Florida Airlines

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Not to be confused with Florida Airways, which operated from April 1, 1926 to June 9, 1927.
Not to be confused with the slightly larger, defunct airline Air Florida.
Florida Airlines
IATA ICAO Callsign
FE Florida
Founded 1960
Ceased operations 1981
Destinations Regional Florida
Company slogan The Florida Connection
Headquarters Tampa, relocated to Sarasota in August 1974

Florida Airlines was a commuter airline based in Florida that operated from 1960 to 1982. It is said to have had the largest Douglas DC3 fleet in the world in 1976[1] Airline deregulation eventually resulted in the demise of the airline.[citation needed]


During the 1960s, Florida Airlines operated a fleet of aircraft described in the below table.[2]

Florida Airlines Fleet - 1960s
Aircraft Total
Piper Apache 3
V-tailed Bonanza 2
Beechcraft D18 - 55C, 90Z 3
Piper Aztec -69Y, 60Y, 37Y 3
Douglas DC-3 - N8701, N6102 2
Cessna 402 - 97Q 1

Florida Airlines also operated Martin 4-0-4 propliner aircraft during its existence.[3]

Corporate history[edit]

Florida Airlines was incorporated on February 8, 1960 as Florida Air Taxi, Inc. in Tampa, Florida with William Taylor as owner. Taylor had purchased the company in the early 1950s from L. A. Stevens.[4] The name was changed to Florida Airlines, Inc. on October 17, 1969.[4] In 1969, the airline was sold to Lee H. Hill, Sr. and Lee H. Hill, Jr., owners of Hill-Donnelly Publishing company. In late 1973, it was sold by Hills to Arthur C. Allyn. Allyn had previously owned the Chicago White Sox and Executive Airlines. He was also the owner of Sarasota Jungle Gardens and a significant philanthropist in the Sarasota area. In 1975, the airline was purchased by Air South and Shawnee Airlines.[1] The airline filed for bankruptcy protection and suspended services in January 1980.[5] The airline re-commenced operations as Southern International Airlines (SIA), based at Sarasota in early 1980 (operating under the 'Air Florida Commuter' banner).[1] On December 2, 1981 Southern International Airlines (SIA) operations were suspended.[1] The corporation was dissolved on December 14, 1982[6]


Florida Airlines Route Map 1974

The cities that Florida Airlines served in the 1970s:[7]


  1. ^ a b c d "Florida Airlines". Sunshine Skies: Historic Commuter Airlines of Florida and Georgia. Sunshineskies. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Florida Airlines". Florida Airlines: Website. Bill Odell. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.airliners.net, photo of Florida Airlines Martin 4-0-4
  4. ^ a b "Florida Airlines". Florida Dept of State : Website. 18 Feb 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "Florida Airlines". Google News Archives. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "Florida Airlines". Florida Dept of State : Website. 18 Feb 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  7. ^ "Florida Airlines Timetable". AirTimes Website. AirTimes. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 

External links[edit]