Merv Griffin Enterprises' Resorts International owned hotels and other resort amenities on Paradise Island, as well as Chalk's Ocean Airways, which carried tourists to the island. However, Chalk's seaplanes were restricted to daylight operations due to the difficulty of landing on water at night. Accordingly, Resorts International launched Paradise Island Airways in March 1989, to handle increased vacation traffic from Florida to the Bahamas. The airline operated the STOL (short takeoff and landing) de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprop which was well suited for the service given the relatively short 3,000 foot runway at the Paradise Island Airport.
After financial difficulties and a series of ownership changes for the two airlines, Paradise Island Airways closed in May 1999.