiale 298 Mohawks from USAir. Orders are placed for six SAAB SF340s.
Passenger boardings increase 7.5% to 609,022.
On June 1, 1986, the company, to the surprise of the airline industry, is purchased by Pan American World Airlines (1) to feed the major’s international flights. Shedding its “Delta Connection” affiliation, the carrier undertakes revenue services on June 1 as Pan Am Ransome Express. The Ransome name will be dropped once integration of personnel and services is completed.
RAPID AIR: 5500 44th St., Kent County International Airport, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49588, United States; Phone (616) 9575050; Fax (616) 957-2151; Year Founded 1946. Rapid is established as the FBO at Kent County Airport in 1946. Over the next 50 years the company, in addition to the usual maintenance, flight school, and avionics support activities associated with a fixed base operation, also undertakes a wide variety of domestic executive and passenger and cargo charters.
In 2000, Loretta Vantine-Norton is president. She employs 4 pilots who operate a piston-engine fleet of 4 Cessna 310s, 3 C-172 Skyhawks, and 1 each C-402A and C-414 Chancellor.
RAPID AIR LINES: United States (1928). Established at Rapid City in the spring of 1928, Rapid is equipped on May 28 with a single Ford Tri-Motor, the 4-AT-20, christened Wamblee Ohanko (Swift Eagle). Pilot Clyde W. Ice inaugurates passenger flights to Watertown and offers sight-seeing trips over the Black Hills.
Although plans are made to create an international airline with routes from Canada to Panama, the entire operation lasts only one month, July-August, before fiscal reality sets in and the carrier fails.
Rhonda Coy Sedgwick remembers the aviator and his dreams in her Sky Trails: The Life of Clyde W. Ice (Newcastle, Wyo.: Quarter Circle A Enterprises, 1990).
RAPID AIR TRANSPORT: United States (1930-1933). Rapid is established at Omaha by Walter F. Halley in the spring of 1930 to offer scheduled, multistop passenger service to Kansas City via St. Joseph. Employing a Ryan B-1 Brougham and a Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker, the company inaugurates flights on March 31.
Operations continue in 1931-1932 in association with Braniff Airways. In February of the latter year, a Lockheed Model 5C Vegas is acquired from W. A. Hansley of Detroit and is christened Aksarben Comet.
In December 1933, the company is purchased and operated as a division of another independent, Hanford Tri-State Airlines, where the story continues.
RAPSA (RUTAS AEREAS PANAMENAS, S. A.): Panama (19441972). Although incorporated on December 23, 1944, RAPSA, one of the last operators of the Boeing 247D, does not begin to enjoy great success until the period after September 1958 when a Douglas DC-4 joins its large fleet of DC-3s.
Early in the 1960s, a Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation is leased from Compania Interamericana Export-Import, S. A. and is flown on its behalf. Operations continue apace and in October 1964 a Martin 2-0-2, first flown by California Central Airlines, is acquired.
Just after takeoff from Panama City for Miami on March 30, 1968, the Connie crashes, killing its three-man crew. Cia Interamericana Export-Import, S. A. leases another used Super Constellation from Miami-based International Aerodyne.
Operations continue apace in 1969-1972.
En route from David to Bocas del Toro on January 9, 1970, a C-47A with three crew and five passengers is taken over by one of the customers, who orders the aircraft flown to Cuba. Returning to its point of origin, the plane is held on the ground by military police. A guardsman climbs aboard through a cockpit window and shoots the hijacker dead.
Rising costs, which first forces removal of the Martinliner, in the end causes the company to shut its doors during the latter year.
RARITAN VALLEY AIR: United States (1966-1968). RVA is organized at Manville, New Jersey, in the early spring of 1966 to provide scheduled air taxi shuttles to New York (LGA). Employing a Piper PA-23 Aztec, daily roundtrips commence on June 8 and are maintained until the company ceases operations in 1968.
RAS (RUTAS AEREAS DE COLOMBIA, S. A.): Colombia (19551962). Wishing to establish both a South American network and fifth freedom entrance into Colombia, KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines, N. V.) joins with the Colombian all-cargo airline SAM (Sociedad Aeronau-tica de Medellin, S. A.) in January 1955 to form a new international carrier, RAS. Within a year, SAM is authorized to inaugurate domestic passenger services to a variety of destinations, including Provin-dencia and San Andres, thereby providing an internal link for the joint enterprise.
Following Brazil and Colombia agreement on a new bilateral air transport agreement, RAS begins scheduled Bogota to Rio de Janeiro frequencies in July 1958. DC-4s are brought in by the Dutch partner and on December 28, El Transamericano service is inaugurated over the route.
The partnership continues to thrive during 1959 and in early 1960 it takes over SAM’s domestic passenger network. Sao Paulo is added as a Brazilian terminus on December 5.
The KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines, N. V.) network plan appears to be achieved in October 1961 when flights are started from Bogota to Cu-ra9ao. At this point, however, major competition is started by AVIANCA Colombian Airlines (Aerovias Nacionales de Colombia, S. A.), which places extreme service and financial pressure on SAM’s domestic system.
The stress of competing proves a financial drain on the joint carrier’s income, distressing both the Colombian and Dutch partners. Additionally, traffic on the Brazilian routes proves weak. As a result of these reversals, RAS is terminated in August 1962.
RAS FLUGGESELLSCHAFT, mBH.: Parsevaistrasse 7a, Dussel-dorf, D-40468, Germany; Phone 49 (211) 941-8610; Fax 49 (211) 941-8606; Http://www. ras-flug. de; Code RW; Year Founded 1996.
Rheinland Air Service, GmbH. is reformed at Dusseldorf on December 19, 1996 as the commuter subsidiary of LTU International Airways, GmbH. Johannes Turzer is appointed managing director and is allowed to retain a workforce of 19. Two Shorts 360-300s are put into scheduled service the same day and continue to link the company base with Efurt, Westerland/Sylt, Saarbrucken, and Berlin (Tempelhof Airport).
On June 18, 1997, new fares are offered on the carrier’s daily services to Westerland/Sylt and weekday-only flights to Efurt.
Flights continue in 1998-1999. During the first quarter of the latter year, two more Shorts 360-300s are chartered for a two-year period from Fortis Jet Prop.
After SAirGroup transfers control and part of the equity in parent LTU International Airways, GmbH. to Rewe Touristik, GmbH. in September 2000, LTU is forced to review its core business activities with a view to returning to profitability. In mid-October, RAS is sold to Wings Factor of Moenchengladbach, which destination is now added to the carrier’s Shorts network.
RASMARK JET CHARTER: El Paso International Airport, El Paso, Texas 79925, United States; Phone (915) 772-4616; Fax (915) 779-5387; Year Founded 1984. Rasmark is set up at El Paso in 1984 to
Offer passenger and cargo charters to destinations throughout North and South America, plus Central America. Revenue operations duly begin and by 1998-2000 the fleet includes 2 Learjet 25Bs and 1 each Learjet 25C, Learjet 24B, Learjet 24D, and Dassault Falcon 20.
RATIOFLUG, GmbH.: Germany (1982-1998). This German regional all-freight charter operation, which also undertakes contract service flights, is established at Cologne in 1982. Werner Netck is named managing director and frequencies are inaugurated to Basel, Bergamo, and Paris (Orly). Services continue apace for the remainder of the decade.
In 1990, the fleet comprises 1 Dornier 228-201,1 Dash-202, 3 Fokker F.27-600s, 1 Learjet 35A, and 1 Learjet 55. One of the Fokker’s is leased from Denmark’s Alkair Flight Operation, A. S. The company now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Ratioflug Holdings. A second Dornier 228-202 is added in 1991 as well as a fourth Fokker F.27-600, leased from Jersey European Airways, Ltd. and which is operated on behalf of Federal Express (FedEx).
The second Dornier and fourth Fokker are withdrawn in 1992; however, a second Gates Learjet 55 is obtained. Airline employment is 57 in 1993. Two Cessna 404 Titans and a Beech Super King Air 200 are purchased, but withdrawn at year’s end.
The total fleet in 1994 includes 2 each Learjet 55s and F.27-600s, and 1 each Learjet 35A and Dornier 228-201.
Flights continue in 1995-1997, during which years Mrs. Sonja Netek becomes joint managing director. In an unsuccessful effort to enhance income, the carrier leases an Airbus Industrie A300B2-1C, previously operated by Air Inter, S. A., with which to operate inclusive tours to the Mediterranean during the winter charter season. The company shuts its doors in January 1998.
RAVEN AIR: United States (1987-1989). Raven Air is set up at Anchorage, Alaska, in the fall of 1987 to offer scheduled passenger and cargo flights to Seldovia and Port Graham. Employing Cessna light-planes, Raven inaugurates revenue services in November. Operations continue until the end of the decade.
RAY PETERSON FLYING SERVICE. See NORTHERN CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES
RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT SERVICES: 7240 Hayvenhurst Ave., Van Nuys, California 91406, United States; Phone (818) 756-2100; Fax (818) 786-3917; Year Founded 1991. Raytheon is set up as an FBO at
Van Nuys Airport in 1991. Additionally, other full service support facilities are opened at Birmingham, Alabama, and at Atlanta, Indianapolis, Wichita, and Farmingdale. These locations also engage in significant charter business and rapid growth is experienced through 2000.
At Van Nuys, the company employs 24 pilots and undertakes executive and small group passenger charters to destinations from Canada to Central America. Charter Director Ladd Caine oversees the scheduling from California of 2 Beech Super King Air 200s and 4 King Air 90s, plus 1 Super King Air 300 and 1 Beech 2000 Starship.
Charter Director Kimberlu Stein in Alabama is in charge of sending 40 pilots to Western Hemisphere points and a few other destinations worldwide; they fly 2 each Beech 400A Beechjets and 2 Super King Air 300s, plus 1 each King Air 90 and Beech 58 Baron.
Ed Watson at Fulton County Airport in Atlanta oversees the work of 13 pilots and their flights with 2 Starships, 1 Super King Air 200, and 1 King Air 90. Bill Dolan is Flight Department Manager at Republic Airport in Farmindale, New York, and he schedules 4 Beech 1900Cs. Dean Meyer fills the same position at Wichita and his 3 pilots operate 1 Beech 1900 and 3 Beech 1300s. At Indianapolis, Manager Gene White provides services with 1 Starship, 2 Beech 400A Beechjets, and 1 Super King Air 300.
RDS AVIA: Ulitsa Akademicheskaya 26, Volgograd, 4000001, Russia; Phone 7 (8442) 448842; Year Founded 1994. An investment opportunity, RDS Avia is established by the RDS Investment and Pension Company at Volgograd in 1994. A. G. Tur is appointed general director and he begins all-cargo revenue flights with 2 each Antonov An-26s and An-74s.
Services continue in 1995-2000, during which years another An-74 is acquired and a second hub is opened at Stavropol.
READING AIRLINES: United States (1947-1968). In the spring of 1947, Reading, Pennsylvania, FBO operator Alfred Bertolet forms an air transport division of his year-old Reading Aviation Service to begin flights to Allentown, Philadelphia, and Newark, the latter serving New York City. Initially operated as a charter service, RAS forms an airline division and begins to offer regularly scheduled Part 298 Beech 18 roundtrip flights on August 1, 1957, linking Reading with Newark.
Reading Airlines, one of the nation’s first third-level or commuter carriers, replaces its Beech 18s with three de Havilland DH 104 Doves in August 1960. These are employed to inaugurate daily scheduled frequencies to Allentown, Wilkes-Barre, Buffalo, and Lancaster.
Service to New York (JFK) begins in 1965, followed by Philadelphia in the spring of 1967. During these years, the fleet is upgraded by the addition of Beech 99s and DH 114 Heron 2s. Orders are placed for a trio of de Havilland Canada DHC-6-100 Twin Otters.
The first two Twin Otters arrive during the first quarter of 1968 and in May Reading Airlines merges with Suburban Air Taxi of Red Bank, New Jersey, to form Suburban Airlines.
REAL, S. A. (TRANSPORTES AEREOS REDES ESTADUALS AEREAS, S. A.): Brazil (1945-1961). In November 1945, former TACA (Transportes Aereos Centros Americanos, S. A.) pilot Linneu Gomez purchases three military surplus Douglas C-47s and on the 30th of the month receives government authority to organize and operate an airline. In association with Mammana Neto, who had tried—and failed—to launch a carrier in 1943, Gomez sets up REAL at Sao Paulo in December; initial capitalization is three million cruzeiros.
Sao Paulo-Rio de Janeiro service is inaugurated on February 7, 1946, with extensions in April to Curitiba. The frequency is increased to daily on June 26. Three Bristol 170s are ordered and the two eventually arrive by October 1, entering service 16 days later.
A route is opened to Londrins on May 15, 1947 and on November 10 the Curitiba service is stretched to Porto Alegre. A Bristol 170 is damaged later in the year (spar failure) and both aircraft are withdrawn, leaving a fleet comprising 13 DC-3s.
In late winter 1948, a route is opened to Rio Preto. On March 17, the small competitor LAW (Linhas Aereas Wright, S. A.) is purchased and together with its Rio-Santos route, is merged.
Negotiations are begun in early 1949 for the acquisition of LAN (Linhas Aereas Natal, S. A.), then flying a ten-point network inland of Sao Paulo-Rio de Janeiro, including services to Belo Horizonte and Corumba. Two fatal crashes are suffered in December. On December 1, a DC-3 with 22 aboard crashes during a rainstorm at Ribeirao (20 dead) while another Douglas transport disappears on a Rio-Victoria flight on December 26.
LAN (Linhas Aereas Natal, S. A.) is acquired by REAL in May 1950. The competitor’s routes and 4 DC-3s are absorbed, with the latter bringing the carrier’s fleet of Douglas transports to 20. Service is started to Iguassu.
Twenty-eight die on July 12, 1951 when a C-46 crashes near Aracaju. At a cost of 34 million cruzeiros, LATB (Linha Aerea Transcontinental Brasileira, S. A.) is purchased in August. The acquisition provides routes to most of northeast Brazil, including Portaleza, Recife, Macio, Aracazu, Salvador, Paulo Alfonson, Victoria de Conquista, Araxa, Varginha, and Paragussu, as well as additional DC-3s and C-47s. REAL’s capitalization is now increased to 70 million cruzeiros.
A DC-3 with 10 passengers is lost at Ubatuba, Brazil, on August 17; there are no survivors. Paraguayan government permission is received on December 10 for a new route into that nation.
Following the arrival of the first Douglas DC-4, formerly the Chicago and Southern Air Lines City of New Orleans, the company begins international service in January 1952, Sao Paulo-Asuncion via Curitiba and Iguassu Falls.
A DC-3, with 18 passengers strikes high ground at San Francisco do Paula, Brazil, on October 14 (14 dead).
In 1953, orders are placed for four Convair CV-340s.
After suffering an engine failure on April 10, a DC-3 with 4 crew and 26 passengers attempts to make an emergency landing, but stalls out and crashes at Anchieta Island, Brazil (26 dead).
On February 4, 1954, a stop is added at Encarnacion, Paraguay. With board approval given on May 24, Linneu Gomez, on September 10, purchases 80% control of Empresa de Transportes Aerovias Brazil, S. A., a TACA subsidiary and major operator of independent and domestic routes.
The Aerovias Brazil subsidiary AERONORTE (Empresa de Trans-portes Aereos Norte do Brazil, S. A.) is also taken over, but is allowed to continue operations under its own name. The REAL fleet now includes 58 DC-3s, 3 DC-4s, 4 C-47s, and 6 CV-340s. The first 2 of the CV-340s are delivered on July 8. Cabotage rights within Paraguay are authorized on November 15.
Gomez in February 1955 amalgamates his carriers into the Consorcio REAL-Aerovias Brazil, S. A. The enlarged airline now launches flights from Corumba-Asuncion via Concepcion, Iguassu Falls, and Encarna-cion, while continuing to operate the Miami service inherited from Aerovias Brazil.
While executing a missed approach procedure, the pilot of a DC-3 with 2 other crew and 18 passengers, strikes a pole and crashes at Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil, on March 6; 5 people are killed.
A large domestic operator built up through the successive purchase and merger of seven smaller carriers, TAN (Transportes Aereos Na-cional, S. A.) is now ripe for acquisition. On August 2, 1956, REAL acquires 85% of its shares, although it, too, is allowed to continue operations as an autonomous part of the Gomez consortium. The fleet, through this takeover, grows to comprise 86 DC-3s and 6 CV-340s. Routes are now extended to every Brazilian state and daily frequencies are increased on the more important segments: Rio-Sao Paulo (16), Rio-Belo Horizonte (12), Sao Paulo-Curitiba (7), Sao Paulo-Londrina and Belo Horizonte (3). On September 15, a multistop Sao Paulo-Chicago route is opened.
A DC-3 with 26 aboard smashes into a mountain near Anchieta Island on April 10, 1957; there are no survivors. Ordered by TAN earlier, six CV-440s are delivered between March and September.
REAL opens the first route between Rio de Janeiro and the new federal capital at Brazilia on May 3. Meanwhile, at the end of May, four Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellations are ordered.
While on final approach to Montevideo following a September 18 flight from Porto Alegre, a CV-440 with 5 crew and 30 passengers undershoots the runway and collides with an earthen bank, causing the Convair to skid (1 dead); the aircraft is subsequently written off.
The former Chicago and Southern Air Lines Douglas DC-4 City of New Orleans, with 4 crew and 30 passengers, is lost in an accident off Praia de Balaia, Brazil, on November 4; there are no fatalities.
Also in November, Gomez acquires 50% interest in SADIA. At year’s end, the fleet includes 89 DC-3s, 10 DC-4s, and 10 C-46s.
The Super Connies are received beginning in February 1958. In circumstances unknown, a DC-3 with four crew is lost at Maringa, Brazil, on August 27.
Aerovias Brazil, the consortium’s designated international division, will employ the new aircraft to open additional U. S. routes, beginning with Rio de Janeiro-Los Angeles service on November 19, 1959 via Manaus, Bogota, and Mexico City. The fleet is increased that year by two Aero Commanders and orders (never filled) are placed for four CV-990s, three Lockheed L-188 Electras, and five DC-6Bs.
On February 25, 1960, a DC-3 with 4 crew and 22 passengers crashes into a USN R-6D-1 (military DC-6) with 38 passengers over Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; there are 3 survivors from the military aircraft.
On May 2, Brasilia is added as a stop on the Los Angeles route, which is itself extended on July 9 to Tokyo via Honolulu and Wake Island. This is the first direct air service to become available between Brazil and Japan.
Meanwhile, on June 24, a CV-340 with 5 crew and 49 passengers en route from Brasilia to Rio de Janeiro, suddenly crashes into Guanabara Bay; there are no survivors.
A chartered C-46A with 2 crew and 13 passengers crashes in the jungle at Cachimbo, Brazil, on December 7; there are no survivors.
In terms of passenger kilometers flown, REAL now ranks as the ninth largest airline in Latin America.
The withdrawn SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) DC-6B Hjal-mar Viking is purchased in February 1961. A DC-3 freighter with three crew crashes while on initial approach to Ponta Crossa, Brazil, on March 15; there are no survivors.
In deep financial trouble due to over extension, Gomez is forced to cease Chicago service in the early spring. Aerovias Brazil, and the company’s four Super Constellations, are sold to VARIG Brazilian Airlines (Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense, S. A.) on May 2 in a desperate but unsuccessful effort to halt the cash-flow hemorrhage.
A C-46A is destroyed as the result of a bad landing at Brasilia on June 21; there are no injuries.
On August 16, VARIG Brazilian Airlines (Viacao Aerea Rio-Grandense, S. A.) acquires 90% of the shares in REAL, S. A. and on August 22 a pair of Douglas DC-6Bs arrives from the American carrier Northwest Airlines. REAL is subsequently absorbed into its new parent, passing from the scene after a meteoric rise and fall.