Aeromarine West Indies Airways
|Key people||Inglis Moore Upercu|
Aeromarine West Indies Airways was a United States airline. The original company was formed by a merger between Florida West Indies Airways and Aeromarine Sightseeing and Navigation Company (a subsidiary of the Aeromarine airplane manufacturing company) and was one of the first international airlines in the United States. It commenced operations on 1 November 1920 with a flight from Key West to Havana, and operated flying boats from the US mainland to the Bahamas and Cuba. Transporting passengers, mail, and freight safely and successfully beginning in 1921, it ceased operations in early 1924 due to a freeze on mail contracts by the U.S. Postal Service.
It was reorganized as Aeromarine Airways in spring of 1921 with Inglis Moore Uppercu, A New York Cadillac dealer as its President. Aeromarine enjoyed many firsts - the first U.S. international air mail service and first scheduled U.S. international passenger service (Key West to Havana, November 1, 1920); first total service U.S. airline (passenger, mail, express cargo); first in-flight movie (Chicago, August 1921); first airline baggage label (1921); and the first U.S. airline ticket office (Cleveland, July 1922). Its slogan was "Speed Safety Comfort". The overseas flights in seaplanes named the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria brought passengers to popular destinations that still allowed drinking at the start of prohibition. The new metal hulled, six passenger Aeromarine AMC was placed into service in 1924 with only a short period of operation before service ceased.
The "rebirth" of Aeromarine West Indies Airways occurred in February 2007 when it was reformed and incorporated in the State of Florida. Aeromarine West Indies Airways Corporation has applied for its FAA Part 121 Air Carrier Certificate and intends to begin operations, flying vintage flyingboats and/or propliners, within the next five years. Aeromarine's first intended route being from St. Augustine, to Palm Beach, to Key West. In January 2009 Aeromarine purchased a 1920's style coastal steamship, the CSS (Coastal Steam Ship) "Seminole Wind", to be based in St. Augustine Florida and serve as a floating terminal and tender for seaplane operations. Plans are also underway to open a cafe and shops on board to be open to the general public. Aeromarine's tag-line is: "Aeromarine West Indies Airways... The return of an airline that offers the romance and adventure of a bygone age!"
- Daniel Okrent. Last call: the rise and fall of Prohibition.
- E. R. Johnson. American flying boats and amphibious aircraft: an illustrated history. p. 12.
- State of Florida Department of State document number P07000026223
- Formal request for Part 121 Certification to FAA Flight Standards District Office, Miami Florida (dated 1 January 2008)
- National Vessel Documentation Center, vessel search "Seminole Wind"