Colonial Airlines

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Colonial Airlines
Founded 1928
Ceased operations 1956 - Merger with Eastern Air Lines
Colonial Airlines logo.png

Colonial Airlines was a United States airline from the 1940s and 1950s with bases at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in New York City and at Montréal/St-Hubert Airport in Montreal, Canada.

Early history[edit]

It was founded as Canadian Colonial Airways on 6 March 1928 to operate Foreign Air Mail Route No. 1 (FAM-1) from New York to Montreal via Albany, New York. Services began to Canada on 1 October 1928. The Fairchild FC-2 was among the aircraft types used.[1] After acquisition by a group of investors, the airline was renamed Colonial Airlines on 1 May 1942.[2]

Postwar history[edit]

Douglas DC-4 of Colonial Airlines, used on routes to Canada and Bermuda

The airline was awarded a route from Washington DC to Montreal and Ottawa on 10 August 1945, followed by routes to Bermuda in May 1946. Scheduled flights to the latter began on 1 August 1947.[2] The shorter routes were operated by Douglas DC-3s and the longer routes by Douglas DC-4s.

By 1956, Colonial's executive offices were on Park Avenue in New York City and it was flying several routes including five daily nonstop DC-4 flights between LGA and Montreal. It also operated a nonstop DC-4 flight departing LGA at 11 am EST to Bermuda, arriving at Kindley Field 3:35 pm AST, with a "full course hot meal" served en route, its timetables advertised.[3] It also offered a DC-3 puddle jumper flight from LGA making an 11:50 am Monday–Friday flag stop at Poughkeepsie's Dutchess County Airport en route to Montreal and Ottawa, Canada, with intermediate stops at Albany, New York, Rutland, Vermont, and Burlington, Vermont.[3]

Merger with Eastern Air Lines[edit]

The airline operated for a period of five years during which a fierce competition was fought for its control between Eastern Air Lines and National Airlines. After several reversals of government policy, Eastern Airlines emerged as the acquirer and the operational merger took place on 1 June 1956.[4] A few years following the merger, many of the Colonial's more rural destinations were deleted from Eastern's route network.

Destinations served[edit]

Those airports marked with an asterisk (*) no longer have scheduled passenger air service.



  1. ^ Davies, 1998, pp. 100–101
  2. ^ a b Davies, 1998, p. 342
  3. ^ a b "Colonial Airlines". Official Guide of the Railways. New York: National Railway Publication Co. 88 (9): 56. February 1956. 
  4. ^ Davies, 1998, p. 343