Capitol Air

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Capitol Air
Founded 1946
Hubs John F. Kennedy International Airport, Brussels, Belgium and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Destinations Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Brussels (BRU), Frankfurt (FRA), Paris, France (LBG) Aguadilla (BQN), San Juan (SJU) and Puerto Plata (POP)
This article is about the mid-20th century North American airline. For airlines with similar names, see Capital Airlines (disambiguation).
A Boeing 727-200 of Capitol Air.

Capitol Air (originally known as Capitol International Airways) was a charter airline from the United States, which was operational from 1946 to 1982.[1] It was founded by former Army Air Corps pilots, Jesse Stallings, Richmond McGinnis, and Francis Roach, following the end of World War II. The European Director of Operations was Chuck Carr, the Director France Michel Lelièvre and the LBG Airport Mngr, P. Landelle. Gatwick Ops was the European Office. In the late 1970s, Capitol Air became a scheduled carrier following the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. The airline was incorporated in Delaware but headquartered in Smyrna, Tennessee.

Capitol Air maintained a large presence in the eastern United States and Europe.[2][3] Its hubs were John F. Kennedy International Airport Hangar 11 in New York City, Brussels, Belgium and San Juan, Puerto Rico. From New York/JFK Capitol Air served Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Brussels (BRU), Frankfurt (FRA), Paris, France (LBG) Aguadilla (BQN), San Juan (SJU) and Puerto Plata (POP). From San Juan its served Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Santo Domingo. Even though it went scheduled, charters were still a big part of its operations. Many of the charters operated in/out of San Juan were for Canadian tour operators that needed the air service in conjunction with cruises that departed San Juan every Saturday.

Capitol Air also operated many charter flights for the United States military. One major trunk route in the mid-1970s connected Rhein-Main Air Base (Frankfurt), Germany to Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina with a refueling stop at Bradley Air National Guard Base (co-located with Bradley International Airport) in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

The airline started operations with the late model square tailed Super-DC3.[4]In 1968, the airline leased its DC-8-F to Air Congo.[5] In later years the airline used primarily McDonnell Douglas DC-8 jets, but around 1980 brought DC-10 equipment into its fleet.These aircraft were all leased from International Air Leases in Miami, owned by George Batchelor.

Capitol Air declared bankruptcy in the mid-1980s after George Batchelor, now Captiol's owner, had largely dismantled the airline in favor of his newly acquired venture, Arrow Air, another formerly all-charter airline working toward becoming a scheduled airline.


During the early 1980s, one of Capitol Air's DC-8 was hijacked and diverted to Cuba.


  1. ^ Information about Capitol Airways at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. ^ Capitol Air 1979 timetable, at
  3. ^ Capitol Airways 1981 timetable and route map, at
  4. ^ Harold Mills. Hangar Sweepings: Reflections of an Airport Bum. p. 21. 
  5. ^ Ben R. Guttery. Encyclopedia of African Airlines. p. 39.