Airlift International

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Airlift International
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1945 in Miami, Florida
Ceased operations1991
DestinationsPuerto Rico, Chicago, New York and Detroit
HeadquartersMiami International Airport

Airlift International was an American airline that operated from 1945 to 1991. Airlift's headquarters were on the grounds of Miami International Airport in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.[1]


Riddle Airlines Douglas DC-7 at JFK International Airport (July 1962)

Airlift International was founded as Riddle Airlines by John Paul Riddle in 1945 in Miami, Florida as a charter and freight airline.[2] In 1965, Riddle Airlines was renamed to Airlift International.[3] In 1968, Airlift expanded and acquired Slick Airways.[3]

Airlift International Fairchild-Hiller FH-227C in 1989

The first flights were between Miami and Puerto Rico using Curtiss C-46 and Douglas DC-4 aircraft. In 1951 it expanded services to serve New York City. Then the route system was expanded to include Chicago and Detroit. In 1960 two Douglas DC-7 were added to the fleet and with those aircraft were used for charter flights to Europe, including charters for the military.

The next aircraft type to join the fleet was the Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy dedicated cargo aircraft, but those were replaced in 1963 by the Douglas DC-8. Further aircraft used were the L-1049 Super Constellation, the Canadair CL-44, the Lockheed L-382 Hercules, the Boeing 707, and the Boeing 727-100QC.

The freight schedule was augmented by charter flights to South America and the military but by 1981 Airlift International went into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy for reorganization. Following the reorganization the DC-8-54, the Fairchild FH-227 and F-27 models were used.

Due to financial problems during 1990 and 1991, Airlift International ceased operations in June 1991.[3]


Airlift International DC-8 in 2009

Curtis C-46


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 14–20 March 1990 "Airlift International" 57.
  2. ^ "Aerofiles: Airlines of North America N-Z".
  3. ^ a b c "Aerofiles: Airlines of North America A-M".